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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

        SEO Consultant

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        Published on September 18, 2018

        17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

        17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

        Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

        Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

        Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

        After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

        Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

        1. Show your appreciation

        In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

        The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

        Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

        2. Communicate effectively

        Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

        Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

        3. Be open to dialogue

        Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

        New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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        In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

        For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

        4. Provide constructive criticism

        Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

        So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

        Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

        Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

        Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

        5. Conduct one-on-ones

        Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

        While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

        Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

        More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

        6. Build training programs

        In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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        From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

        While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

        7. Offer growth opportunities

        Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

        Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

        Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

        8. Reward them

        Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

        If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

        Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

        9. Encourage team outings

        Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

        From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

        10. Involve them

        Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

        Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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        11. Set meaningful goals

        In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

        Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

        12. Empower them

        You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

        Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

        Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

        13. Deal with conflict

        A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

        How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

        As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

        14. Implement a flexible work culture

        Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

        Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

        It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

        15. Host engaging activities

        All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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        From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

        16. Maintain a positive work space

        Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

        Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

        These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

        17. Avoid discrimination

        Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

        In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

        The bottom line

        Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

        It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

        This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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