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Every Beginner Should Learn These Blogging Tips and Tricks

Every Beginner Should Learn These Blogging Tips and Tricks

Before we start, we need to answer a simple question: what is a blog? A blog is a kind of online log or journal, where you can post almost anything you want. Blogging today is easier than ever. You can use a blog to promote your business or post your creative content; anything from text, videos, to images, drawn or taken with a camera. A blog usually covers a single topic or closely related topics, so you can write in a more serious tone, or casually. An important thing for a blog is that it’s frequently updated and that it has plenty of useful information or fun content that visitors will enjoy. Here, we’ll mention some of the more important things you should have in mind when starting your very own blog.

Choose a topic you know and make it interesting for visitors

You probably already know what it is that you want to blog about. Keep that in mind and try to brainstorm a little. You must choose a topic that is wide enough, so you don’t run out of things to write about, but at the same time not too wide, because you don’t want to lose focus and bore people. You must develop your idea, do research before starting, and check whether similar blogs already exist. You should also think of something else, funny or entertaining, that you could incorporate into your blog to keep things interesting. Remember that you must update your blog frequently, preferably on a daily basis, because if you neglect it, the number of visitors will begin to drop. Many blogs with great starting ideas have failed, only because their owners forgot to check in regularly, or they posted too much for their visitors to keep up. You must find that golden mark and stick to it.

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If you are an entrepreneur and want to blog about your business to attract visitors you can stick to industry-related topics, but do not keep it too professional, and try and be subtle yet efficient when advertising your products or services, as the focus needs to be on facts, news and tips relevant to your niche. Even those of you who just need a creative outlet may want to consider the possibility of taking up blogging full-time in the future and monetizing your blog. So, if you have that creative spark and a good degree of knowledge and hands on experience in a particular field, creating your own blog and writing about it is a great way to organize your thoughts and help others out.

Create a beautiful blog that people will love to read

Once you’ve decided to take up blogging, whether it’s just as a hobby or you hope to make it your job one day, you’ll need to set up shop. There are different ways of going about this, depending on the amount of effort and money you are willing to put into the project. First of all, there are some websites that will get you well equipped for starting a successful blog. You can use the most popular ones, such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com, which offer several options for beginners, and let you control the content that is posted there by you, or by your visitors. You can build a good looking website, and it will cost you nothing, but of course there is always an option to do some sort of upgrade, which will allow you even more control over it. If you are planning on doing some serious work, sooner or later you might want to start thinking about buying an upgrade. Some free packages will let you choose a theme, different font types, adjust the content for mobile phones, and let you choose your unique address, usually ending with a suffix .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com, of course.

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It is important to mention that, while free, some blog providers will place advertisements in your posts, so that your visitors will be forced to view them. If you want to avoid that, you can always buy the upgrades we’ve mentioned, and switch to a better package. Some of the improved features that come with these packages include a custom site address, increased disc space, no ads, premium themes, and improved support via live chat, email, or direct phone call.

Focus on keeping the quality of your posts high without sacrificing frequency

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Hands typing on keyboard

    We’ve already touched briefly on the importance of uploading content regularly, but it is also important to note that it can be easy to let the quality of that content slip, or veer off into subjects that your readers don’t particularly care about. That’s when you lose traffic and even some loyal fans. To avoid this, it’s important to not compromise quality for quantity. You can still remain consistent, while slightly reducing your post frequency.

    For example, you can start putting out content every other day or twice a week instead of every day. You can also have shorter posts to cover these little gaps between big chunks of popular content, and you can play around with different formats. Playing with formats simply means that, say, once a week you create a cool infographic, funny chart, or photoshopped picture.

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    Fridays could be Q & A days, Mondays you could do some video material, and you could always switch between different types of content, from informative, to funny and sarcastic, to personal. A fitness blogger may write a bit about motivation, do product reviews, answer some questions, do tutorials and how to’s, have both exercise and nutrition segments and give some first-hand examples from personal experience. There’s a lot you can do to keep things interesting without sacrificing quality or moving too far away from the type of content that is most popular.

