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Innovation Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 19, 2016

I’d like to begin this article by sharing a couple of videos. Let’s start with this one:


https://youtu.be/zd-fOdKS6ok

And now this one…


https://youtu.be/fWovOLFh76s

The first one was initially exhibited on the show “Shark Tank”, but since I’ve never seen the show (I rarely watch TV these days) I was introduced to it in Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought it in a heartbeat. I have my own video but never uploaded it to my video page, which is why I’m sharing their commercial for it. This thing is cool; go check it out.

cereal_001
This is a real cereal lol

The second one was obviously my video, and the first time I shared it was on a post from 2013 about innovation and blogging. The thing is it was probably the shortest post I’ve written here in, at the time, probably 4 years, yet it got a ton of comments and views… did I mention it was short?

There are two main things about innovation that all of you need to know to help get along in the world… that is, if you’re the type that’s up for trying to innovate something.

The first is that innovation doesn’t have to be overly complicated; you can either create something new that no one else has done or you can take something existing and improve on it.

The second is that, even if your innovation is relatively simple, it’s still going to take some work to accomplish what you’re aiming to do.

My latest innovation, if you will, started at the beginning of this month when I advocated that I was going to write 12 posts on this blog for the month. That might not seem much like an innovation until I ask you this; how many of you have tried doing it?

I created a post a day for my business blog this past December. I did a video every day for my business YouTube channel and then I did the same on my other YouTube channel (which you can check out and subscribe to over there in the right sidebar) a year later. It’s not so much that I did those things as much as the fact that for the most part I did all of them within 3 or 4 days… just like these posts (this post was actually written on the second day after I decided I was going to do this project). Thus, in a relatively short period of time I had to innovate, establish, initiate, create, inaugurate and commence to writing, posting and adding images to each of these articles so I would be free to do the same or other types of things with both my other blogs and the marketing of my business.

Was any of this all that complicated? No, I wouldn’t say that. Even though I’m different than a lot of people when it comes to coming up with ideas to write about, I know a lot of people who come up with publishing calendars and write a lot of ideas out on what they want to talk about on their blogs, or even in books they’re writing. On some writing projects and for my marketing I tend to create outlines so I know the things I want to address and then I go after it.

That’s the easy part, and the way I see it, it’s the beginning of the innovation part; not all that complicated at all.

The creation part… that’s the actual work. No matter how many times I’ve written about blogging here, I try to find new ways to present the concepts I believe in differently so that I’m not boring anyone. To this point, not counting this particular article, I’ve averaged 901 words per post. That’s not counting the articles I’ve written for my other blogs during this same time period. I think I’d put that up against any article of 2,000 words or more than someone else writes when they’re only writing once a week (yeah, I went there lol).

Enough talking about myself; we’re all tired of that! lol Instead, I’d like to give you 5 ways to think about innovation as it applies to you:

Big Remote

1. What would you like to see in something you use?

Sara Blakely thought the traditional girdles and other intimate wear for women wasn’t achieving what she wanted for herself. Instead of starting from scratch, she came up with a design for something that worked for her, went through the process of creating more items and getting funding, and the next thing you know is she’s created something known as Spanx and has become a billionaire in the process.

2. How can you improve on something that’s already out there?

Who remembers a little computer game from the early 2000’s where you had some polar bears who made a game out of seeing how far they could flip penguins? I don’t know if the creators of what I’m about to mention ever saw that but in its own way Angry Birds was that same game, only with different animals, more colors and better sound. They also created it for multiple platforms and made millions off it.

3. What’s something you wish you had that you haven’t seen anywhere that you can create?

Illumibowl is a great example of that. The creators made something that I’d been wanting for many years because, as a glasses wearer, the only way I could see the toilet at night beforehand was to turn the lights on, which is disconcerting when you’re woken up to go. Obviously these guys had the same issue, based on the commercial.

