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11 Important Lessons I Have Learned From Starting a Blog

11 Important Lessons I Have Learned From Starting a Blog

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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        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 March 20, 2019

        How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

        How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

        Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

        As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

        While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

        What is a Mission Statement?

        Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

        In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

        “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

        In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

        Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

        While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

        First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

        While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

        While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

        “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

        This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

        What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

        When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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        Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

        When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

        • What we do?
        • How we do it?
        • Whom do we do it for?
        • What value are we bringing?

        Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

        After all, that did check off all the boxes:

        What we do? Provide widgets.

        How we do it? Online.

        Who do we do it for? The consumer.

        What value we bring? The best widgets.

        The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

        Compare that mission statement to this one:

        “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

        What’s the difference?

        Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

        Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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        You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

        A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

        Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

        1. Keep It Brief

        Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

        You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

        2. Have a Purpose

        A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

        Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

        3. Include a “How”

        Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

        How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

        4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

        This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

        Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

        5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

        It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

        Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

        6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

        Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

        7. Think Long Term

        A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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        8. Get Feedback

        This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

        Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

        9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

        You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

        First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

        And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

        For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

        The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

        It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

        First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

        If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

        Strategic Planning

        A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

        Measuring Performance

        By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

        Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

        Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

        Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

        As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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        Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

        To Hold Management Accountable

        By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

        So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

        If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

        To Serve as an Example

        This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

        After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

        Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

        Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

        Final Thoughts

        Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

        Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

        That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

        By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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        Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
        [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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