From personal to corporate, a blog is a must-have when it comes to your online presence. They help create visibility, awareness and a touch point for customers, fans, fellow hobbyists, whoever you chose to address. Blogs can turn into a day-to-day lifelong commitment to prose, or a random visual record of events and achievements. Whatever your blogging style of choice, there are several rules and best practices that everyone should follow.
1. Choose the Best Platform For You
The word blog means so much more than just a stream of text these days, WordPress and Blogger are leading platforms that can help you craft well-designed sites or pages. Pinterest lets you take a photographic lead to your blog, while Periscope is the new way to share your live video, or you can host shows on YouTube and Facebook.
These and many other niche services are all viable. Consider how you can best present yourself, your company or products to the world and go for broke with the most appropriate platform, or play safe and stick with a standard blog you can add many types of media to. Go for an appropriate style and design to attract users
2. Find A Voice For Your Blog
How you address your audience depends on what you want to say and who you wish to appeal to. Personal blogs should reflect your own voice, while a company voice can be narrated by a “persona”, with whoever updates the blog taking on that role. Alternatively, blogs updated by a range of people can have many voices to lend variety and unique perspectives to the mix.
Over time, you will discover what sort of content attracts an audience. Keep mixing that in with new ideas and vibrant images, riveting information and exciting content to keep people coming back for more. Any content that you can provide, either a unique insight or a useful collection of statistics or facts will always be eagerly sought out. Infographics are very popular and easy to create, but don’t go overboard.
3. Get More Insight Into Your Followers
However you track your followers, be it the number of subscribers, clicks or comments, you will want a useful way to be able to contact them. The best way to capture that information is through a contact form. By gathering useful information, even if it is just a name and email address, you can use it to send out regular updates or newsletters. Entice them to sign up, with offers for exclusive content or information and keep in touch as you cultivate a relationship with your followers to find out what they want from you.
4. Build A Reputation
Blogs rarely grow a massive following instantly. Instead, they generally develop slowly until established, and then pick up the pace as more people share news about them, be prepared to put in the hard yards on your blog. No matter how niche, or how small the audience, they will come, as long as you keep at it and provide a genuine voice. Stay true to that tone, and don’t go for gimmicks or pad your blog out with dubious content, users can spot fakes and fakers, and will turn away instantly.
5. Link and Be Linked To
The key to any degree of success is the use of web links. Linking to other blogs and sites will help your ranking. Getting people to link to you, or adding relevant links in forums, discussions and across social media will also help people discover your blog. Paying for links, comments, reviews or followers falls under the faking it category and will be immediately obvious to real followers. There is endless discussion of link types, but don’t let that drive the direction of your blog.
6. Protect Your Blog
Successful blogs are prone to be cloned or have their content being ripped off. Ensure you patrol the web for plagiarists. Also, ensure that your blog text and images are backed up somewhere safe, in case your blog is hacked, the server if corrupted or the host fails. Ensure you only allow trusted contributors access and safeguard passwords and use two-factor authentication to make certain no one else can take control of the site.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting goals is to desire things based on their impulses. It’s like a child being distracted by something shiny. Soon enough a shinier thing will come along and before you know it the novelty has worn off. That is why New Year’s resolutions don’t work. You get swept up in the moment. Everyone is drinking champagne and at midnight, when the fireworks are blazing in the night sky, idealistic new beginnings appear on the horizon. Through your bleary eyed haze, all those new goals feel undeniably attainable.Even if you manage to achieve some of those ill planned goals, the satisfaction you anticipated does not fulfill your perceived desire. You wonder if it was worth starting the new health regime, looking for a new career or committing to that course to improve yourself. The recurrent thought that people have is ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.
Here are Five things to consider when you are setting goals, to avoid sabotaging your own success.