4. What’s something you can do or create that many others either can’t or won’t do that you can add your own touch to?

I’m going to talk about myself again, but I’m going to bring someone else into the mix. Years ago I created an evaluation module for employees to use to evaluate current employees as well as help set up the parameters the wanted in new employees they wanted to hire. When I finished it I called my friend Kelvin to talk about it.

I said I wasn’t sure whether it was all that good because all I did was sit down, use an outline to come up with the criteria and then created forms on Excel. In my eyes, this was something anyone could easily create. He said “nobody else has except you, no matter how easy it was”. That was that; no matter that it hasn’t been a big seller, it’s there and I created it.

5. What will it cost you if you’re not ready to innovate anything?

You know those glasses you can wear that magnifies what you’re looking at? I thought of that back in 1983 but never acted on it. You see that picture above of the big remote control? I thought of that in the early 80’s also, but no one produced one until the late 90’s. Even without the technical skill to create either of them, how different would my life have been if I’d gone to someone with the proper skills and worked on creating them and getting them to market? What are you willing to do, and how are you willing to change your thinking to take a shot at something new or different to see where it might take you?

That’s all I’ve got for you; how will you innovate your thinking?
 

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Anatomy Of A Blog Post & How I Break The Rules

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 14, 2016

I’ve been blogging for a very long time, and I’ve read thousands of blog posts, probably tens of thousands, over the years. Because of that, I know all the rules that we bloggers are supposed to follow so that our blogs will be successful.

Rules
Jodi via Compfight

Me being me though, I tend not to always follow the rules. Sure, there are some things I do that are considered standard writing, but I tend to deviate from a lot of the rules as they pertain to blogging because I am an individual. I figure these are my blogs, and I’m going to do things my way while working hard to make sure I get my point across.

Let’s talk about the anatomy of a blog and how I break The rules. I’m not saying you should be doing what I’m doing; what I’m showing is that no matter what anyone says, including me, that there are always other ways of doing things for whatever your reasons might be… and hopefully those reasons aren’t stupid. lol

Every person who tells you how to write a blog post will say that you should begin with a strong title. About half the time I don’t have a title when I start writing, so it’s hard to start with a strong title. Often I need to find out where the post is going as I write, just like fiction writers do, and every once in awhile I have no idea what to title the post until I finish writing it.

Back in March I wrote a post about someone who had what I considered to be a misleading title and had the temerity to beat up the original post and show people other ways of finding ways to create new content; I’m nice like that. My gripe about many titles is that they’re not only misleading but border on slander, like calling something a scam in the title to get people to come, only to tell them it’s not a scam.

I’m not saying titles aren’t important; I’m saying there’s no pure rules to creating them that anyone needs to follow… except to have one.

The second thing the experts will tell you is that you should mention in the very first paragraph what you’re going to be writing about so that everybody, including the search engines, knows what’s coming. I tend to violate that rule about 95% of the time because I like to have my own exposition and set things up the way I want to do it, once again pretty much like fiction writers. Think of a title like To Kill A Mockingbird; do you know how far into the book that sucker was?

I like leading into topics my own way, just like you see above, and often I’ll put some kind of link in the first paragraph going to either a previous blog post or some other article elsewhere, which is definitely something I don’t see a lot of other people doing. I’ll lead into my articles my way, and hope to keep people’s attention until we get to the second paragraph.

perfect life

The third thing a lot of experts recommend is that you separate a lot of your content with headers; some of them even recommend you add an < h2 > tag to it. What they’re saying is that you should have a bolded header, write a paragraph about it, and then rinse and repeat multiple times in every article you write.

From my standpoint a lot of that has more to do with the kind of papers we wrote in high school and college than with actual writing. I know that newspapers and magazines do this type of thing. There are times that I do it, but usually I’m numbering things because I know that people who read blood love number post. Overall, I like to write and do things my way and hope that whatever audience I have comes along with me.

