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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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        Last Updated on December 3, 2019

        7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

        7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

        I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

        It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

        A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

        1. Define Career Success for Yourself

        Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

        What does career success mean to you?

        This is about defining your career success:

        • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
        • Not what people may think of you
        • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
        • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

        “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

        When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

        There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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        • Work-life balance
        • Opportunities for growth and advancement
        • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

        Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

        • What do you mean by work-life balance?
        • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
        • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

        Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

        • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
        • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
        • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

        Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

        • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
        • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
        • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

        Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

        Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

        What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

        2. Know Your Values

        Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

        There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

        Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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        • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
        • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
        • Put the words on your fridge
        • Add the words on your vision board

        Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

        3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

        When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

        How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

        Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

        • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
        • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
        • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
        • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
        • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
        • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

        Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

        • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
        • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
        • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
        • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

        Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

        By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

        4. Determine Your Top Talents

        What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

        What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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        What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

        What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

        What do you notice?

        5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

        Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

        I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

        Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

        Keep these words visible too!

        Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

        6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

        Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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        Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

        “These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

        7. Manage Your Own Career

        Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

        Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

        Summing Up

        For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

        Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

        Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

        1. Define Career Success for Yourself
        2. Know Your Values
        3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
        4. Determine Your Top Talents
        5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
        6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
        7. Manage Your Own Career

        “When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

        Good luck and best wishes always!

        More Tips on Advancing Your Career

        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

        Reference

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