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5 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid

Blogging involves sharing useful information with an audience on the web, with the aim of connecting with like-minded people and building relationships. It is a significant tool in today’s world – used to transform our thoughts, attract potential customers, and provide learning and networking opportunities. To be successful, a blogger must avoid the following 5 mistakes:

Blogging Mistake #1: Not knowing your audience

A successful blogger shares information that is useful to the client, either by providing solutions to their problems, or answering questions they have been asking about certain topics. You cannot do this effectively if you do not know your target audience, and what topics they are interested in. Once you have identified the topics they need covered, you need to know what has not been said about those topics. This will guide you in producing the right content which they will find useful and unique. Visiting and interacting with your competitor’s site will help you understand what readers expect from your blog.

Blogging Mistake #2: Poor Quality writing

Poor quality writing leads to readers having an unprofessional view of the writer. You run the risk of losing your regular readers, and turning off potential readers. To keep them interested write in clear, short sentences, and avoid using unnecessary words. Review the content to ensure the flow is orderly, and makes sense. Use of subheadings breaks down your content, thus making it easy to scan, and gives a clear picture of what the article is about.

Format your post, correct spelling and grammatical errors. You have the option of using the services of an editor or the many free editing tools available online.

Blogging Mistake #3: Not posting regularly

One of the mistakes bloggers make is failing to update their content regularly. Updating content consistently is key to successful long-term blogging. It takes time and effort to get attention, and build a relationship with readers. If they come back to find the same content posted weeks ago, they lose interest, which means your time and effort will go to waste.

Blogging Mistake #4: Not interacting with your readers

Engaging with your readers helps you learn more about them, and what they expect. Reading and responding to their comments builds loyalty because your acknowledgment shows you value their opinion. This keeps them coming back. This interaction gives you insight on whether your readers relate to your content, as well as what topics they expect to see covered in the future.

Blogging Mistake #5: Not showing your personality

Showing your personality in your blogging makes you friendlier, which helps readers to identify with and trust you. When you write in your own voice, you attract the interest of your readers, and they enjoy reading your posts. A conversational tone encourages interaction, and makes them more willing to form a relationship with you.

Conclusion

For your blog to be successful, it is important to provide information that is useful, and unique to your audience. This can only be achieved by knowing who your audience is, what they want, and interacting with them on a personal level. Do not forget to pay attention to good grammar, and easy to read content that gives a clear message.

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Is Facebook Still A Viable Marketing Option For Authors?

The introduction of a new algorithm that took an aim at the third party apps that post for users sent a shiver down the spines of many marketers, as well as authors. Many authors claimed these changes made Facebook irrelevant in their marketing efforts. But we have to ask ourselves, what still makes Facebook a worthwhile marketing option for authors?

Grow your email list

The provision to use lead gen ads to target other writing sites, bloggers, writing magazines, and other authors makes Facebook worthwhile. You are able to only target the appropriate audience with your ads, which is amazing.

Sell books directly

The “clicks to website” ad entrenched by Facebook is an awesome avenue for you to sell your books. You can link the “clicks to a website” ad to your own website, blog or sales page. You can also invite your email subscribers to be part of your Facebook fan base by sharing with them awesome content that would prompt their participation.

To achieve this you simply:

Upload email list into Facebook, and create an audience from that list through engagement, which you can target with your ads.

You can create a list similar to your email list for your Facebook page which you can then advertise to

Do general advertisement to a market segment.

Promote likes on your author page

Take advantage of the Audience Insights, a reporting function that allows you to interact with your audience based on their collective profiles. There are high chances that people who like your posts may end up signing to your email list on your blog or website. You can also easily capture your fan base and simply target them during advertising.

Tips on How You Can Best Utilize Facebook

  • Post high quality content
  • Include pictures and videos
  • Share your content with relevant audience
  • Consider using trending brand hash tags
  • Make use of Promoted Stories Feature
  • Host Flash Giveaways to Prompt Interaction & Sharing
  • Be Personable Yet Professional

Why Writers Need To Take Care of Themselves

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Writers have the talent for the all-important task of either creating imaginary worlds for others entertainment, or creating comprehensive collections of valuable information to make people knowledgeable. Some writers may choose one or the other, while yet others choose to dabble in both.

A unique breed of people, writers – along with other creative personality types – tend to have a number of issues. Writers, in fact, have a higher prevalence of mental health issues than the average population. Their physical health, thankfully, does not seem to be affected in this manner directly. BUT… (I know, I hate those ‘buts’ too), sitting for long periods of time at a computer, or at a desk, has been shown to affect one’s physical health.

These information tells us that, as writers, we must do our best to take good care of ourselves. You may not suffer any health issues now, but they may present themselves in the future. In fact, out of the twenty or so other authors I have come to know on a semi-personal basis during my own career, I am aware of at least half of them suffering from either anxiety, or depression. At least a quarter of them suffer some type of long-term physical illness.

Let’s take a look a the very basics of how to take care of yourself appropriately, in terms specific for writers.