1. Explore your own needs
Establish goals based on your own desires, not external influences or the need to please others. Ask yourself what you truly want and what will make you happy. Think about your motivation and try different things. Let your own personal experiences inform your decisions and don’t be afraid to push your own boundaries. You should also consider the short, medium and long term impact that a particular goal will have on your life. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to be healthier, make more money, travel to a place you’ve never been, explore a creative outlet? These aren’t easy questions to answer and deserve your time and attention. Take time to formulate your goals. It’s your life.
2. Consider Authority Bias
Authority Bias refers to the way in which we can be influenced by people we look up to and make their goals our own. Decisions are subconsciously informed by experiences and the authority figures in our lives. It begins at home with parents, extending to peers and teachers in our formative years and then developing further through mentors and experts such as bosses or idols throughout adulthood. Research your desires and goals and broaden your horizons. Ask questions and seek answers from unpredictable sources. You don’t need wealth to live a full and independent life, just a broadened mind. Seize every opportunity and seek out new experiences. Find your individuality and revel in the things that make you unique. You can still find commonality with others and look up to those you admire while still retaining your own distinct qualities.
3. Avoid the Sunk-Cost Fallacy
Often we fall into the trap of thinking that we have wasted previous investment of time and money into a particular goal and so feel obliged to finish what we started. You can change your mind. All learning is valuable and anything you have invested into achieving a goal is worthwhile. It is all part of the process, even if it has shown you that you are on the wrong path. Try to be aware of the bigger picture, while at the same time focusing on the immediate decisions you make and living each moment as it comes. When you aim for happiness and satisfaction as the end result of each goal, the journey you take to get there is just a detail. The end will justify the means.
4. Goals vs strategies
Work out the difference between what you want and how you will get it. CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage, Peter Winick says,
“Strategy is an exercise in problem solving…….Goals that support the strategy are critical, but goals do not solve problems. Goals are a measure of progress. Goals support the strategy.” Strategy Is Not the Same as Goal Setting, Thought Leadership Leverage.
The steps and decisions required to move you forward can be broken down into smaller and more attainable goals; all culminating and contributing to the ultimate goal you have set for yourself, but they are not goals in themselves. Strategies are the choices you make, the tiny bites you take to get you to your destination.
5. Self belief and determination
Setting goals can seem daunting and sometimes we set goals that are so unattainable, just a shiny dangling carrot, that we have already set ourselves up to fail before we’ve even begun. Self sabotage, creating limitations, looking for obstacles and making excuses prevent us from achieving our goals. The flaw is not only in the goal, it taints the strategy. When you set realistic goals and are true to your own desires, the choices you make happen naturally and easily. Having self belief and learning to trust your instinct will ensure you make the right choices to take you closer to achieving your goals. Stop comparing yourself to others and keep your eyes on the prize.
So many things to do, so little time.
In a world where things move at rapid pace and people get impatient waiting for anything longer than 5 seconds, it feels like there are tons of things on our plates.
There’s that urgent email we need to get back to, a project that needs finishing, and of course, time off with friends and family (if there’s even time left).
The more work we have in front of us, the easier it is to get into a frantic state of mind.
I noticed that busy people often work on tasks that they think need to be done, but are actually counterproductive. I’ve managed to pinpoint these habits in my own life and replace them with better habits.
Here are a few things you should stop doing if you want to get more done:
1. Trying to do everything at once
Do you ever see those people who are completely frazzled?
They’re pulling their hair, running from place to place, and barely have time to breathe. It’s like they’re trying to do everything and completely panicking.
I used to think people like this got more done. That is, until I saw their results. I then realized that trying to do everything prevents you from getting really good at anything.
Trying to do everything is an indicator of lack of decisiveness, not ambition. So if you want to become an expert at something, it means saying no to other opportunities – at least for now.
For instance, top ranked tennis player Serena Williams is into fashion and has her own clothing line. But when she first started out, she focused all her energy on becoming the top female tennis player. Her fashion business came later.
Become the best in one area, and then branch out later.
2. Micromanaging everything
Micromanagement is a common problem for perfectionists who need everything to be done their way. They tend to hover over other people’s work, and try doing things that could have been done more easily by someone else.