Number four, even though I talked about images a couple of posts ago, something a lot of experts will recommend if you write on a topic where you can’t find proper images is to grab a nice picture and then type your subject over the picture so that people will know what it is you’re going to be talking about.

I don’t do that because I figure the title of the post is going to give some kind of idea of what I’m talking about, even if it takes until the second paragraph for me to get to it. I would rather have other kinds of images to put in as eye candy for my post. Of course, the other reason is that I haven’t quite figured out how to make images with messages going across them look any good. LOL

The final thing experts will tell you is to make sure to have a strong close to your article. Truthfully, I always hope that I will have a strong close, but most of the time I figure that I’m either going to have a funny close or I’m going to ask a question. I have to admit that closing strong isn’t one of my strengths, probably because most of my early writing when I was younger were song lyrics, and there’s no such thing as strong closing song lyrics since most of the time you’re just repeating the chorus over and over; you know it’s true. lol I guess I probably should have spent more time in English class figuring that one out.

That’s the basic anatomy of conventional blog posts that I pretty much give up on. It’s my belief that if you as the writer can be engaging and still get your point across that it doesn’t matter what the anatomy of your post is. Always remember my three main things about a blog post; inform, educate, or entertain.

I probably should add don’t be boring, but you probably know that one already. šŸ˜€
 

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Are Fewer People Creating New Content?

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jun 27, 2016

Before I get into today’s topic, I’d like to break a blogging taboo (I’m always doing that) to highlight the fact that last Friday was the 15th anniversary of my being self employed. If you know me (which you would if you’re a regular visitor), you know that I wrote about it. I titled it 15 Years Of Self Employment; 3 Things You Need To Know, and not only did I give some information on that but I also created a video that went live on the same day that’s embedded on the same post. Want to know how I decided to go into business for myself and why I do all the things I do? Check it out, comment, share and give me a bit of love on it. I don’t ask often but hey, how many people make it 15 years working on their own? šŸ™‚

Granville fetch yer cloth
Creative Commons License Shawn Spencer-Smith via Compfight

You know what? In actually, writing that post seems to make me kind of an anomaly, just like my writing this post today. Why?

Two weeks ago I wrote a post titled People Aren’t Helping Us Help Them On Social Media. Part of my lament was how few people whose posts I end up sharing on social media was actually created by them. A comment on the post above seemed to say it best: “Iā€™m not sure that there are that many people who actually create something new.

I had to think about that one before responding and I realized he was absolutely right. I know of at least 5 or 7 people who stopped blogging this year. I also know lots of people who haven’t written a blog post in at least six months, and some people who say they’re ready to start blogging again but haven’t gotten around to doing it.

People aren’t creating their own posts; that’s a shame. You know what else is a shame? People aren’t reading what they’re sharing either, at least according to this article from the NY Daily News, based on a survey by Columbia University and the French National Institute (Inria; frankly these two organizations don’t seem to fit together with one in NYC & the other in Bordeaux, France) which states that 60% of people share without ever visiting the link they’re sharing.

I believe that because I see lots of people sharing my content from at least this blog and the traffic figures don’t seem to support it. Twitter shows on Google Analytics as my biggest referrer, yet the figure only shows 25 visitors from there in the last 30 days; way more people are sharing my links than that in my Twitter stream.

If people aren’t creating and they’re not reading what they’re sharing, it begs the question as to what content is going to look like in the near future. I mean, if few people are reading content, what the point in creating it? What’s going on here?

First, let me point out that the sharing without reading isn’t a new thing. Back in 2014 The Verge had an article titled You’re not going to read this but you’ll probably share it anyway where a writer named Adrianne Jeffries stated that Chartbeat and Upworthy studies showed that people weren’t spending enough time on sites to actually read much of the content that was eventually being shared.

Second, the big thing these days isn’t just video but live video. Although I’m fighting it, and will probably continue fighting it (other than those really short clips I put up on Instagram like this). Periscope, Blab, Snapchat, Facebook Live… nope, not interested. Yet many people are, especially millennials, and it’s a quick and easy way for people to create things that for the most part disappear within so many hours.