Tackling Mental Health

The mental health issues that writers suffer from tend to come as a byproduct of their ability to create. Most creative individuals have some form of mood disorder. Due to the high prevalence of this, some have suggested it has to do with the brain balancing things out. Most people only use a certain part of their brain, and even some of the smartest individuals of all time have lacked certain key skills we take for granted. For example, Albert Einstein did not know how to tie his shoes. Fredrich Nietzsche had incredibly severe OCD, and some believe he suffered from agoraphobia. Shakespeare did not know how to either read nor write, and instead utilized scribes to put his thoughts to paper.

This being said, if you are a writer, it is possible you suffer from something, whether mild or severe. I, myself, have my own issues. I suffer from PTSD, panic disorder, and bipolar disorder I with mania. All are well controlled without the use of medications, and none of them severely affect my day to day life… anymore, that is. There were points in time where they did become issues, but by learning what I PERSONALLY need to do to control these issues, I was able to keep them in check. The longer I keep them in check, the easier it becomes. It’s all about willpower, determination, and a lot of trial and error.

I am one of those individuals who do not like medication. It is simply a personal preference, and if you do not mind medication, it may be a good option for you. Seeking professional help is often useful, and they can help take you through all the possible routes to recovery.

If you are a stubborn writer like me, however, who does not like this route and would rather take the harder way of helping yourself, you can check out some of the great tips below. Please note, however, even I have attempted medication and professional therapy. There are certain times when this is not exactly optional. If you suffer from hallucinations, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or psychosis (a complete break from reality), please get professional help. There is no shame in it at all.

Tips For Dealing With Mental Health Issues At Home

So, on with the tips. Here we go:

  • If you are suffering with anxiety, I have found deep breathing techniques to be useful. Other options for dealing with anxiety include walking, aromatherapy, yoga, stretching, meditation, and talking it out with someone you trust.

 

  • When anxiety evolves into a full blown panic attack, your coping methods need to be more direct and quick-acting. As hard as it may be, the only method I have ever found to be useful in coping with panic attacks are deep breath (to slow the heart rate and avoid hyperventilation) paired with simply riding it out. Don’t fight the panic, but rather, let it wash over you. It will go away, and many of our worst panic attack symptoms are geared towards our fighting it, not the attack itself. Practice makes perfect, and this will get easier with time.

 

  • Depression symptoms are difficult, as depression itself makes you too tired to really do much to negate or fight the effects. What you can try is making a list of all the good things that happened to you on your worst days. You can also try the “fake it until you make it” method. Plaster a smile on your face, and tell yourself that you are ready to face the day! True, depression is not all about being sad, but often these simple things can help make your fight with the disorder a tiny bit easier.

 

  • Individuals with Bipolar Disorder (either I or II) should keep a mood journal. This can help you to see how quickly your moods are changing, and may allow you to pinpoint certain things that trigger these mood changes. Sometimes there is no pattern, but at other times there may be situations, emotions, or even foods to blame for your drastic switches.

Addressing Physical Concerns

The physical concerns relevant to writers consist of a few key factors: lack of sleep, sitting for prolonged periods of time, and a general failure to take proper care of themselves. Sitting at a computer or in front of a journal is simply a part of our job description – it is what it is. Yet we tend to forget about ourselves. This is particularly true when we are either in the middle of a writing spree, so wrapped up in our work we forget the world exists, or when we have boatloads of ghost writing, freelancing, or editing to tackle. Writers are, as a whole, workaholics. We love what we do, so that’s only natural.

So how do we begin to address these issues so that we can develop a better sense of overall physical well being? Begin with the basics: water, diet, sleep, exercise. It is recommended that you drink a minimum of eight cups water per day, and that you get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep nightly. A well balanced diet should consist of plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and complex carbs. It’s also important that you remember to eat, and also that you don’t binge eat – both of which writers are famous for. This messes with our blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes, obesity, hypoglycemia, and a number of other health issues.

When we address the concern of exercise, we can also address the concern of sitting long periods each day. For starters, adding just ten minutes of cardio per day (for an hour each week total) can help to negate a few of the effects. If you can add more – as much as thirty minutes of cardio per day – that’s even better. Also try incorporating three days of light strength training to your weekly routine. It doesn’t have to be bench pressing 200 pounds to be effective. The point is simply to squeeze in some time to start reaping the benefits. It can be as little as ten minutes, or as long as 45 minutes. Experts agree that strength training sessions over 45 minutes do not serve any real extra benefits.

To address sitting for long periods of time, you could try standing for some of the time you are writing. This can be achieved with a standing desk, or simply by placing your laptop or journal on a surface that is an appropriate height for you. Even standing for just ten minutes per every hour you would normally sit will allow you to begin negating the potential health risks.

Conclusion

If you liked what you read, make sure to follow the blog so you never miss a post! Thanks for reading, and we hope you find this information useful!

4 More Stress Killing Techniques For Writers

2204059683_9ae889398a_oYesterday we took a look at four initial techniques writers of all types can use to kill the stress associated with the business. Today we are going to offer you four more ideas on how to relax when stress threatens to overwhelm you. Between the eight total techniques you’ll have in your arsenal, you should be able to lower your stress levels in all situations. Just remember that one single technique may not work 100% of the time, which is why it is a good idea to practice several of these.