The worst part about micromanaging is that other people feel smothered and dissatisfied that their work isn’t respected.
Instead of looking over every single detail, try to focus more on the big picture. Loosen the reins to give others some decision-making power (to a certain extent). It’ll be better for your health and well-being.
When you learn to let go of some things, you’ll find that you can accomplish more of your goals.
3. Just winging it
I remember back in school when we had to prepare presentations for the class. There was always someone who would say, “I’m just going to wing it!”
Chances are, that person wasn’t performing at the top of the class. Even if they were, the person wasn’t actually winging it.
High-achieving people are proactive, rather than reactive. They prepare relentlessly and practice daily so that when the time comes, their performance is flawless.
I like to get ready for the next day by preparing myself the evening before by using the Page Turner Technique. Doing so keeps me organized and calm, even when things get hectic.
If you want to excel, don’t wing it. Practice instead.
4. Not giving yourself any free time
A common misconception is that successful people work day and night non-stop. They don’t have time for fun or games.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Creative people and innovators often need spare time in order to explore. By taking time to relax, they can reflect on obstacles they face and see them from a different perspective.
Arianna Huffington herself said that sleep is the secret to success. So often, we think that not having any time to rest is a badge of honor that we wear proudly. Instead, we should think about getting more sleep to re-energize, become happier, and get more done.
If you want to feel refreshed and creative, try taking a break from your work.
5. Skipping lunch
A friend bragged to me the other day that she had worked for 18 hours a day, non-stop. She revealed that she frequently forgets to eat because she’s so busy.
On the other hand, another friend gets lots of sleep and cooks his own food. He has more spare time and energy for hobbies. Guess who burned out eventually?
Skipping meals lowers your energy and concentration levels, so that you get less work done for each hour you put in. It also leads to increased cravings for foods that are quick fixes, like junk food and sweets.
I find that preparing my lunch beforehand helps to set up my day right so that I don’t have to look around for something unhealthy to quickly satisfy my hunger. It also gives me one less thing to worry about.
Whether you prefer long runs or weightlifting, a post-workout refuel is crucial for the recovery process. Not only does it help large muscle groups rebuild for the next outing, but the right foods can release more slowly over time for sustained sustenance. Here is a great collection of foods to make sure you are working out out at peak performance.
This sweet superfood has carbohydrates, fiber, and protein — with zero fat. They replenish glycogen in the body, which is essential for helping you maintain output when your body has run out of fuel. Oh, and don’t forget about Vitamin B6, C, D, iron, magnesium, and potassium — all of which help your muscles go the extra mile.
This milk derivative is made from bacteria and provides a dozen grams of protein or more. Studies have shown that high-protein and dairy diets can lead to favorable outcomes when measuring fat loss.
Pita and Hummus
This may not be first thing you think about when it comes to recovery snacks, but maybe it should be. The pita provides slow-release carbs that help your body stay energized long after ingestion, and hummus is loaded with protein in case you favor anabolic workouts.
One word: potassium. This essential electrolyte is important for proper fluid balance and muscle function. Intense workouts will deplete potassium, but one banana provides over 400mg of the nutrient.
This is another example of a common food that does not always seem like a go-to workout snack. But thanks to all their folate, Vitamin A, phosphorous, selenium, and protein, eggs should definitely be on your radar. They are also loaded with choline, an essential ingredient that goes into making healthy brain cells.
Sometimes you can be chastised as an introvert for being a pessimist. Whether you feel it’s a choice or if you simply could never stop being so negative, in some way you may actually like it. Let’s face it we all see that overly happy person at work, serving us food, or taking our order for something, and we think “How can they be so happy?”. So many videos and posts urge us to have this outlook on life. They say we would be much better off being positive and happy. What if we don’t want to? Some people just want to watch the world burn, and nothing will stop us from having such a nihilistic viewpoint, which we prefer. So what are some of the earmarks of liking your own unhappiness?