Note-taking: Linear
Matt Cornock via Compfight

Third, some people have decided they don’t need to write in their own space and have gone for a bigger audience by writing for sites like Huffington Post and Medium, even LinkedIn. Frankly, I’m too possessive to put all my new content anywhere besides a site of my own (unless I’m being paid for it) but it’s hard to begrudge those folks because what I see being shared more often these days are articles on sites like this. Heck, because I see few new articles from people I’m connected with I’m sharing a lot of that content these days also, although it’s not my first choice, and of course I’m reading it all before sharing it.

This tells us that maybe the lack of content isn’t the problem as much as the way it’s delivered and then, strangely enough, potentially disappears. For instance, a video on Facebook Live might not disappear, but unless you’re following a certain person you’re probably never going to be able to access that video again. YouTube, my video site of choice, will always not only have my videos, but I’ve set up playlists so people can search for whatever interests them. Longevity has its place as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once said.

I’m someone who makes sure to create at least 2 new articles every week; then again I have multiple blogs and two video channels. In the last 7 days I created 3 articles and 3 videos, and I promote each one on Twitter at least 5 times and on other sites at least once, so I can’t be accused of not creating anything. I do know that everyone isn’t going to create as much content at I do, but has it really become such a chore that it’s not worth the effort anymore?

I put this out to the masses (that’s y’all) as a question that I’d really like answered. By the way, if you’ve made it all the way to the end of this article and forgot to check out my 15th anniversary post, I’ll wait while you check that out. Just a reminder from your friendly neighborhood Spi… I mean, blogger & social media critic. šŸ˜‰
 

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I Am A Professional

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 28, 2015

I am a professional. That might look like a bold statement until you have an understanding of the definition of a professional.

A professional is someone who gets paid for work that they do. If you cut down trees for a friend and they pay you, that might not make you a professional. If you cut down trees for a few people and they pay you for it, you can call yourself a professional tree cutter. It doesn’t mean that’s your entire career, but if you can make money doing something more than once, you should consider yourself a professional at it. It doesn’t mean you’re an expert; it just means you’re a professional.

Agnes and me

When looked at it that way, I can consider myself a professional at a lot of things.

For instance, I’m a professional speaker because I have been paid for speaking engagements and presentations. I’ve been paid for speaking engagements in nine different states, so that makes me even more qualified to call myself a professional speaker.

I can call myself a professional budgeting consultant. I can do that because I have helped 3 – 4 people learn how to budget their money so that they can pay their bills and have money left over for important things. I’ve worked with one client, also a friend of mine, for 7 years, & I have helped her get to the point where she has nearly $15,000 in her checking account. That might not sound like much unless you know where she started and what we had to work with over the years. It proved that you don’t have to make tons of money in order to be able to put money away, and she has other money in a portfolio that will help her when she retires.

I can call myself a professional singer as well as a professional musician. For about 14 years, I used to sing and perform at weddings. I didn’t do it as much as some people might have because frankly I had never thought of myself as a singer it, at least initially. But people seem to like my voice and I could pretty much play any song I needed to in order to perform it. Sometimes I did it for free, but at least 75% of the time I got paid for it. I wish I could call myself a professional songwriter instead, which was my dream at the time, but I couldn’t get anyone to pay me for it; sigh… lol

I’m a professional consultant in a couple other areas also. I’m not going to get into all that because I talked about it so many times on this blog that if anyone is really interested they can look back through the archives and see what I say I do.

I’m also a professional writer. Let’s look at that one a bit deeper.

words words words
Christine Vaufrey via Compfight

First, I’ve written for others and been paid for it. Oddly enough, for most of my blogs, even though I’m hoping that people will read them and get something out of them, I’m pretty much writing for myself. I consider it writing for myself because I get to pick my own topics and write in my own style. I have a lot of fun with that, but a major part of the intention of writing all of these blogs is to drive business my way.

