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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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    Last Updated on October 9, 2018

    19 Ways to Improve Creative Thinking Skills in the Workplace

    19 Ways to Improve Creative Thinking Skills in the Workplace

    Our world is changing at faster pace than ever. In order to keep up, we are continually adapting to new technology and the changing industries.

    Employers are looking for employees who can solve problems, think creatively and be a leader in every situation.

    These 19 tips will help you find ways to improve creative thinking skills. You can also use these skills to gain credibility as a leader in the workplace:

    1. Set limitations

    In order to increase your own creative thinking, it helps to set limits for yourself, so you have to think outside the box to come up with solutions.

    Set deadlines, budgets or any other type of limitation to increase your creative problem solving. This will build your credibility as a creative problem solver as you come up with innovative solutions.

    2. Change things up

    If you find yourself falling into a rut and doing the same thing every single day, then you will likely struggle to come up with new ideas. This is why it is important to change things up in your routine and break out of your rut.

    Get your creative juices flowing by exercising at a different time, or trying something new for lunch. Move your desk to a different position or change your personal workspace.

    Any of these changes will help spark your mind and get the new ideas pumping again.

    3. Listen and care about others

    When you show that you care about others and listen to their ideas and thoughts, they will trust you more.

    “Leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are transparent and breed loyalty. You know the leaders who have their employees’ best interests at heart because they truly listen to them.” — Glenn Llopis

    Listening to your coworkers allows them to be more open with you and feel that they can take risks and be creative.

    Discussing ideas with your coworkers will not only help you improve creative thinking techniques, but also set the environment for a more creative office.

    4. Find good mentors/critics

    If you want your creative work to improve, then you need to find a good mentor or critic who can give you positive feedback and help you to keep moving forward.

    As your work improves over time because of your dedication and your mentor, people will hold you in greater respect.

    Every type of creative work takes several drafts before it is ready to go. With your mentors, you can find ways to continually improve your work. Ed Catmull, president of Pixar said:[1]

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    “Early on, all of our movies suck. That’s a blunt assessment, I know, but I… choose that phrasing because saying it in a softer way fails to convey how bad the first versions of our films really are. I’m not trying to be modest or self-effacing by saying this. Pixar films are not good at first, and our job is to make them go… from suck to non-suck. We are true believers in the iterative process – reworking, reworking and reworking again, until a flawed story finds its throughline or a hollow character finds its soul.”

    Use your mentor’s knowledge to bring your first drafts to life.

    5. Try and fail, a lot

    The best way to get better at things is to keep trying and failing until you improve. This enhances your creative thinking and shows your coworkers that you don’t give up easily and are willing to improve.

    The ability to take failure and turn it around is one of the best qualities of any leader.

    The Harvard Business Review reported:[2]

    “Darden Professor Saras Sarasvathy has shown through her research about how expert entrepreneurs make decisions, they must make lots of mistakes to discover new approaches, opportunities, or business models. She frequently references Howard Schultz who, when he started Il Giornale in Seattle, the company that Schultz used to later buy the original Starbucks brand and assets, the store had nonstop opera music playing, menus written in Italian, and no chairs. As Schultz has often said, “We had to make a lot of mistakes” before discovering a model that worked.”

    6. Be consistent (no tortured artists here)

    When you think of creativity, an image of a broken-hearted artist or alcoholic writer may come to mind. Many people today associate creativity with isolation, despair, alcohol and inconsistency.

    Just picture Jay Gatsby.

    While that is good for drama, that’s not really how creativity works. Creativity is fostered through consistent effort. Put in the work everyday and you will find your creative muscles and credibility will grow.

    As a leader in your workplace, you need to show consistency in everything you do, not just your own work, but throughout the company to build your business’s credibility.

    7. Be honest to yourself and others

    Acting dishonestly is one of the fastest ways for you to lose your credibility. Always be honest to the people around you and to yourself.

    If your coworkers feel that they can trust you, then they rely on you more and work with you better. Honesty is what builds a solid foundation for a successful workplace.[3]

    During the creative process, it is important to be honest to yourself. It’s easy to get carried away with fantastic ideas but you will need to learn to be honest with yourself about what is and is not possible.

    8. Collaborate

    The best work usually comes from teamwork. Katherine W. Phillips said,[4]

    “The fact is that if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives, leading to better decision making and problem solving.”

    Show your coworkers that you value their efforts and perspective. By working together, you can create new ideas and make something better than you ever have before.

    Collaborating will not only improve your own creative thinking but will create a bond between you and your team.

    9. Use humor

    As a leader, you want your coworkers to feel comfortable to be creative and open-minded.

    Humor has been proven to help people to relax and feel more willing to try something new and helps foster creativity.[5]

    To improve your own credibility and help others gain confidence in their own creative thinking, use an appropriate sense of humor to lighten the mood when needed and to get those creative juices flowing.