    Hit the social media and look for ways of monetizing your blog

    When a website is made, be sure to post a link of your blog on your Facebook page, or simply put it in your signature area when sending emails or posting on forums. This way you will be able to spread the word about the blog and get people interested. You can also get friends and family involved through social media to get some help attracting visitors when you first start out. As your blog grows, i.e. you start getting more and more visitors, you can start thinking about monetizing it and making blogging your full-time career, or at least making some extra money doing what you love. Both sites we’ve mentioned above are great for a beginner, but, if you ever think about expanding, you will need your own personal domain name, and some proper hosting solution provided by a professional company.  This way you can start establishing yourself as a renowned blogger in your chosen niche.

    On a hosted website, you can add your own ads, sell merchandise and make money for yourself. However, it’s not just about the money – when people come to your website to read your thoughts on a regular basis, it can make you feel like you’re truly making a difference and contributing to society in your own small way. A lot of successful blogs that earn a decent amount of money started out as little more than an avenue for the blogger to voice his or her opinions, give some advice or just as a way for them to put their thoughts into words. If you chose to take this rout, you need to be careful when choosing your provider, as there can be many hidden costs, and don’t be fooled by their ads, as nothing is really free, or unlimited. It is recommended that you use specialized sites that rate the most popular hosting services and do a thorough review. If you are really serious about it, think about web hosting solutions as early as possible. Once all is set, be persistent, and with a lot of effort, and a little bit of good luck, your blog will be a success.

    There are a bunch of little things you need to consider before becoming a serious blogger, but when all is said and done there is only one big piece of advice you should take from all of this – start writing about what you know and enjoy while striving to be fun and informative, and keep writing and researching every day.

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    Published on August 14, 2018

    17 Versatile Work Skills Employers Want to See in Potential Employees

    17 Versatile Work Skills Employers Want to See in Potential Employees

    When we look at a job advertisement, it can seem as though employers want an exhaustive list of experience and technical skills from their new hire.

    They list desirable qualities such as ‘initiative’, ‘team player’ and ‘strong work ethic’. Those words can mean a variety of things to different people and it can be quite hard for employers to illustrate fully the combination of technical and soft skills they want their potential employees to have.

    What they often want is a mix of versatile skills that make it easy for them (and you) to adapt to the changing needs and demands which occur in businesses today.

    After all, adaptability and innovation are what make businesses thrive.

    In today’s ever-changing environment, versatility is a mandatory attitude every working person needs to have. With the following seventeen work skills, you will not only make your employer extremely happy and confident that hiring you was their best decision, you will experience greater personal satisfaction and results.

    1. Know what you want but more so why you want it.

    Employers need to sense you have a solid idea as to why you are a fit for their role and their organization. They need to sense you have your own sense of purpose.

    However, it can be a double-edged sword to say you know exactly what you want to achieve and gain if you are successful in your application and interview.

    Some employers can perceive this as arrogance; your needs first, theirs second. What employers are really looking for is your internal sense of knowing that potential to join their organization is a winning combination for both of you.

    2. Diplomacy and conflict resolution skills save money, lost productivity and efficiency.

    Can you agree to disagree? Can you evaluate without passing judgment or at least be self-aware of your own biases? Can you put these aside to find solutions for the betterment of the team?

    Employers look for versatility in soft work skills that bring peace, lower stress and contribute to creating harmony. If you have ways with words to help heated arguments reduce to a simmer so there is space for compromises, negotiations and reasoning to take place your employers’ respect for you will jump at least tenfold.

    Peace-making skills are invaluable in changing workplace culture, particularly toxic ones. Any good employer knows a strong in-house negotiator will save them thousands of dollars in engaging an external mediator.

    3. Know how to set and reframe your own goals.

    Much research has documented that when employees have a clear purpose, mission and goals, they are more likely to be highly productive. They are less likely to flounder around in many directions nor be busy and not produce results that matter.

    Employers know well that employees who develop their own goals and can align these with those of the company are more self-driven, self-sufficient and take greater ownership for performing their role.