Through my main business blog, I’m hoping to get contracts and speaking engagements. On my finance blog, I’m hoping to meet some people who need help setting up their budgets or learning how to save money (I don’t mean investing…). On my medical billing blog I’m hoping to reach out to people who need help figuring out their medical bills, as well as reaching some people who might want some training on medical billing or things associated with it.

For my local blog, at least initially, I was hoping to attract attention of local businesses who might want to advertise on the site by writing about local events. However, that one has morphed into my “I write whatever I want to write” blog, which sometimes touches on local topics. After all, we all have to have outlets for our thoughts that don’t fit anywhere else, right?

Then we have I’m Just Sharing. I love this blog a lot, so much so that I have written more articles here than anywhere else. I actually have more than one intention with this blog, but the main intention is to show a diverse skill of being able to write about many different types of things. I concentrate a lot on the process of blogging and I comment a lot on social media, but when all is said and done it’s really all about the writing (and I have lots of articles on this blog about the process of writing; check out the categories tab on the right).

When you’re writing for others, things change a little bit. If you’re writing for an article farm (if you are, I’m sorry…), they’re pretty strict in the format they want you to write in. That’s not really writing because it’s way too formulaic; guess how many of those sites got dinged badly when Google put through either Penguin or Panda; I never can keep those animals straight when applied to them. If Google didn’t consider it real writing, I’m not considering it real writing.

If you’re writing other things for people, you probably need to more about what you can’t write about than what you can write on. For instance, at my age now, if I was asked to write about today’s pop music I couldn’t come close to doing it justice, since there’s little I know, let alone like. Today’s TV shows and most of the movies; no, nada, zip! Cars… I don’t even know where the oil goes in my car so that’s not happening (although years ago I did write an article about Cuban Cars lol). Video games… I haven’t played one since Civ III in 2004 (isn’t that a shame?).

me eating pie
I do like pie!

That’s why it’s better to write about things you know or things that you might find interesting. For instance, I was the primary writer for a wedding dress blog for more than 2 years. It was easy because I always had lots of ideas, it was easy to research, and I’ve always loved the look of wedding gown of all types; hey, don’t judge me! I’ve written travel blogs, real estate blogs, accounting blogs, food blogs… lots of blogs. I’ve written articles for magazines, some of them paid. Probably the only thing I haven’t written for is newspapers; I’m good with that. lol

I’d like to think that I’m a pretty good writer. After all, I’ve written 2 books, 2 ebooks, a training manual, and I’m listed as an editor in 2 other books. Because I like to think I’m a good writer, it means I feel that, when I have an offer to write something, I deserve to get paid properly for it.

What does getting paid properly mean? Well, I don’t want to throw out a specific price because you just never know what someone’s needs are, and sometimes people want to pay you more than what you might ask them for. In general though, I want to be paid what I will call a “fair” wage. What that means is that if someone comes to me and asks me to write a 500-word article for a penny a word, I’m going to throw them off my space or ignore them. I live in New York; you can’t even buy a decent milkshake for that kind of money (I don’t drink coffee lol).

If they come to me and offered me $0.05 per word, I might at least engage them to find out what the needs are. That’s still relatively low, but if it’s not a subject that would take intense research (like forensic loan analysis) Overall, it depends on how much research I have to do and how much knowledge I may have about a particular thing. If you want to know what I charge to write articles for people on my own finance blog… nah, I’m not linking to it. If you care just click on the link to Top Finance Blog over there to the right and then click on my advertising policy; I can’t do all the work for you. šŸ˜‰

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to value writing, which in actuality is the same thing about professional speaking. People think that all you have to do is sit down with a piece of paper, or on a computer, and just write something and you’re done. That’s not close to true.

