Because I Wasn’t In The Mood… Skipping Blog Posting Dates

Did you like the post I wrote on Monday? I’m thinking you probably didn’t, since I didn’t have a post go live on Monday.

Minh Vu
Charles Thompson
via Compfight

Usually on this blog I post on Mondays and Thursdays. I did that the two weeks before this one. The week before those two I had a post every day, as I was doing a survey and wanted to try to maximize the coverage as much as I possibly could.

There’s this thing about trying to keep on a consistent schedule so that your visitors will always know when to expect content from you. I’m not going to disagree with that because I can’t say for sure whether or not it’s true. I tend to believe that what’s more likely is people who like your content and visit your blog are more apt to be looking for new content whenever they visit, unless they’re stopping by daily. I know almost no one who’s doing that these days.

I do know a few people who are sticking with a schedule, but it’s a once a week thing these days. My buddy Adrienne has a new post every Monday, but once a month she releases a guest post. My buddy Peter writes a post every Friday, though these days it’s known as the Friday Funnies. So, I know when to check those folks out, and that is the part about understanding when people are releasing content you want to check on.

But what about… well, pretty much everyone else? Is anyone really paying attention to my Mondays and Thursdays? For that matter is anyone really paying attention to my Tuesdays and Fridays when it comes to my business blog?

No, I don’t think so. These days I notice that I get fewer consistent visitors to the blog. If there are more, they’re not commenting so I don’t know about it if they are coming more consistently than I know.

Actually, that’s not quite true. If I believe my Google Analytics then I know that the percentage of new visitors is 58% and returning visitors is 42%. That’s actually pretty good when compared to my business blog, where the percentage of new visitors is 78% compared to 22% for returning visitors.

Based on the comparison of the two, does anyone really think the difference is based on schedule?

I had a post ready to go on Monday… then decided I just wasn’t in the mood to release it. I wanted to make an educational point by not posting it, and then decided to let it sit until next Monday so I could comment on it today.

There’s always a lot of advice regarding posting frequencies, and of course having a set schedule so your audience knows when you’ve got something new coming out. I tend to believe in two things regarding this.

One, unless you’re going to write a lot, it’s better to write as many posts as you can but stagger their release so that you have consistent content going out, rather than having a day where you put out 3 posts and then don’t release anything again for a month.

Two, if you’re not someone who writes posts in advance and you’re feeling pressured to meet a deadline… unless someone’s paying you for it don’t worry about deadlines when it comes to your own blog. I think some kind of consistency is definitely needed if you’re serious about blogging. However, if you want to write a post a day or a post every couple of weeks, or if you usually have a post go live every Monday and Thursday but one of those days you’re just not feeling it… it’s fine. You’re okay; everyone does it.

So, there will be a post on Monday. I’m not guaranteeing a post next Thursday though. Why? I just might not be in the mood. 🙂
 

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10 Ways To Find Inspiration To Write About In Your Niche

Something that’s rare for me is writer’s block. Whenever I’m ready to write something, most of the time I think of a theme, give it a little bit of thought, and start writing. I’ve got to tell you that feels pretty good.

Knowledge Wall - Transmission Global Summit 2011 - Victoria, BC
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However, I’m not a machine. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to write on a topic that’s popped into my mind. If I can’t flesh it out I don’t want to put out total garbage. And sometimes I just don’t have anything new; it happens to the best of us.

Every once in a while I just skip a post. Nothing wrong with that except I hate skipping posts on Monday; if I skip the second post of the week I’m okay with it but I hate missing the first one.

Therefore, when I need to find something to write about, I do a few different things. As I said it’s rare, but I have these things to fall back on that I’m going to share with you.

1. Visit some of your favorite blogs and write on something one of them touched upon.

I don’t want you to copy what someone else has said. Instead, either write a post agreeing or disagreeing with what someone else has written. Basically it’s a long form comment that you’re writing for your blog instead of leaving it on someone else’s blog. Just make sure you link back to the other blog; whether you’re yay or nay on what they wrote, they’ll appreciate the link.

