What does ‘add value’ mean? This term is everywhere, indeed probably in overuse. How do you add value to yourself? Does it have to do with your character or doing a good deed for the day? #BlogchatterHalfMarathon
#BlogchatterHalfMarathon Remember when we were learning the ABCs and 123s in school? Your grandma may have complained on seeing your math book, that she never learned the square root of 36. Dad probably thinks Ruby on Rails is a jewelry store in a train.
The Blogchatter Half-Marathon has ten commandments, of which the fifth is:
Thou Shalt Know What Thou Write About
Does this line mean: That I should only write what I know? Pretty limited – it’ll probably fill less than 300 words…
It’s up for interpretation. Need to ask the A-Team exactly what they mean by this line. But meanwhile let me think…
Maybe they mean you should know what you are talking/writing about?
As I write this, it’s making more sense. Be an authority in your niche. Do your research, write it accurately and present it so the reader can understand it. I’ve come across many websites with inaccurate subject matter. Things that pop into the writer’s mind are in the webpage.
If you write accurately, readers will keep coming back for more. Imagine you’re writing an article about gardening and recommend your reader to dig up their prized rose bush and sub-plant it someplace else. It dies. So does your readership…duh…
So, what I’m getting at is, know what you are writing about.
- Do your research
- Understand what you have read
- Make points or headings based on the learning
- Do your keyword research – if you want to be found by search engines.
- Think up a good title which should in itself create curiosity.
- Have a great hook that’ll keep your reader there.
- Become an authority in your niche and Google will find you (not as simple as that, but you get the picture!)
- Make it interesting and easy to read so readers/followers come back for more.
- Find a suitable image or images – they can also be used for your social media posts later when you market your blog post.
Do remember that ‘research’ does not mean copying from another website. That’s Plagiarism! Do not copy word for word. Instead read up from books and authoritative websites, research articles and journals. Connect all the major points, note down points and then create your own unique post. If you have some experience in the topic then by all means, incorporate that into the post.
Check Your Facts:
Remember all those journalists who got fired for reporting the wrong information? Well no one is going to fire you BUT you will lose follwers/readers if you post wrong information. Just one error will cast doubt on all your other posts. Do take your time to fact-check, before you write or create graphs and diagrams. Of course, if you are writing fiction, well, you can make up any fable.
Let me qualify that.
Even in writing fiction, if you place a scene in a period of time in history or about a place; then you will need to be accurate. After all, Paris is in France and not in Slovenia. World War II happened in the 20th Century not in the 1800s… get my drift?
Now that everything is down on paper, what next? Editing.
Cut out repetitive words, misspellings, grammar mistakes, edit boring paragraphs. Use tools like Grammarly to correct mistakes you may not have noticed. Get fresh eyes to look for mistakes. Get it as close to perfect as possible – it will never be that of course, but we can get it close.
These are just a few major points in writing properly. Just a small taste of where you should be heading. There is still flow and SEO to look into. These points are for another blog post on another day. The important thing is that you need to be thorough in your research and write intelligently. Write what you know – which should be a lot – before you start to write!
This blog post is part of the Blogchatter Half Marathon
The Blogchatter Half-Marathon has ten commandments, of which the fourth is:
Thou Shalt Build Thy Community
Clubhouse is a relatively new community-building platform. It was started in 2020 with the idea of speaking and talking live rather than reading or watching passively. Here you listen in to someone who has something to say. Everything is by audio. It’s a podcast, but its LIVE. Not only do you listen in, but you can participate in the ‘club’ It’s a radio program that’s interactive. Come into Clubhouse and find your people.
There has been a lot of hype about this new social network because scoring an invite was so hard initially. It has been a year of Beta testing on iPhone only. When I joined during the iPhone beta-testing period (courtesy my friend Richa), it was pretty sedate. Clubhouse has now opened up to Android owners and its still invitation only. Find someone with an extra invite and get it! With the new expansion, we have exciting, made-for-India clubs and conversations and we have already stirred up controversies with unguarded quotes and speeches inside Clubhouse! Within a year this platform is zooming in popularity. You can easily find your people in Clubhouse community. There are ‘rooms’ in regional languages too.
You can create a room if you have something to say. You can listen in if you want to learn something new. The conversations disappear once done and nothing is saved. Famous names have walked through Clubhouse, Mark Zuckerberg is rumored to have walked its ‘halls.’ Oprah and Ashton Kushner have joined in, though I seem to have missed them all every time!
Niches are anything and everything. If you think you have something to say, well go on then, find your niche and open up a room or better yet book a ‘room’ and invite or wait for people to come in to interact with you.
What’s a Room on Clubhouse?
You enter the Clubhouse app in a “Hallway” Here you will find a list of rooms with details of conversation topics, speakers, and number of attendees.