When the glass is always half empty
For as long as I can remember I have thought of the glass as being half empty. If a glass is presented to you that has a liquid level of exactly half of its volume, what would you say the level of it is? Is it half full, or half empty? Recently I have changed my response to a more realistic one. I just tend to say that there is only half there. But with that new response there is a resistance to change; for ages I had thought of the glass as being half empty. The question of the glass has always been one of optimism versus pessimism. Now that I am older and wiser I know that being negative is not always the best thing, yet my reluctance to even simply say that the glass may be half full is apparent. Now there’s just half a glass. Baby steps.
When you feel stuck, and put conditions on your happiness
There was a point in my life where I had begun to feel positive. I had positive thoughts and emotions, my relationship was going well, and my work life couldn’t have been better. This terrified me! I had never had these feeling before; I’ve never been a happy person, luckily it didn’t continue and my unhappiness reared it’s ugly head once more. I once again stumbled about life trying to find my way and the ultimate goal of my ideal happiness, is that really the life for me?
That’s right, I too aspired to be happy. But there’s a catch– I put so many conditions on my happiness that it became almost unattainable. I’d like to make X amount of money, live in X house, and have the partner that has X qualities. What happens when we are trying to attain these goals? We’re usually stricken with the kind of unhappiness that I’ve felt over the years. And when we do meet these goals for happiness? Well it just so happens that more goals are placed on the pile to achieve before we can become a “happy person”– that way we are always unhappy.
When your personality separates you from others and makes your unhappiness grow
Some people are more comfortable with a solitary life, they would rather stay in and not go out. An introverted person will avoid personal encounters with even the people they are most familiar with. It’s not that they don’t want talk, they just won’t have the sort of open and happy conversation you’re looking for. Introverted people know the daily struggle of being seen as shy or awkward, and when they open up and talk they hear things like “Wow I really brought you out of your shell.”, or they’re told something about how well they speak. It’s wasn’t that they were never a good speaker and couldn’t speak, maybe they just didn’t value the low brow conversations they had heard before? As introverts, we really don’t like small talk.
When you feel the whole world is against you
Some of my relationships are the source of my happiest times. Most of my relationships, however, have been a headache, or ended in heartbreak. The difference between the two is subtle. Some relationships fall together like they were meant to be. They don’t always have to be romantic ones, in fact most of my happiest relationships are with friends of the same sex. My unhappiness in relationships has been the result of failed romantic endeavors. If you’re currently single then all of your romantic endeavors up until this point have failed. With romance, it’s a mutual thing, and you have to look at the cause of the failure; you can’t say that it was entirely their fault. Maybe you will be destined for unhappiness, and if you’re looking for love on Tinder or other dating apps this is likely. The only form of comfort we can hope for is to share our cynical perspective and unhappiness with someone equally as unhappy as we are.
Conclusion: Live for today
I won’t tell you some spiritual nonsense about learning to love yourself. This plight is certainly not due to the fact that one cannot love the inner self that you retreat to when society seems cruel and uncaring. When all your relationships have failed you and even your family and close friends have grown and become distant you will need to find something to hold on to. You can read a book or other helpful articles on Lifehack.org on the same topics.
If you’ve found that the world inside yourself has become grey and dull from the unhappiness you experience find another world to explore. Life can be mundane at best, and wherever you travel humanity has a way of being indistinct in certain cruel or pernicious ways.
But find the love, find it whenever you can and hold on to it. It has a nasty habit of slipping through your fingers sometimes but if you feel you have lost it, just remember there is a whole world out there where you can look for it. It may be in the tiniest of books, or URLs. It could be in the smallest laugh of a child or whimper of a baby animal, and sometimes when you’re looking for too long, it might be right inside yourself that you find the cure for your unhappiness. The help you can give to others, even a stranger, can open up the most trod upon of hearts and emotions. This too, I’m sure you will hate, for it is a thankless act.