 

1. Scream

This one might sound silly, and even counter-intuitive, but having a really good scream can do wonders for you. As you scream, you are literally releasing all of that pent up energy and frustration. You don’t have to focus on letting it go, it’ll just happen naturally. Granted, this isn’t always an appropriate stress killing technique. I mean, you wouldn’t want to do this in public, or in a crowded place. But if you really can’t take it anymore, go in your room, shove your face in a pillow, and scream to your hearts content. I’ve done it, and man does it ever feel great. Afterwords, you’ll be able to think so much clearer because of the release screaming offers you.

2. Talk It Out

Find a good friend or a close family member and talk your stress away. As someone who loves to talk (just ask everyone I come into contact with – they’ll tell you I never shut up), I find that this technique also works very well. Rant to your best friend for a little while, or just simply talk things out with your significant other. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you’re talking about whatever has caused your stress levels to spike. Sometimes it is simply enough to talk to another human being at all. When you talk, you’re focusing on the task at hand, and it is actually extremely good for your mental and spiritual health to be in the presence of others… the closer you are, the more they understand you, the better it can be for your overall health.

3. Have A Good Laugh

Laughter is amazing. I can tell you that there have been times when I was under so much stress that I thought my head might literally explode, and someone made me laugh, and I immediately felt better. Heck, don’t be afraid to get hysterical with it. Even hysterical laughter is good for you. As a bonus, side-splitting laughter is also a fairly decent cardiovascular and ab-building exercise. No, I’m totally not joking. True, you’d have to do it for hours for it to have even the smallest effects, but hey, whatever works, right? Trust me, you’ll feel a whole lot better once you laugh it out.

4. Do Yoga or Meditate

Yoga and meditation are also incredibly useful stress killing techniques. Both force you to focus on your body, your breathing, and clearing your mind. It does take time to perfect either one, but it is well worth it. Yoga and meditation don’t only bust your stress away, but they are also generally good for your health. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to revisit your breathing and clear your mind at the drop of a hat. Seriously… give it a shot.

Feel free to share your own stress killing ideas in the comments below! We always look forward to hearing what you have to say.

If you would like to read more on a similar topic, be sure to check out our post, 4 Stress Killing Techniques For Writers.

4 Stress Killing Techniques For Writers

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No matter the fact that we love writing (why else would we choose to do it for a living?), it can be stressful. Writer’s block, uncovered plot holes, crashed computers, lost manuscripts, marketing hassles, self doubt, and so much more can cause an author’s stress to go through the roof. It is not a job for the weak at heart, undoubtedly. So, how do you handle all of the stress that comes with the territory? Check out these four great ideas to get started.

 

 

1. Take A Deep Breath

You’ve probably heard this one a thousand times, but if you’re anything like me you’re probably wondering what good a deep breath will do. Don’t knock the power of controlled breathing, however, because I guarantee you it can do wonders. The fact is that this is technique works for multiple reasons, and although it doesn’t work as well as it should in the beginning, practice makes perfect. When you do controlled breathing, your mind must focus on the task at hand. This redirects your mind from whatever it was causing you stress. As an added bonus, controlled breathing also gets more oxygen into your system because most people tend to breath too rapidly while under stress. Deep breathing can also slow down your heart rate, and (as an added bonus) done steadily over a long period of time, it can actually help to strengthen your lungs.

2. Listen To Some Music

Music is a wonderful cure-all medicine. It’s good for the mind, the soul, and – if you decide to get up and dance to it – the body. This is my favorite stress buster. I crank up whatever music I feel best suits my mood, and dance around the house to it, singing at the top of my lungs. I’m not a very good singer, however, so you should be glad you can’t hear me when you do it. The good news is that, contrary to popular belief, there is no one right form of music to kill stress. For me, it varies between hair metal and reggae. Hair metal is great for me when I just kind of want to bang my head and go crazy. Reggae is great for me when I want to relax, chill out, and calm my nerves generally. Whatever type of music makes you feel good is what you should be listening to, no matter what it is.

3. Take A Drive

Stress really getting to you? Take a nice long drive through the countryside with the windows down. Breath in all of that fresh air, and, if you really want to relieve some stress, blare your music while you drive. It’s like a double hitter. Fresh air is great for clearing your mind, and driving is something you have to focus on, at least somewhat. Sure, driving is done with almost no thinking once you’ve been doing it for years, but at least part of your mind must be redirected towards the task at hand. The scenery doesn’t hurt either, and can actually be great for knocking out writers block. I know it’s worked for me several times.

4. Go For A Walk

If stress is getting you down, try going for a brisk walk. Brisk walking gets your blood pumping, which feeds oxygen into all of your organs, and helps to clear your mind. Walking somewhere new can, like driving, help knock away writers block. Try focusing on both your surroundings and your breathing while you walk. This will divert your mind from whatever had been causing you stress, and allow you to think much more clearly once the walk is over.

Come back tomorrow for four more stress killing techniques, and feel free to share your own ideas in the comments below! We always look forward to hearing what you have to say.

If you would like to read more on a similar topic, be sure to check out my fellow author’s blog post, Writing In The Midst of Chaos.

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