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25 Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

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25 Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

When you’re starting out blogging, it can be a bit overwhelming. There are a ton of resources out there and it can be a bit difficult to wade through them all. However, if you’re just starting out, you don’t need to buy 20 different guides – here’s all you really need to know. 25 solid blogging tips for new bloggers. Let’s get started!

1. Use WordPress.

There are tons of other platforms you can blog on, but if you’re in it for the long-term, the only real choice is a self-hosted version of WordPress. You’ll own your domain and your work, which is invaluable as you continue to blog and create an online footprint.

2. Use the Genesis framework.

I use the genesis framework on every single one of my sites. You can get cheaper themes off of ThemeForest and other sites, but none of them come with the rock-solid code, responsive theme built in, and rock-solid SEO from the start. On top of that, you can add genesis child themes later if you don’t like the standard theme but still want the solid foundation to build on.

3. Install these plugins.

Yoast SEO (best SEO plugin out there). Gravity Forms (super simple form building). WP Super Cache (speeds up your site). You’ll thank me later.

4. Don’t worry about your themes.

Don’t tweak your theme forever. Get things to 80% done and then move on. If you’re already using the Genesis framework, you can probably skip this step altogether.

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5. Find a topic.

Find a topic you want to write about and then write the crap out of it! Seriously, just go to town. And be specific. For instance, instead of just writing about nutrition, write about the paleo diet. Be specific and then be prolific. Make a Google spreadsheet of topics or headlines you can write about and then knock them off one by one. 10 minutes of brainstorming ahead of time will make life so much easier when you’re sitting down to write and (conveniently) you can’t think of anything to write about.

6. Find a theme.

If you can’t find a topic, get a theme to write about and tie all your topics together around that theme (that’s what I did with Impossible). That way, no matter what you write about, you can always tie it back to that one theme.

7. Create artificial limitations.

Write a post in 30 minutes. Start every sentence with an ‘A’. Make every post exactly 748 words. Create artificial limitations. It may seem ‘limiting’ at first, but you’ll find that creativity is born within a framework and that it can actually make writing easier.

8. Do something interesting and then write about it.

If you ever really do get stuck writing, then do this and it will fix all your problems. Life is way easier to write about when you’re doing something interesting.

9. Have a good reason why.

Figure this out from the start. “Making millions from blogging,” isn’t a good reason to start and you probably will get discouraged when your first check comes for $2.75. However, if your goal is to “get better at writing”, “reach out and meet interesting people” or “do something interesting and blog about it”, you’re much more likely to keep on writing.

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10. Read, read, read.

If writing is like driving a car, then reading is like filling the tank up with gas. You can go for a while without reading, but sooner or later you’re going to run out of steam. Make sure you’re reading, people!

11. Write.

All the other crap in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t write. You can buy every theme out there, but until you put words onto a text editor and hit ‘publish’ – none of it matters. WRITE!

12. Get focus.

Block your social media, turn off the TV (and your Wi-Fi if necessary), put on some tunes and focus on writing. Make it the most important thing at that moment and it will be.

13. Experiment.

Write a list post. Write a short story. Have an experience and then write about it. You often don’t know what’s going to resonate with readers when you’re starting out, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try a bunch of different styles. Once you find one or two that fit, keep testing them out.

14. Be helpful.

Most people say “add value” – but that really doesn’t mean anything. Instead of “adding value”, be helpful. Ask people questions and then answer those questions. If you don’t know the answer, do the leg work to find out and then share your research with them. It’s 1,000 times more valuable than trying to “add value” abstractly.

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15. Be useful.

If you can’t be helpful, then be useful. Solve their problems for them. Instead of walking them through how to fix things, solve problems.

16. Forget about writer’s block.

Writer’s block doesn’t exist. Sure, there might be times where you don’t feel like writing, but if you want to be a writer, you have to write. The simplest way to get past writer’s block is to write one way or another – even when you don’t feel like it. 

17. Search out people you respect.

Find out the work they do. Read their archives and watch their journey from the start. Chances are they started out just like you. Remember: everyone had to start somewhere.

18. Reach out to people you admire.

Don’t spam them and don’t do it to anyone and everyone, but find a few select people you really value and tell them how much you appreciate their work. That’s how Sean Ogle got his start.

19. Be a freaking human being.

Too many step-by-step guides focus on technology or strategies on how to reach out and ‘network’ with other people. Forget all those pieces of advice and be a freaking human being. Talk to someone online like you would talk to them offline. You’re talking to a person, not a computer or a website – act like it.

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20. Follow a guide.

Find a great resource on how to start blogging and follow it to a T. Learn from the mistakes of others and take some shortcuts so you don’t have to learn all the sad, terrible lessons yourself.

21. Gain perspective.

Realize there’s a lot out there to do in life besides just blogging. Resist the urge to get sucked into the blogging bubble. Gain perspective and make sure you check into the real world every now and then.

22. Don’t expect billions of dollars off the bat.

Aim for millions instead.

23. Be consistent.

One of the most helpful things I ever read about blogging was make a personal schedule and stick to it. Most bloggers give up in three to six months and most of the ones who ‘make’ it, simply last longer than the others. Make consistency your goal.

24. Be realistic.

Slow and steady usually beats fast and furious. Don’t set a publishing schedule of seven posts per week if you can’t realistically do it. Set a schedule of one to two posts per week and stick to it. Over time you’ll see it adds up.

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25. Have fun!

Don’t take blogging too seriously. If you stick to it and work on your writing, you can meet a lot of really cool people and have a great time.

What do you think? What should new bloggers know when they’re first starting out?

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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