    And the benefit is not only to the employers. You personally will find greater personal satisfaction from achieving targets you have chosen to set yourself. Everyone wins!

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    4. Great time management and organization skills make you highly productive.

    Being able to exercise versatility with these work skills needs no explanation. Great time management does not mean multi-tasking. It actually uses more brain power and reduces effectiveness.

    Having great skills to prioritize your activities and demands, being able to assess how long things might take you to address are planning skills which greatly aid effective and better execution.

    Working in harmony with your colleagues’ timetables makes for better teamwork and workflow plus a less stressed environment.

    In today’s working world, any strategies for reducing stress-invoking opportunities are like finding golden nuggets. Your employer will want to hold on to those for dear life!

    5. Be a flexible team player by being able to change roles when required.

    Employers will be looking to see how flexible a team player, a potential employee could be.

    If you are a natural leader, being a better team player might, in fact, mean you stepping down from the helm and encouraging someone else to exercise and step into their leadership potential.

    It might be more beneficial to your employer to play the role of Indian as opposed to the Chief in certain situations. Stepping into different positions on your team not only helps you grow but also the rest of your team.

    Employers relish having a versatile work team which can adapt and is ready and willing to play different roles, even if uncomfortable when crises happen.

    6. Initiative, self-motivated and driven.

    When you have your own internal reasons for looking to undertake a role your motivation is driven by something sizzling inside of you.

    There is a personal drive and desire for the satisfaction you will experience when you meet a certain target that no other person will be able to give to you.

    When you can genuinely identify and demonstrate your own personal connection to the role’s objectives and the greater goals of your employer’s business, they will see you have an internal drive that they don’t need to whip and flog to keep the momentum going.

    Any employer will be grateful they just need to help navigate you and support you with the right tools and network and off you go.

    7. Be confident but not arrogant.

    Imagine if you were conducting initial telephone interviews with shortlisted candidates and one of the questions they asked was:

    “How long would it be until I’ll be eligible for a pay rise or promotion?”

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    There is a significant difference between being confident and arrogant. Employers are not looking for confidence purely in you being able to perform every aspect of your role at gold star level.

    It comes with being comfortable to say you don’t understand, you have made a mistake, you need support, further training, acknowledging what your limits are and being willing to risk stepping outside your comfort zone.

    When you’re a new kid on the block, respecting that you may need to learn to walk before you can run is essential. Unless it is your job to start making significant changes from day one, chances are you’re going to create enemies if you’re so confident your new methods and ideas should replace existing processes.

    8. A positive attitude.

    Demonstrating positivity as a work skill that will truly win over your new employer is about being genuine and actively applying strategies which look for the glass half full.

    Recruiters and employers are not dumb. They can easily see through short-term bright smiles, nervous giggling and general ‘you just need to think positive’ statements.

    In the face of grueling challenges, employers are going to look much more favorably on that candidate who can acknowledge the negative features of a situation but still encourage another solution-focused perspective to be adopted.

    Even better, if you can use language effectively to demonstrate how you have adopted a positive perspective and helped turned around a tough situation.

    It is one thing to have a positive attitude but your potential employer will see you as a superhero if you can show them how you have successfully applied it.

    9. You are resourceful but know the value of asking for help.

    There is nothing more unproductive (let alone frustrating) than that person who simply asks out loud a question to their team when they could simply have Googled the answer.

    Or worse still, they have a manual at their fingertips which has the answer to their question…they were simply too lazy to look for themselves.

    Be that person with Sherlock Holmes as their middle name who sleuths like a dog after a buried bone. You can research and turn over stones to discover and learn what you need but you also are able to ask for help and assistance when you need to.

    Any employer will relish that person who looks to discover the answers to their own questions first before reaching out and asking for help.

    10. Emotional intelligence creates a harmonious workflow.

    Despite the level of seniority of your role having a strong ability to handle emotions is fast becoming an essential work skill (and also life skill).

    It is even more desirable for any employer when your work skill set includes the ability to detect, adapt to and have skills in managing certain emotional patterns of others you need to work with, manage or report to.

