[Blogging Mindset] Never, Ever, Ever Give Up

“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”  —  C.S. Lewis

When asked how he writes so fast, Stephen King answered, “One word at a time.”

This is the kind of answer that no one believes in. And the fact that there’s an abundance of related cliches doesn’t help either.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or something like that. The Great Wall of China was built by laying one brick after another.

It is not the mountains to conquer that make you give up, but rather the pebble in your shoe.

All cliches. Terrible, terrible cliches that we can’t help but fear and loathe at the same time.

Want to know why?

Because they are so damn true. Continue reading “[Blogging Mindset] Never, Ever, Ever Give Up”

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What I Learned by Writing Over Three Thousand Blog Posts

Disclaimer: There are 2,715 posts on my main blog, 609 on irevuo, and 223 on the Art of Blogging. Granted, some thousand or so of these posts are advertisements, reblogs, or sponsored posts.

This is quite a random threshold, the kind that doesn’t necessarily deserve to be celebrated, but I felt like feeling grateful, so yeah… three thousand posts on WordPress.

But this is not just about me bragging. No. The idea is to write about what I learned, which is somewhat synonymous with offering you the kind of advice I wish I knew about before I set out on this journey six and a half years ago.

I’d say that I did a decent amount of blogging. Could I have done more? Sure. More is always the answer when it comes to how much work one can do. I could have written better posts, developed my projects better…

But the truth is that my writing has developed a lot since I wrote my first post on this blog, back in April 2012. For those of you who do not know this, English is not my native language.

I’ve also learned a few other things that I’d like to share with you.

Continue reading “What I Learned by Writing Over Three Thousand Blog Posts”

The 5 Most Powerful Words in the English Language

 

If you think about it, writing is just like building a house. You need the right tools, the right equipment, the right set of skills.

You need to first have a design, to follow a blueprint. Then you build your house. Brick by brick. Word by word.

And there are certain words that hold more sway over us than others. You might be surprised to find that these “power words” don’t seem … well, all that powerful.

This speaks to just how efficient they are. Simple language is an often overlooked aspect of writing words that matter.

I also believe that it’s important to know WHY these words are powerful, and how they influence the person who is reading them, so as to best use them.

Continue reading “The 5 Most Powerful Words in the English Language”

[FREE TUTORIAL] The Art of Crafting a Brilliant Headline

Admit it. You’ve worked and worked on your blog post. You genuinely believe in your words, and you are sure your readers will benefit greatly by reading them.

But now you’re stuck.

You just don’t know what headline to use. You have a few variants, but they just don’t sound good enough.

Should you hoist the white flag, publish it with a lousy title, and hope for the best?

Well, you might have heard that 8 out of 10 people never read past the headline.

These figures underline the importance of headlines, and how short our attention spans have become.

There Are a Lot of Fish in the Pond

Every single day, millions and millions of blog posts are published. So your headline must stand out. Grab attention. Make folks curious.

But how?

Do not fret, for this tutorial shows you what headline to use (and when).

Let’s get started …

A Question That Demands to Be Answered (and You Know the Answer)

Examples:

  1. Did You Choose the Wrong Topic for Your Blog?
  2. Do Your Readers Trust You?
  3. How Much Does SEO Still Matter?
  4. Do You Truly Love Yourself?

It’s all quite simple: ask the most burning question in your niche.

Why?

Because questions arouse our curiosity.

We all struggle with certain issues, we all want to know stuff that is going to help us on our journey towards accomplishing certain dreams and goals.

After all, we all turn to Google to solve a lot of our problems…

[READ/DOWNLOAD TUTORIAL HERE]

[Blogging Mindset] Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle

The advice I am about to give you is going to be disappointing. It’s not going to be an easy six-step guide to gaining more followers, or how to have readers comment on your posts.

It’s not even going to be about blogging mistakes.

No. This post is going to be about the one requirement to having a popular blog.

Want to know what that is? Keep reading. Continue reading “[Blogging Mindset] Good Things Come to Those Who Hustle”

Blogger’s Block? Here’s How to Beat it

Too many of your posts start with an apology for not having been around of late? The joy you first brought to blogging now a distant memory?

Looks like a case of blogger’s block. Don’t worry… there is a cure.

It’s largely a matter of making friends with your creative mind. The reason so many of us find this difficult is that our education has trained us to respond to problems only with linear, rational, conscious thought.

Willpower, discipline, and good old-fashioned work may squeeze another blog post out of you but to produce words effortlessly, to connect with the joy and optimism and inspiration which makes it all worthwhile, to be as good as you can be, you need to know how to nurture abstraction and your hard-working subconscious.

