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How to Create and Facilitate Effective Question-and-Answer Blog Sessions

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Creating content for your website or blog is a never-ending challenge. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of interviews with other experts in your industry, or even performing Q&A sessions with your audience of readers. This is something BloggingTips.com has been doing for a while now, with their Meet the Bloggers series.

Thanks to the power of WordPress commenting and social media, it wouldn’t be hard to set up something similar for your own brand or blog.

Website content and question-and-answer sessions go together like peanut butter and jelly or salt and pepper. In fact, anyone who has ever attended a presentation or keynote speech would likely be caught off guard by the absence of a designated Q & A session. It seems intuitive: Deliver information then make sure nothing slipped through the cracks and expound on the most noteworthy points.

But not all Q & A lessons and collaborations are created equally. For example, take a look at how many websites will interview just one expert, while others will create expert roundups. It’s much easier to create individual interview posts, but in the long run, you will likely see more benefit and promotion from a roundup with 50+ experts included in one post. When executed well, this time provides audience members to interact with speakers in a meaningful way—clarifying burning questions, circling back to important concepts and making important conceptual connections. But when Q & A session go poorly, they tend to be nothing more than a waste of time for everyone involved.

Facilitating an effective question-and-answer session is a matter of planning, reacting well at the moment and having the right tools to make it all happen. Here are a few guidelines for capping off a presentation with successful audience interaction.

Anticipate Certain Queries

Some questions will inevitably seem to come out of left field. But many submissions will be at least somewhat predictable ahead of time, at least in the subject matter. Thus, it pays to make sure your speakers are prepared to answer these important inquiries without skipping a beat.

As Toastmasters notes, “How you handle questions determines how the audience feels about everything that preceded it. They recognize it for what it is—it’s the prism through which they evaluate your performance, your message, your competence, your credibility, and the success of the entire meeting.”

Fumbling the answer to a key question bodes badly for the session in general, interrupting the flow and challenging the speaker’s authority. Part of pulling off a successful Q & A session is ensuring each speaker knows their subject matter inside and out. Then they can predict what their audience may ask and brush up on the relevant information they need to develop exemplary answers.

Allow for Anonymous Submissions

Allowing anonymous audience submissions encourages people to ask the Q and A questions on their minds. A real-time audience response system, for example, allows people to submit questions—anonymously or with a name attached—using their mobile devices rather than the old-school method of passing around the microphone. This approach has several benefits.

  • People can ask their questions without the social pressure of speaking in front of a group.
  • Anonymity promotes honesty because participants don’t have to worry about blowback for their candidness.
  • Audience members can upvote questions as if to say they “second” them, which allows the most pressing inquiries to rise to the top.

Chances are, if one audience member has a question, someone else does, too. Using anonymity as a vehicle for honesty serves to truly open the discussion. This sense of clarify means everyone can walk away from the session feeling they got the maximum benefit.

Answer the Question at Hand

This tip seems basic. But speakers often inadvertently talk around questions—answering something, but not necessarily the actual query at hand. This tends to leave audience members either confused or dissatisfied. Avoid talking around a question; the audience will quickly see through this tactic. The speaker should also make sure they fully understand the question before launching into an answer. Good listening skills will come in handy here because interpreting the question is just as important as responding. Speakers can always ask for clarification as needed so they can avoid wasting time or going off on a tangent.

With ample preparation and the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to facilitating an effective question-and-answer session for any audience.

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Hi, my name is Kristel and I'm a contributing content creator at Marketing Infographics. My job is to find the best infographics from industry experts, while also make sure they get coverage through social media. Contact me with your favorite infographics!

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How to Begin Your Blogging Journey the Right Way

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Starting a blog is fun, freeing and scary.

This trio of emotions terrifies most aspiring bloggers. Everybody loves having fun. But doing freeing, highly uncomfortable (aka scary) things makes you tremble sometimes.

I feared beginning a blog 10 years ago. What did I know? Who would believe me? I was a fired security guard. I had no blogging knowledge.

Lo and behold, after someone told me to buy something called a domain and hosting I chose to become a professional blogger.

10 years later I have:

  • circled the globe through blogging
  • appeared on world famous sites like Virgin, Fox News, Entrepreneur and Forbes
  • taught a growing number of people how to become successful bloggers

Follow these tips to begin your blogging career the right way.

1: Buy Your Domain and Hosting

Thank goodness I did this right.

Buy your domain and hosting guys. Own your blogging real estate. Brand yourself effectively. Monetize your blog effectively too.

Never blog on a free platform; you can get shut down at any time for any reason. Plus readers rarely trust free platform bloggers because if you cannot afford 10-20 bucks a month to convey a professional image, how can you be a serious blogger?

2: Follow a Blogging Mentor

Follow a top blogging tips mentor to get good blogging advice.

Any experienced, professional blogger hellbent on teaching readers how to create helpful content and how to build strong connections with top bloggers is worth a follow.

I’d pick 1-2 blogging mentors, tops. Avoid confusing yourself.

Pro bloggers became pro bloggers by following pro blogger advice.

3: Invest in a Good Blogging Course or eBook

I offer you an eBook on how to become a professional blogger:

How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging

I also offer online courses to help you become a full time blogger.

Pay your blogging tuition. Invest money in your blogging education.

Imagine if you tried to learn how to become a full time blogger by reading blog posts alone? Madness. Piece meal learning is an exercise in futility. Far easier to buy an eBook that lays out, step by step, how to become a professional blogger.

You do not spend money on your blogging tuition. You invest money on your blogging education now to make more money later.