    10. Be vulnerable

    This goes along with being honest with yourself and others. To be a creative thinker, then you have to be willing to fail, admit your failures and be open to receiving critique.

    This can be difficult especially in a workplace where you want to show your strengths instead of weaknesses, but by admitting yo ur weaknesses and being open to others, your credibility will grow as your coworkers know that you listen and are adaptable.

    Take a look at this article to find out Why Showing Vulnerability Actually Proves Your Strength.

    11. Have meaningful conversations

    Creative people love to have meaningful conversations. This is the best way to gain a new perspective.

    You have had a certain amount of experiences that have shaped the way that you see the world. But everyone around you may have different perspectives. By engaging with these people, you can learn more about their views. Try to walk in their shoes and understand their perspectives, especially if you disagree.

    Steer clear of shallow small talk and discuss bigger and more meaningful topics with those around you. Ask about their experiences, their hopes, their opinions and you will gain new perspectives that will assist your creative thinking.

    12. Be constantly learning new things

    Some of the greatest minds in the world (Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerburg) have said they dedicate at least five hours every week to learning new things.

    They are passionate about growing their minds and learn about everything from nuclear physics to politics. As they learn about different topics, they look for ways to apply what they have learned to their own industry.

    Start your own educational journey today by finding some books you would like to read or finding high-quality articles online about each topic.

    Keep in mind your own industry and how you can apply what you learn to your job. You never know all the different ways astronomy can help your marketing efforts.

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    13. Experience it all

    Steve Jobs once said that creativity comes from experience.[6] The more experiences you have, the better connections you will be able to make to find solutions.

    Try to experience as many things as possible. You don’t have to go on some huge trip around the world to have more experience; simply meeting new people and trying new things will give you more experience that will build your creative skills.

    14. Give yourself some love

    When I was younger, I was given the advice to take the time everyday before I went out for the day to ensure I felt good about myself and fully confident. Sometimes this took the shape of wearing a new pair of shoes or writing in my journal that morning.

    I was told if I could take the time to prepare myself for the day, then I could focus all of my energy on the people around me. This is something that great leaders do today.

    Take the time to rest and prepare for the next day, so you can throw yourself into your creative work and help those around you.

    Self-care can be whatever it is that you need: a hot bath, going to the gym, walking your dog, reading, the list goes on and on. Figure out what energizes you, and do it as often as needed.

    15. Take ownership

    Accountability fosters your creative thinking because you know that others will see your work and know whether you did it well or not.

    Creativity works best under some pressure, so take your projects seriously by taking responsibility for them.

    Your coworkers will have greater respect for you as you take ownership for your work projects, even if you are disappointed in the results.

    16. Be reflective

    Hindsight is 20-20, so by looking back at past successes and failures, you can get new ideas for your work.

    Reflecting is a part of the creative process and will help you as you continue to create and work. Learning from the past sets an example for your coworkers and will improve your credibility among your colleagues.[7]

    “Creativity requires us to be confident in our areas of practice, whatever they may be. And reflection is an indispensable part of observing, developing, digesting and being in dialogue with our creative ’self’.”

    17. Communicate

    Communication is key to any good relationship and this includes the relationships between you and your coworkers.

    Notice how your coworkers handle critique and find the best way to give them constructive criticism. Notice how your coworkers handle conflict, and find a positive way to help each of them through it.[8]

    “Effective communication is one of the key prerequisites for a thriving workplace. It drives fast, clear and precise flow of information between individuals and groups. A lack of proper communication can greatly decrease productivity.”

    Communication is a skill that is vastly underestimated and incredibly useful in the workplace. As you develop this skill, you can become an impressive creative leader.

    18. Meet deadlines

    We have all experienced those coworkers who can’t meet a deadline with their projects. It can be frustrating and throw off everyone else’s work.

    To be a credible leader, don’t be that person.

    I’ve already mentioned that creativity works best with a little bit of pressure. When you try to meet deadlines, you force yourself to come up with creative ideas.

    Use your creative thinking to finish your projects on time, so you can meet your deadlines.

    Your coworkers will know that they can count on you to get the job done on time, which will likely lead to you getting more projects.

    19. Respect others

    No matter how brilliant you are, if you don’t show respect for the people around you, your credibility in your workplace will suffer.

    The opposite is true as well, if you show respect to each of your coworkers, your credibility as a leader will grow.

    Michigan Ross Professor Jane Dutton who has conducted research on the impact that mutual respect has on creativity said:[9]

    “Across our studies, we demonstrate that respectful engagement is more than simply a nice way to interact, but is a catalyst and cultivator of creativity.”

    By creating a friendly workplace, not only your creative thinking will improve but also everyone around you. With a work environment of mutual respect, ideas can develop into something incredible.

    The bottom line

    Creative thinking and leadership abilities are some of the top skills that employers are looking for. Start applying these 19 tips to your work, and you will see great results in your own work and with your coworkers’ work.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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