Persistence

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” Abraham Lincoln

Odds are that every new endeavor you are thinking of trying, all the shoulds, all the things you wish you could do, all of those are clouded in fear. You do not know what’s going to happen, whether or not you’re going to be successful, or how long will it take.

Maybe you’re trying to justify that fear by researching the best strategy. Maybe you’re telling yourself it’s not worth it, you’re not good enough, or that there’s too much competition. Continue reading “Persistence”

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Don’t Think, Just Write!

If you’ve done the proper amount of research on your topic, you know what your audience wants, and you know what you want to say, then taking action and starting to write should be simple and require no particular effort. Right?

Not quite. All writers know too well that sometimes this just isn’t the case. Getting down to the physical act of writing can take a lot of will power.

Almost everything else seems more attractive than starting to write.

How can we get ourselves to stop procrastinating and move straight to action?

Here are a few ideas that have worked for me: Continue reading “Don’t Think, Just Write!”

Take Your Time

Have you ever stumbled upon someone’s blog and after reading a few posts ended up wishing your own blog had content that good?

Have you ever read a piece that was so wonderfully written that it made you feel like an amateur?

Now for the big questions:

  • Why aren’t you writing content that good?
  • Why isn’t your content profound?
  • Why can’t you write thought-provoking content that will send your blog to the stratosphere?

Are you satisfied just to shake it a little instead? Continue reading “Take Your Time”

Great Blogging is a Conversation

Have you ever been on a date with someone who can’t stop talking about themselves?

You know the type. They go on and on about their plans for renovating the guest bedroom, battles with back spasms last weekend, or their latest accomplishments.

The topics are seemingly endless.

Along the way, you might pick up an interesting fact or two, but when you finally extract yourself from them, you feel annoyed (“That’s 30 minutes of my life I’ll never get back”) and maybe even angry (“The jerk never asked me about my family”).

And, yes, there is a blogging equivalent of that guy. That is, they breathlessly expound about themselves without actually addressing what’s in it for the reader.

So, how do you avoid being that guy?

It’s all about adopting the right mind-set. When you’re working on new articles, take a step back and assume the role of a skeptical reader. Ask yourself: Why should such a person care about my words? How will my words make their life better or easier? What are the damn benefits?

This might seem like obvious advice. Not doing this is probably the number one reason your posts are not being commented on.

Keep on thing in mind: your readers don’t always care about what matters to you. They care about the things that matter to you and relate to them.

Communicating what matters to your readers will make your blogging much more effective — and ensure you never become that guy.

This Four Letter Word Keeps You from Writing

Writer’s block.

The most hated words by those who love them more than anything else in the world.

Also known as creative bankruptcy.

Truth be told, writer’s block is all about one four-letter word. One that we rarely even want to mention.

It’s an “F word” that is frowned upon by people from all areas of life. And this word is keeping you from writing.

Fear.

Fear affects us all more than we care to admit, and it’s especially insidious for writers. Writing online is one of those activities where you’re really putting yourself out there, and the critics seems to be all to eager. But as we’ll see below, failure and mediocrity are not the only things we fear.

Most fear works at the subconscious level and manifests itself in the form of procrastination and writer’s block. We want to write that novel or business book, start that killer blog, release that article that will boost our authority… and yet we keep putting it off.

I don’t like to waste time on regret, because, well, it’s a waste of time. But looking back, I see I’ve wasted so much time in my writing life because I let fear hold me back.

And the truth is, every time I push myself in a new direction, I’m still afraid. I don’t think that ever changes—it’s just part of the game.

The key is to not let it stop you.

Here are the main ways fear holds us back as writers, with a few tips for looking fear in the face and sitting down to work. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, it’s doing what needs to be done despite fear. Continue reading “This Four Letter Word Keeps You from Writing”

Are You The Next Blogstar?

When I started my main blog back in 2012 I knew one thing and one thing only: I would never give up.

No matter what.

I thought that I’d better die trying than live with the regret that I could have, yet I was too scared and didn’t.

While the tactics and tips and tricks that make the basis of many articles on this blog are helpful, the bottom line always comes down to the work. Continue reading “Are You The Next Blogstar?”

How to Find Your Blogging Muse

A blank page.

There’s nothing more terrifying for a writer. Not an actual blank page, of course, but a Word Document with no words on it, that mysterious absence of words that is amplified by us staring at the white screen of death for so long that we feel our brains exploding.

You think and think and think, but nothing is happening, no matter how hard you try.

It makes you feel… powerless. Frustrated. Angry. Sad. Bitter. Sure, it’s your mind, your thoughts, your words, but there’s a bit of magic to writing, like Tinkerbell sprinkling lost boys with pixie dust and enabling them to fly.

No amount of happy thoughts will help you fly without the pixie dust. You need that extra bit of magic, that spark that makes your words take flight.

Where does that magic come from?

Well, from your blogging muse, of course. Continue reading “How to Find Your Blogging Muse”

How to Win Friends and Influence People (As a Blogger)

First published more than 70 years ago, Dale Carnegie’s guide on people skills entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People” contains wisdom that is mostly true to this very day, because human nature, for better or worse, does not change much over time.

And even in this brave new world of the Internet and social media, we can still look to age-old truths in deciphering a code to grow an audience (win friends) and successfully engage readers via our blogs (influence people).

Here are eight of these truths … Continue reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People (As a Blogger)”

Do You Truly Care about Your Readers?

Or is it really all about you?

If there’s one thing that I keep saying over and over again, it’s that the key to effective blogging is a relentless focus on the needs of the people you are trying to reach.

But the truth is that there are two prime examples of ways in which many are not getting it. The funny thing about these two things is that they are both aspects of what makes the Internet truly unique as a marketing platform, and yet we often fail to take advantage of them.

Take a look to see if you’re guilty of either of them. Continue reading “Do You Truly Care about Your Readers?”

Are You Sabotaging Your Blog?

Correct me if I’m wrong: you know you should write a blog post. After all, it’s been a while since you last hit that publish button. Yet, somehow, without you realizing it, you spend hours on Twitter and Facebook “working,” only to wonder later what happened…

You comment on other blogs, telling yourself you’re “networking,” nevermind that none of those comments actually lead to anything.

You have a growing collection of books and courses promising to teach you all the secrets in the universe, but they have been labeled “to be read” indefinitely.

In the back of your mind, you know you can do better. Technically, you even know what to do.

But something inside you refuses to let you, and every day you struggle with whether or not you should just give up or find some other shortcut.

You know how I know this?

Because I’m just like you. Continue reading “Are You Sabotaging Your Blog?”