I used as an example in a previous post that if people remembered how much they struggled writing papers while they were in high school or college then they would understand how difficult it can be to write articles, especially on topics that aren’t well known. It can take time to research so that you can write an article that doesn’t sound like a direct copy of something that’s already out there. If you already have great knowledge of something, then you deserve to be paid for that knowledge.

When all is said and done, it’s about seeing yourself as a professional and deciding what you’re worth. All of us at some point will provide services at a rate that’s way lower than what we deserve to receive because we haven’t really thought all that much about it.

Another story. Almost 20 years ago my wife put together a dress for a young lady who was going to some kind of party. She quoted the young lady $250, which seemed like a good deal for both of them at the time.

However, the design the young lady selected turned out to have a very complicated buttoning pattern up the entire back. Because of it, my wife had to sew by hand all the loops on the dress instead of being able to use her machine.

WEDDN2
She made this!

On the day the young lady needed the dress, my wife spent 13 straight hours sewing loops on it. She had already probably put in 10 hours before that in cutting out the dress and sewing the other parts of it together. She also probably spent an hour or two beforehand going out looking for the type of material this young lady needed for the dress as well, since that was included in the overall price.

What this means in the long run is that my wife put in close to 30 hours on a dress that she got paid $250 for, which means she made less than $8.50 an hour. That doesn’t sound quite fair does it? After that, she never made another dress for anyone except herself because she felt so bad. If she’d charged what she deserved, the young lady might not have asked her to make the dress from scratch, but my wife would not have lost her passion for doing things like that. At the time she didn’t feel she was worth being paid more; that’s a dangerous mindset to overcome.

When all is said and done, if we don’t see ourselves as professionals at things that were actually good at, and we allow people to try to pay us less then what we deserve, we grow disenchanted and won’t perform as well as we would like. There’s a lot of people who have had broken dreams because they have fallen into the morass of allowing someone else to dictate how proficient they are. One of my friends pretty much lost her career and almost her life because of it.

Of course you have to earn it. If you’ve only written 10 articles in your life and you decide that you deserve $200 per article, you’re probably kidding yourself. If you’ve put in the time and the energy and you have a portfolio of some kind that you can share, no matter what it is you do, then you deserve to at least make enough money where, if it was your full time job, you could live on. We all have to start somewhere, so if you’re new you might take a lesser amount and build up from there.

There you go; my motivational message to you for the day. I’m putting the message out that if someone is willing to offer me what I think I deserve for writing, I’d love to write for you because, for this purpose, I’m a professional writer.

I encourage everyone else to see themselves as professionals in what they do and to be ready to ask for what you feel you deserve.

Do you see yourself as a professional?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

9 Reasons You Need To Keep On Writing

Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 7, 2015

This is the 1,649th post on this blog since the middle of December 2007. There are 14 articles here written by other people, which means I’ve written a ton. On my business blog I’ve written around 1,230 articles to this point in 10 1/2 years. I’ve written tons of articles on my other blogs, and for other people’s blogs.

Canon AE-1 (Silver) - Lisa
TempusVolat via Compfight

Why am I telling you this? I run into people all the time who tell me they don’t know what to say or what to blog about? I run into tons more blogs where people either write articles infrequently or have decided to bail, leaving their blogs in the vapid miasma of blogging perfidy; go ahead, look that up. lol

I’m going to own up to something here, which isn’t much of an admission. Even with all these articles, I don’t consider myself a successful blogger. For all the articles I’ve written, I can’t say that I’ve had a successful blog yet. I’m certainly not on many lists (other than Troy Swezey’s 15 men who blog that you should be following post; thanks Troy!) but I’ve met some intriguing people, even some famous people. I’ve had the opportunity to meet people all over the world. And I’ve even made a little bit of money… though not from blogging.

I’ve made money from writing; that’s a different story. Here and there, you might be able to get people to pay you for your writing, if you have some skills. That’s not such a bad thing; there are a lot of bloggers who are viewed favorably who actually make money writing rather than blogging… no matter what they might try to convince you of. They even tell you that, but many people seem to miss it.