First off, stop focusing on your block and start thinking about establishing flow. Flow is that delectable condition where all we writers have to do is turn up at the page and get ‘em down. Below are nine tried-and-tested methods – four daily practices, five writing practices – for keeping in flow, not just for the next blog post but for the rest of your writing life. Continue reading “Blogger’s Block? Here’s How to Beat it”

The Worst Blog Post Ever™

A blank page. An empty Word Document. Saving an empty draft on WordPress. Just the title staring back at you.

You having a staring contest with digital white upon white upon white…

You want to get that blog post written — you really do — but the words just aren’t flowing. They’re not even dripping.

Your mind protests against this type of torture.  Your mind is as frozen as the surface of an icy pond. You just know that whatever you manage to type is going to be the worst piece of writing in the history of . . . well, writing.

But it’s not true. I’m here to tell you why you should go ahead and write The Worst Blog Post Ever™. Here are several reasons to stop worrying about the quality of your writing and just punch the damn keys. Continue reading “The Worst Blog Post Ever™”

Don’t Know What to Blog About? Try These Ideas Out.

Let’s be honest, okay? This happens to all of us. We might not call it writer’s block, but the truth is that we all have our off days.

But what if I were to tell you that there are certain strategies that you can use whenever you have no idea what to write about.

Interested?

Read on.


Great artists’ steal…

I’m just going to be extremely honest: the novice wants to be original and brilliant so bad that he often fails to realize that he only got kind of good by imitating others.

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

I am not advising you to plagiarize other bloggers, I am simply telling you to see the information to acquire differently. Like Jordan so nicely put it, everything you read, see, or hear is food for your creativity.

Now, here’s what you can do with someone else’s content:

  1. Curate content. Go to your ten favorite blogs, and then find your favorite post on each of them. Publish a post listing these top ten posts, and explain why you like them. You don’t even have to think about being creative, and everyone you feature there will appreciate it.
  2. Ask friends for ideas. Reach out to your friends, and ask them what they’d like you to write about. Do a bit of brainstorming with online friends as well.
  3. Ask your readers. Yup. When you have no idea what to write about on your blog you can write a “what would you like me to write about” post
  4. Do an interview. It’s a lot easier to write a few interview questions than it is to write an entire post! Plus, it can be a great way to connect with really interesting people.
  5. Ask for a few guest posts. This is a great source of content, and it’s easier than most people think – find a few blogs that are your size or smaller, whose content you really like, and invite them to write a guest post for you. That’s about it.
  6. Write a review. A movie, a book, a TV show, or a product that you’d be happy to endorse. No need to get too creative, just explain what you like about it, and why. And then write what you don’t like about it, and why.
  7. Link to old posts. Write a short list of your old favorite posts that newer readers probably haven’t read. You can even do a quick deconstruction, and explain what you were thinking when you wrote the posts, what worked, and what didn’t, what would you do differently.

Use two unrelated dots and force yourself to connect them

Okay, so maybe you do want to come up with a great original idea to write about, but it just isn’t happening.

In that case, try to take two unrelated things and force them together into a really interesting post.

Connect dots that are far apart from each other. Yes, one of them has to be about something your readers would like to read about, and the other one can be something unrelated, but still familiar to your audience.

What you end up with are posts that kind of go like this:

Are you starting to see the pattern?

Sometimes inspiration does not have to find your working

Stop trying to work. Just stop. Don’t force your brain to come up with words and ideas. Do the following instead:

  • Go for a walk. Or a run. Getting your heart rate up is a great way to grow your brain. And meditate. And, yeah, exercise actually does make your brain bigger.
  • Take a shower. Relax your body, and your mind will follow. Cliche? Perhaps. But if it works, who cares?
  • Watch a movie/read a book/listen to music. Just going to say it again: feed your brain. I use the three mediums daily (read information, listen to it, and watch it) in order to stay inspired and come up with ideas to blog on.

When you do have ideas… write like crazy

When you feel inspired, write as much as you can. Write blog posts and save them as drafts to be used specifically when you have no idea what to blog about.


Which of these methods have you tried? Which one would you try?

Let me know in the comments section below.

How Confident of a Blogger are You?

Every morning I watch a few motivational speeches. I mostly listen to them, but this morning I took extra care to watch (and try to analyze) the body language of various speakers. Body language accounts for the majority of your communication – not your words.

I know what you’re thinking: “That’s cool, Cristian, but what does this have to do with blogging?”

Read on if you want to find out. Continue reading “How Confident of a Blogger are You?”