2. Visit blogs you don’t normally visit and do the same thing.

In this case, you’re going to throw some love at someone who you might not know. What you can do is go to Google, search for your topic and add “blog” to your search term. There are tens of millions, if not hundreds of million blogs, so there’s probably not a topic you won’t find. As a courtesy here and on the first one, it wouldn’t hurt if you found a way to let them know via Twitter that you’ve talked about them & linked to them.

3. Scan the news for your topic.

If I want to write about blogging, I can bet there’s a news story every single day somewhere about the topic. Often there’s some kind of top 50 or 100 blogs in some category that’s fodder for commentary, especially if I’m not on it… did I just say that? lol Anyway, you can go to Google again, put in your search term, and once you’ve hit search you can choose the news link that’s normally on the same line that images is.

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Jimmy Hilario via Compfight

4. Write about a book related to your subject.

Book reviews are always pretty cool, especially if they touch upon one of your subjects. Sometimes they won’t, but I write book reviews here when people send me their books. If you’re also creative you can find a way to take a book and turn it into your niche topic.

5. Think about something in your day and relate it to your topic.

I once wrote an article comparing blogging to traveling through airports while I was sitting in an airport in Washington DC on a 3-hour layover. It just seemed to fit, though I’m betting a few people thought it might be a stretch.

6. Write about a favorite fictional or historical person and relate it to your topic.

A post of mine that four years later seems to be very popular is one I wrote on my leadership blog talking about the leadership qualities of Harry Potter; yeah, I’m a big fan of the series. lol Matter of fact, months after I wrote that post I was contacted by en entity in the Philippines and asked if they could use it as an educational article for one of their middle schools; that was pretty neat. I’ve written about a lot of fictional characters and leadership including Charlie Brown and Kermit the Frog; people like that because they can relate.

7. Think about an event that occurred in your life and write about that, relating it to your subject.

Joan M. Mas via Compfight

All of us have something that happens in our lives every day. Often it’s pretty mundane but sometimes there’s a bit of significance in it, along with a lesson. I wrote one of those types of posts in July when I talked about ethics in social media based on a conversation I had with this kid in Germany and his personal attack against Serena Williams that caused a bit of a scandal for a short time after she’d won Wimbledon.

8. Write a compilation post of some kind based on a seminal date or event.

This one should be easy because you might already have all the material you need on your blog. In case you need an example you can check out my post talking about 15 lessons from 1,500 blog posts or 55 tips about blogging which I wrote highlighting my 55th birthday last year.

9. Do an interview post.

By the way, have I mentioned that I’m looking for people to interview me, either on their blogs, podcasts or videos? Regardless of if I have or not, interviewing people who talk about your subject or pretty much anything else always ends up being a double benefit. When people like being interviewed they’ll help you promote your post and if you do it well, which means your questions aren’t boring, it can be pretty cool The thing about them is that the other person is doing all the work, so this one should be easy.

10. Whenever you have an idea, save it in your posts area.

I get ideas at the weirdest times. I get so many that I used to forget a lot of them. So, first I started carrying a 3×5 index card spiral bound notebook so I can write things down when I think of them. Then when I get home I’ll create a new post, pop the ideas in and then save it as a draft. That’s actually where I got the idea for last week’s post about marketing products you didn’t create, as it was on my mind earlier in the week while I was on the road. Ideas coalesce well with reminder words and phrases.

That’s 10 ideas; do you have any others? I hope this helps some of you on your way to continuous blogging.
 

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Can You Make Money Marketing A Product You Didn’t Create?

There’s a lot of people who are in agreement that creating your own products should be something most of us look to do if we want to make money online. There’s also a lot of reality that says there might be products that don’t sell as well online as others might.