So, here are 9 reasons why you should keep writing your blog, or writing in general; you already know what #1 is going to be:

1. You might be asked to write some someone else and make money from it.

Think of your blog as a full body of work that’s indicative of your skill as a writer. If you view it that way, you’ll treat your blog with respect, no matter the niche. As I said earlier, I’ve not only written for myself, but I’ve written for others. I wrote the articles for a wedding blog for over 2 years. I wrote for a chiropractor, a travel website, a legal site and a debt consolidation site along with others. Some of the pay was better than the rest but it wasn’t bad; I was able to live off it between consulting gigs.

the pen is mightier than the keyboard
Michael Verhoef via Compfight

2. You’ll always get better.

There’s no way one can write for years and not get better at it. I look back on most of my early blog posts on my business blog and sometimes cringe. I had a gem here and there but in general, it took me a few years to figure out my style, even though I’d been writing a newsletter before that.

3. You can gain publicity.

Even if your blog doesn’t get a lot of comments, you can bet there are people who know who you are. If you set up a way to track stats you’ll see them. If you set up a way for people to subscribe to your RSS feed or a mailing list, you’ll see them. If it’s just a few people but those few are enamored, they’ll share your stuff with their audience and it’ll help you grow yours.

4. You can make connections.

This blog has helped me make some interesting connections over the years. Not only have a few well known internet folks stopped by, but blogging helped me get the chance to help a bit time author edit his book, which ended up having my name in the book and me getting an autographed copy. It even helped me get my business blog added to a section of his very popular website; sweet!

5. You get to show your expertise in many areas.

You not only get to show your writing skill but you get to show people what you know or at least how you think, which sometimes is the same thing. The reason I have 5 blogs is because I have a good number of interests but they don’t all fit on one blog. I could do that but search engines would freak out trying to figure out what I do.

6. Writing a lot shows how prolific you can be.

writer
Joan M. Mas via Compfight

I have nearly 5,000 articles online and lots in magazines. I’ve been able to write two books, one of them a compilation of articles from newsletters and my business blog, an ebook, and I’ve created some other informational products. I’ve been included in a few books here and there also; if I hadn’t been writing so much none of these things would have happened.

7. Writing is cathartic.

I’ve had some of my best rants come alive because I’ve been allowed to write. The thing is, if you’re really angry and write about it, you’ll start to feel better. If you’re depressed and write about it you’ll start to feel better. If you have an idea that needs fleshing out and you write about it you’ll feel better. The only people who usually feel bad about writing are students; think about that. šŸ™‚

8. You never know whether your next article, blog post or book could be the one to make you a superstar.

One thing all the big time writers tell you is that they felt compelled to write, no matter what else they were doing, no matter their circumstances, and no matter how many times they got beaten down by someone trying to tell them they weren’t any good. J K Rowling, Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Tom Clancy, John Grisham… the list goes on and on. You never know if you’ll end up on someone’s radar for something you’ve written; how cool would that be?

9. Oh yeah; you just might make some money off it all.

I already mentioned getting writing offers because of writing on my blogs. I got a couple of speaking engagements as well, one a big time keynote presentation in Arlington, VA some years ago. I’ve sold a few things off this blog, and my finance blog has had advertising on it in the past. I’m not close to being the paragon of making money by blogging but there are a lot of folks who have figured it out; you know who they are so I don’t need to mention any names.

The thing is, most of those folks made their real money outside of the blog; I mentioned Chris Brogan a couple of weeks ago who, though he’s also a blogger, has been able to write a few blogs, been asked to speak at conferences, and has even been highlighted as an expert in many other places, some of which have paid him pretty well.

Will this happen to you? Who knows. What I do know is that if you don’t write, it certainly won’t happen for you. Go on, give it a shot! šŸ™‚
 

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