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11 Important Lessons I Have Learned From Starting a Blog

11 Important Lessons I Have Learned From Starting a Blog
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People fall in love with blogging because of various reasons. Some of them want to make money by writing and work hard to make a name for themselves. Others just do it for fun and don’t mean anything serious by it, while some feel that they have something important to discuss with the World and the best way to share your ideas is starting a blog.

When I started blogging I had no idea what I was getting myself into and this is true for most bloggers out there, but in time I learned a few things that made it a whole lot easier and fun. Some of them I’ve learned from experience and others I picked up from more experienced bloggers who were willing to share their knowledge. In honor of the favor they did to me, here is a list of important lessons I’ve learned from blogging.

1. Have fun in order to keep the creative juices flowing.

It might seem silly but this is a very serious matter. I don’t care if you are starting a blog that is highly technical and you are doing reviews of highly sophisticated, scientific gadgets—you still need to have fun while writing about the subject.  The writer’s mood tends to transfer onto his writing and if you are bored out of your skull by the work you are doing, you are also going to bore you readers. Shake things up a bit, try a different approach and work on your style in order to avoid repetitiveness.

2. Your writing is only as good as your grammar.

Have you heard about the Grammar Police? There are people online that are obsessed with good grammar and are constantly scanning for any mistakes so they can proudly point them out. They can be annoying, but having a trend of making fun of bad grammar is OK in my book.

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grammarpolice

    In the beginning, I thought that nobody is going to care about a couple of typos and a few “its Vs it’s” mistakes but boy, was I wrong. Bad grammar kills your credibility as writer, and if you want to be taken seriously, check before you post.

    3. Have a functional knowledge of the Internet.

    You can’t skip this part folks. You need to be able to use search engines correctly and intuitively so you can get all the necessary research. On top of that, you will need maintain and update your blog on your own so as to avoid dishing out cash for that. There is a third point here, one that encompasses the understanding of the Internet lingo so to speak. Things that mean one thing in the real world can mean something completely different online and they can really cause some issues if they are misunderstood.

    4. Ask for feedback so you can see yourself through your readers eyes.

    It is of great importance to have an objective opinion on how good your writing really is. Unfortunately, writers and bloggers alike have a tendency to think too highly of themselves or to be too harsh on their work. Bloggers have one advantage though, and that is to ask their audience for their opinion and get instant reviews. Not everybody will like your work, so filter out the comments of people who wouldn’t like what you have to say no matter how you write it. Find realistic reviews and learn from your mistakes.

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    5. Reaction isn’t something that should ruin your motivation.

    The Web is a big place and there is an abundance of opportunities for job positions and success as a creative writer, but don’t expect everything to just fall in your lap. You are going to live through some rejections as most of us did, and this isn’t something that you should consider “a big deal,” even in cases when you really wanted to land that particular job. Keep at it, work hard and don’t let things discourage you.

    6. Developing relationships and networking are the keys to success.

    You can’t do everything alone—no one can. Understanding the value of connecting with fellow bloggers, keeping in touch with your readers and getting as many contacts as you can is very important.

    Networking and building connectios

      Opportunities for new projects can arise from simply knowing the right people at the right time. As the old saying goes, there is strength in numbers.

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      7. Things don’t just happen; you need to make them happen.

      Always be on the lookout for new opportunities. Utilize your contacts, search for job opportunities, collaborate with your peers and think about the future of your work. If you just sit down, write and wait, you might catch a break if you are lucky, but in most cases you are going to progress very little if you don’t branch out and start making opportunities instead of waiting for them to happen.

      8. Take a break once in a while.

      Avoid writing when you feel exhausted since you are going to produce material of lower quality, regardless of your passion for the subject. If you have no choice, make sure you check what you have written more than once before you post it. Exhaustion doesn’t just have a bad influence on your writing—it destroys your motivation as well. Take the time to recharge your batteries and get back into the fray; otherwise, you are going to end up with your head on your keyboard and with your deadline breached.

      9. Patience and diligence are the key to success.

      A lot of bloggers, especially young bloggers, step in to the blogging environment with an overconfident attitude and the conviction that they are going to make it in a matter of months. Let me tell you this: most successful bloggers have worked for years for scraps before they actually capitalized on their work. Blogging isn’t something that you can have an overnight success with; it takes planning, learning and hard work.

      10. If you get into fights with trolls, you are going to come out bruised.

      These are some fickle creators to deal with. “Trolls” are people who are there to make fun of you and everything else for that matter. Why? Because they are bored and they do this to entertain themselves. If you run into trolls on your blog, proceed with caution. Don’t get into arguments with them because you can’t win.

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      Internet Troll

        They have put nothing on the table that they value and their primary objective is to ridicule your entire operation for fun. Ignoring them is probably the best course of action since your lack of reaction will bore them and they will go away.

        11. Don’t chase after money at all costs.

        There are a lot of ways to make money online; that much is true, but when it comes to blogging you need to be careful. Your fan base is what keeps your blog alive. If you start shoving ads or god forbid pop-ups down people’s throats they are going to leave you very fast and your hard work is going to go down the drain in a matter of days. Carefully make your choices, consult your fans and notify them about the changes that are going to occur so you don’t hurt your chances of making money while attempting to make money.

        From my experience, these are some of the most important things to know if you are starting a blog and want to make a serious career for yourself as a blogger. Keep in mind that these rules are not rigid and that things change fast on the Web so make sure you are up to date with new trends and changes. I wish you a clear mind and may writer’s block never cross your doorstep.

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        More by this author

        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Published on July 27, 2021

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

        15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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        During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

        But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

        Put the Pro in Professional

        After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

        1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

        The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

        Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

        2. Dress the Part

        While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

        Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

        For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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        Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

        3. Stage Your Workspace

        Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

        Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

        4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

        Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

        Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

        Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

        Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

        5. Arrive on Time

        In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

        Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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        6. Turn on Your Video

        Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

        If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

        Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

        7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

        Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

        Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

        Attend to the Pesky Details

        8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

        With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

        Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

        9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

        Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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        Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

        10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

        As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

        Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

        Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

        Talking Has a Time and a Place

        11. Chat Appropriately

        Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

        At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

        12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

        The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

        Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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        13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

        In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

        Manage Yourself

        14. Minimize Distractions

        While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

        Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

        15. Save Snacking for Later

        Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

        However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

        Final Thoughts

        Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

        Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

        Reference

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