Don’t worry, there’s no funny business in the ‘rooms’ here. Its just a place for you to hang out and listen or speak. Anyone can speak, ask a question and join in. Sometimes if you are the coordinator you need to keep the conversation going, so have a lot of points to talk about. Invite other hosts to speak too. You can see how many people are in the room and what it is about before you join them in the room. If a connection of yours is there, the room displays that too.
The good thing about of Clubhouse is that you can be doing other things while you listen in. Drive, cook, feed a baby or load your laundry. When you are ready, you can join the conversation. Just raise your virtual hand and talk when you are invited to speak. It’s fun to build your community on Clubhouse.
Build Your Profile
Do remember to polish up and build your profile. This is very important if you plan to be a conversation starter or speaker. It helps you to connect with other people and get them to follow you. A follower is always informed about a room you create through notifications.
As a Listener, you will want to find speakers/rooms of interest to you. The Clubhouse algorithms will show you rooms that match your interests first. You can look through the niches and find clubs that interest you. You will definitely find your people in Clubhouse. Click on follow and you can get notifications for rooms that come under this niche.
How Can Clubhouse Help You?
Most of us have conversations and share knowledge at conferences and events. But here at Clubhouse, you can meet leaders in your niche or business and interact in the rooms. You can connect with other professionals in your field easily. Build your community inside Clubhouse and exchange information, form opinions and become stronger.
As the platform becomes more popular, brands can have their own rooms with conversations that attract your customers or create new customers. Soon we expect that speakers will be able to start paid classes. This is exciting, classes and a chance to question your instructor?!
What Else Can You Do on Clubhouse?
- Build a community
- Find news about your chosen topic, field feedback
- Understand your customer better
- Introduce New Products and Events
- Find Someone to Invest in You or Your Business.
- Find paid customers for your Clubhouse rooms.
As Clubhouse grows and more an more people start to use it, all of the above is possible.
With so many social media platforms, it can get very busy online. The best part of Clubhouse is that you don’t have to read or watch anything. You plug in your headphones and are good to go. In a podcast you do the same but it isn’t live, which means if you have a question or need clarification, there’s nothing you can do. This is ideal if you are trying to learn something. Come on, join the party, what are you waiting for?
This blog post is part of the Blogchatter Half Marathon
The Blogchatter Half-Marathon has ten commandments, of which the third is:
Thou Shalt Be Responsive
What is Responsiveness?
Have you wondered why some people stay on your mind and others don’t? I know that one of the reasons I really like someone in a work-situation is because they respond to me. Responsiveness matters.
You may have urgently needed some information and who do you ask this from? Someone who is responsive, who can reply to you. They may not always have the answers, but they make the effort to respond; to ask me what I want and tell me whether they can help me or not.
I appreciate that.
You may be hiring and when you get resumes if you do not respond quickly enough, well, you may not have a candidate anymore.
The reverse can also happen. If you want a job and don’t apply on time, you don’t have the job, now do you? Or if you don’t reply to a job offer, it’s gone! Poof! This is why responsiveness matters.
Who Are the Folks Who Should Be Responsive?
Anyone can gain by being responsive. You could be a CEO, and Engineer, a student, or designer or a freelancer.
As a freelancer its double important to be responsive. One of the skillsets you need to have is to respond quickly to a job offer, accessing your client’s needs, and remapping ideas that don’t suit. You need this in order to get clients, keep them and get them to come back for more. Yes, your expertise is not enough to keep your business growing. You need people skills and communication to make your business a success.
How Can You Be More Responsive?
Always respond to texts at appropriate times.
Answer mail and emails promptly. Do not sit on a mail, respond immediately. Even if you don’t have the information the friend/customer/client is looking for, they appreciate the response.
Answer your phone within reasonable hours. If not, remember to call back when you can. Nothing irritates me more than having to call someone back because they are too busy. My time is my money too.
My Time is My Money Too
If you need to give a report for school, college, work. Be punctual. Make sure it is ready when you have promised it. If it won’t be ready, then tell the persons involved that you can’t meet the deadline. Everyone appreciates honesty.
When a colleague asks me for a favor, I make sure to respond promptly whether I can or not. It helps them to know that they can rely on me, that I can be trusted. Vice versa, I remember the folks who respond to me, and remember them when something good happens – like an opportunity.
When someone is responsive you feel trusted, important, and that they are organized.
Responsiveness is associated with reliability. This is one of the reasons why responsiveness matters. I respond to calls, texts, emails, and verbal requests in reasonable time and show that I respect the recipient. I respond to texts almost immediately; I answer an email within a few hours and call back anyone who has called me as soon as I can. I show people that they matter and I am never too busy for them. It has helped me get new clients. I remember the freelancers who respond and I pass on opportunities I can’t handle to them!
We live in an inter-connected world, there’s no excuses for not being responsive.
This post is a part of the Blogchatter Half Marathon.