4: Invest Money in a Premium Theme

Free themes look cheap.

Cheap-looking themes scare off potential readers.

Invest money in a premium theme to impress readers.

Leap frog cheap new bloggers by dropping dough on a clear, professional-looking, premium theme.

Readers judge a blog by its cover, then by its content. Reel in folks with your eye-catching theme.

5: Blog Mainly to Have Fun

Since money ain’t flowing in for a while anyway it makes sense to blog mainly for fun.

Enjoy the process of:

  • learning how to blog
  • practicing your blogging skills
  • creating helpful content
  • building strong connections with bloggers

Lay a rock solid foundation for a thriving blogging career. Have fun helping people through your blog. Money eventually flows to free giving, generous bloggers.

6: Embrace this Truth

Blogging is a skill.

Just like being a doctor or lawyer is a skill, blogging is a skill you need learn, practice and hone over years.

Doctors and lawyers do not take off weeks or months from being a doctor or lawyer during their learning years. Every day counts, with hours of study and practice. Each puts in serious time to master their skill. Ditto for aspiring pro bloggers.

Begin your blogging journey by being all in. Commit 100% to the prior tips. Struggling newbie bloggers often blog in fits and starts, taking off days or weeks or months between blog posts and networking. Big mistake. You need to be ALL IN from Day 1 if you want to succeed with blogging.

Wrap Up

Follow these steps guys.

Begin your blogging career on the right foot.

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How to Start an Online Real Estate Business With These 5 Simple Tips

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In 2018, experts expect 5.5 million homes to be sold in the United States. Real estate agents will sell most of these homes. This is a huge market for anyone looking to get into the real estate space — whether that be for actual realtors, home-realty websites and services, or even bloggers and affiliate marketers that might have the audience and skills to tap into this space as well.

Starting a real estate business isn’t as easy as we may think. But, if you educate yourself and develop the right plan your business will skyrocket in no time. At the same time, the more we think out of the box, the easier it might be to gain an audience online. For example, how many people are looking online for home selling tips before listing their property? There are thousands of blogs already focused on this topic and generating thousands of dollars every month in the process.

Not sure how to start a real estate business? Don’t worry. We’ll discuss four simple tips to build your successful real estate empire today.

How to Start a Real Estate Business: Four Simple Tips to Build Your Empire

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Building a successful real estate takes time and hard work. But, if you take the right approach starting your own real estate business will be easier than you think.

Here are four tips to start your real estate business the right way:

1. Think like an Entrepreneur

Many people think real estate works like any business. Yet, starting a real estate business requires a mindset. To be successful in real estate thinking like an entrepreneur is a must.

It’s important to develop a vision for your business. Who is your prospective client? Are you going to cater to a niche?

In addition to thinking like a realtor and a legitimate business, you will also want to have a professional brand and logo design. You can see some example of other realty brands and logo identities here.

When creating a design of your own, feel free to get creative, but to also keep a simplistic and professional feel in the process.

2. Create Your Realtor Business Plan

If you want your business to stand out, you must create a business plan tailored to your vision. As a business owner, you have to consider A to Z about your business. How will you bring clients on board?

What is your marketing budget? Are you going to specialize in residential or commercial properties? These are some of the questions you may consider when developing your real estate agent plan.

Remember your realtor business plan will be the foundation of your business. Make sure you cover all your bases and not leave something for later.

3. Develop Your Branding Plan

You might think that a realtor doesn’t need to develop a brand. Yet, it’s a necessity in real estate. Your brand will separate you from your competitors.

If you want to start a long-term business that keeps growing, you must invest in your marketing. Tell your prospective customers why they should choose you as their agent.

Today, the internet and social media are great low-cost tools to establish your brand. Companies such as Uber have harnessed the power of branding to skyrocket their business.

4. Recruit the Right Talent

At first, you might run your real estate business solo. But, if you develop the right plan for your market your business might grow faster than expected. All your employees must fit your company culture and vision.

When you recruit a new employee, you should hire team players that bring value to your business. It doesn’t matter if it’s your office manager or a new real estate agent. All employees are essential to the success of your real estate business.

5. Connect with Other Industry Sites

With billions of websites and blogs already on the internet today, there is no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to realty.

Take a look at any of the top luxury home blogs online, and you will find that most of them cater directly to their audience — many of which are either high-end or very niche specific. This also includes location and pricing of homes for sale and what buyers are looking for. In addition to using these niche home sites for ideas, you can also use them ad media outlets and marketing tools. Such methods can include realtor interviews, expert tips, guest posts and more.

Be sure to consider these options when building out your next online site, blog, or realty-focused business.

Bottom Line

Starting your own real estate business might seem more intimidating than you thought. But, educating yourself on how to start a real estate business is the first step toward success. If you develop the right realtor business plan, brand, and work hard, your business will skyrocket in no time.

Now that you’ve likely started to toss around a few ideas on now you could start an internet-based realty business, it’s time to put all of those thoughts and ideas into action! You must take the right measures to protect all your hard work. Check out our article to learn how to do so, without needing to have a lot of investment money in the process.

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6 Ways Blogging Can Prepare Students for the Workplace

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Let’s face it, work in school and work outside of school are not even apples-to-apples in similarity. This can come as a shock to a lot of students who have just graduated and are still green and excited about the real world. Then, they find out significant differences in both environments and it will take a while for them to acclimatize, so to speak. Perhaps, one of the most effective ways is to acclimatize students earlier. Most teachers will even find that blogging can prepare students for real work after graduation. (more…)

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