Would you say that focusing on acquiring something (like new skills) might make you blind to the baggage you’re already carrying? It may be the case that you don’t have any unproductive habits as a speaker. If so, go ahead and keep your eye exclusively on that prize of newly acquired skills. But just in case, peruse the list below of seven bad habits to avoid during conversation.
Highly confident people believe in their ability to achieve. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else put their faith in you? To walk with swagger and improve your self-confidence, watch out for these fifteen things highly confident people don’t do.
1. They don’t make excuses.
Highly confident people take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.
2. They don’t avoid doing the scary thing.
Highly confident people don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.
3. They don’t live in a bubble of comfort.
Highly confident people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.
4. They don’t put things off until next week.
Highly confident people know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens.
5. They don’t obsess over the opinions of others.
Highly confident people don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.
6. They don’t judge people.
Highly confident people have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.
7. They don’t let lack of resources stop them.
Highly confident people can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.
8. They don’t make comparisons.
Highly confident people know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.
9. They don’t find joy in people-pleasing.
Highly confident people have no interest in pleasing every person they meet. They are aware that not all people get along, and that’s just how life works. They focus on the quality of their relationships, instead of the quantity of them.
10. They don’t need constant reassurance.
Highly confident people aren’t in need of hand-holding. They know that life isn’t fair and things won’t always go their way. While they can’t control every event in their life, they focus on their power to react in a positive way that moves them forward.
11. They don’t avoid life’s inconvenient truths.
Highly confident people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. They would rather have an uncomfortable conversation with their partner today than sweep an inconvenient truth under the rug, putting trust at risk.
12. They don’t quit because of minor set-backs.
Highly confident people get back up every time they fall down. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of the growth process. They are like a detective, searching for clues that reveal why this approach didn’t work. After modifying their plan, they try again (but better this time).
13. They don’t require anyone’s permission to act.
Highly confident people take action without hesitation. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”
14. They don’t limit themselves to a small toolbox.
Highly confident people don’t limit themselves to Plan A. They make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort.
15. They don’t blindly accept what they read on the Internet as “truth” without thinking about it.
Highly confident people don’t accept articles on the Internet as truth just because some author “said so”. They look at every how-to article from the lens of their unique perspective. They maintain a healthy skepticism, making use of any material that is relevant to their lives, and forgetting about the rest. While articles like this are a fun and interesting thought-exercise, highly confident people know that they are the only person with the power to decide what “confidence” means.
Words are a powerful entity. They give you the ability to change the world, but they also have the power to completely destroy you. Worst of all, they sometimes slip out, going unnoticed by the person speaking but recognized by everyone else around them. Bad habits of speech come in all forms, and it’s important to recognize when you’ve gotten into the habit of negative talk in any way.
Most times what you need to get plugged into a project is that shot of caffeine. Coffee does it for me, from the smell to the flow into the cup and that intense swallow. It gets me on the drive. While others are worried about the intensity, for me it’s perfect. I get energy only coffee can provide. I can’t help but remind the worriers of the wonders coffee does to their chances for success. Read this article if you’re hesitant about coffee, and consider all the benefits you stand to gain.
Unusual levels of stress can negatively impact your ability to accomplish personal goals and maintain good health. Challenges such as resolving a family crisis or losing weight become more difficult when stressors mount. Consider the following tips to help you reduce your stress.
There are 4 aspects of the mental approach to achieve high performance in any field of life that I have observed:
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” – Brian Tracy
Most of us hope that by the time we turn 30, life just magically falls into place. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. We can’t just blow the candles out from our thirtieth birthday cake and hit the fast track to life. Success when turning 30 is all relative to personal perspective, and finding that path means identifying what success actually looks like to you.
If you’re turning 30 and have yet to feel successful, don’t be alarmed because you’re not alone. To build a successful future for your thirties and beyond, forget about comparing your life to others, and start putting your energy into mastering theses 15 habits.
“Great people, no matter their field, have similar habits. Learn them and use them in your own quest for greatness.” – Paula Andrew
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