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25 Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

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.

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 January 13, 2020

Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

Physical Signs

Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

Mental Signs

One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

  • The tension in your neck
  • Difficulties with sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • High anxiety
  • Depression

If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

Desire for an Increase of Salary

The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

Overnight Decision

Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

Rejected for a Promotion

I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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Bored at Work

Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

  • How long have you worked in your career?
  • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
  • Do you receive recognition?
  • Can you consider working in a new department?

If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

  • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
  • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
  • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

How to Make a Career Change Successfully

The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

1. Write a Career Plan

A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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You can learn how to set your career plan here.

2. Weigh Your Options

If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

  • Economic factors
  • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
  • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
  • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
  • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

    A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

    4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

    A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

    • What is required to be successful in the role?
    • What certification or educational development is needed?
    • What are the challenges of the role?
    • Is there potential for career advancement?

    A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

    Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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    5. Research Salary

    Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

    It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

    6. Be Realistic

    If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

    For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

    Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

    7. Volunteer First

    A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

    Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

    Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

    8. Prepare Your Career Tools

    I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

    • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
    • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
    • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
    • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

    Bottom Line

    It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

    Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

    More About Career Change

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

    [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
    [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
    [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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