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    So much time, energy and productivity is lost due to individuals’ lack of skills in this area. Any manager who can see you possess and can demonstrate such versatile work skills will think they’ve won the managerial lottery!

    11. Be able to adapt your learning style.

    There is no real evidence that using preferred learning styles actually increase the rate at which we learn nor the effectiveness of certain styles.

    However, being able to make changes to what we are given to learn and adapting it to suit our needs and preferences does help us settle into a new work transition sooner.

    We also need to recognize that even though we feel uncomfortable learning a new skill a certain way, it might actually be the way we need to receive it to cement the learning. It is also likely that our new employer only knows or has a budget to deliver training in a certain way.

    Either we can choose to adapt or resist but we know for sure the latter is not going to benefit to anyone.

    12. Flexible leadership style.

    Dan Goleman has conducted extensive research on different leadership styles, emphasizing that being versatile to switch between different styles (e.g. authoritative, coaching, affiliate, coercive, pace-setting) and knowing when to do is a fundamental skill for any leader.

    Being able to change your style to lead other people is as important as how you lead your own role responsibilities.

    13. Incredible communication skills that actively listen and give clear messages.

    Strong and effective communication across all mediums takes time, life experience and highly developed intuition.

    Knowing when to use email, a face to face conversation or telephone discussion is one thing. Another is to use words which emotionally connect and influence the receiver to accept, hear and heed your message.

    Great communicators know that it is their responsibility as much as the receiver for good communication to take place. However, they also know that the receiver may not feel this is the case.

    When you can listen equally, be sensitive to read between the lines to hear the message of ineffective communicators and can respond kindly with inspiring, equalizing and encouraging words, your influence and general likeability as a new addition to your employer’s team will develop in leaps and bounds.

    14. Accountability, responsible and dependable.

    We’ve all worked with people or managers at some point who lay external blame the instance something goes wrong.

    Contrary to popular belief, making mistakes and owning up to it is a highly desirable and versatile work skill that gains loyalty and understanding particularly when mistakes occur.

    Owning up to errors early allows both yourself and the business to recover quickly and shows you’re willing to take responsibility to continue forward on when you have stumbled.

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    When you illustrate you can do this, you build your employer’s trust and faith in you.

    15. Exercise proactive self-awareness.

    Self-reflection is a highly empowering work skill that contributes greatly to becoming better and performing better.

    When you actively look for the achievement, celebrate your success and look for pockets of where mistakes you have made can be corrected you improve faster, become more effective and make your work easier.

    When you start to look at your own errors, receiving feedback from your employer about the same errors can feel far less confronting and having corrective conversations is easier, transparent and far less stressful and emotional.

    You naturally increase your resilience and make life easier for yourself and your employer if you conduct regular self-check-ins and keep your employer updated.

    16. Apply a problem-solving growth mindset.

    When faced with a problem or challenge, your ability to activate a growth mindset is a highly versatile work skill employers love. Not only are you able to reduce the pain and anguish that a fixed mindset can sustain but your ability to remain open to possibilities to find different pathways or ideas is refreshing and helpful.

    If your thought patterns automatically ask: “How can we?” or you often think “there must be a way”, you will only contribute to creating growth opportunities for your organization and inspire others to think the same way.

    17. Be teachable.

    If you have ever tried to teach someone a new skill or technique and they keep reverting back to traditional ways that are familiar to them, you might have become frustrated to the point of giving up.

    Don’t be that person who’s stuck in tradition which no longer serves the business. Whether you are entering a new environment, learning new software or negotiation skills, know that all employers need people who are open to being taught.

    Innovation is a core concern of every business. Innovation means change and change means doing something different.

    Stay versatile and keep learning

    Technical skills can often be taught. Ray Croc illustrated how well a systemized franchise can dominate the planet. Over 36,000 McDonald’s establishments around the world are run by managers barely in their twenties!

    Soft work skills, however, take time to develop, learn and confidently apply.

    There is a key combination of work skills that would make any candidate employer’s dream. However, the essential factor underlying all of these work skills is versatility.

    Equip yourself with these 17 work skills, stay curious and keep learning; and you’ll always nail the job you want.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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