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Luiz Fernando Reis
via Compfight

For about 2 months I was marketing my latest book on leadership here and on my business site, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google Plus and on LinkedIn. I still market it in a small way with each article I put on LinkedIn.

I’ve made some sales, but nothing like I had hoped. Truthfully, I didn’t expect I’d have great sales, but I thought I might sell more than I did. However, I recognize that leadership is a tough sell to people who don’t see themselves as leaders. Even if it’s more of a book that leads with stories that have recommendations towards leadership, it’s not the type of book the masses will go for.

If you want to sell products off your blog and your own products aren’t getting it done, the next best thing to do is to try to market products made by someone else. However, that comes with its own set of issues.

Who remembers Clickbank? When I was first into blogging that was the big platform all the bloggers were talking about as a place to make money selling either your own product or products of someone else, since there were a lot of things there. I remember going through a large part of the database and having all sorts of problems finding things I thought I could talk about.

One in particular I bought first, liked it, learned something from me, and decided to turn around and market it off this blog for a few years. I wrote a couple of specific blog posts promoting it, and the guy who put it together was a major name in internet marketing at the time. I thought it would be pure gold.

I didn’t sell a single book. That was a shocker to me, but it was also a reality check of sorts. Since I was getting more traffic back then than I do now, it told me that either I was a lousy copywriter or that just because you like something and write about it doesn’t mean you’ll get people to buy it.

I’ve learned a lot about sales though, even if I’m not great at it. Most sales coaches and trainers will say that you have to find a pain point and, if it’s big enough and you can sell a solution, it makes things much easier for you. Notice I didn’t say easy; I said easier.

The one product I sold the most of out of all these years via this blog is called Mailwasher, a product I still use and love. I sold 3 of those because of the post I just linked to because of the pain point of being able to see and eliminate mail you know is spam while it’s still on the server, which protects you from opening up potentially dangerous email on your computer. If you visit that blog and click on the underlined word, you can still check out the product and buy it… as I’m still an affiliate. 😉

Best of Events 2011
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The thing is, I wrote that post in 2009; this is 2015! I haven’t tried marketing much of anything that I didn’t create in years from this blog or any other blog of mine. Truthfully, putting up a banner ad isn’t really marketing if you don’t talk about it or promote it anywhere; it’s just an ad sitting there taking up space. Am I right?

I’ve written some posts about products or books and added a link to it… only to have just that one post out there and never talk about it again. Heck, it wasn’t even until this year that I thought about marketing my blog posts more often in social media, which is a major shame.

So, I figure it’s time to give it another shot, just to see what might happen. I’ve already got a product in mind that I’m going to take a shot at marketing. It’s something I use that’s helped me in more ways than I can imagine, and it took care of my pain point.

First, I’m going to set up a page where people can look at the product, along with having a lot of different choices for it. Second, I’m going to write a blog post about it, extolling its virtues as much as possible. Third, once that post is written I’m going to put it out there quite a few times to make sure as many people as possible see it. Fourth, I’m also going to push the specific link to the product page, since it’ll be on a different website than this blog, to try to drive traffic there as well.

Can you make money from a product you didn’t create? Maybe yes, maybe no. In this case I’m not looking to get rich, but I am looking to make a statement. By the way, since the product also has a relation to health (no, I’m not mentioning it just yet), I’ll probably write about it on my medical blog; might as well expand the market even further right? 🙂

Let’s see what happens. I’ll either have that article up next Monday or Thursday; depends on what else comes up. For some reason I find myself pretty busy over the last few days; let’s see if prosperity is ready to come my way via those laws of attraction I wrote about on Monday.
 

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Do You Know Chris Brogan?

A few days ago I was listening to a podcast where my buddy Richard Rierson had conducted an interview with Chris Brogan. I felt good for two reasons; one, I knew Richard had always wanted to interview him and two, he had interviewed me first, although that either means he valued what I had to say a lot or Chris was much harder to get than me. lol

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Trust Agents

Either way, as I listened to the interview I came to realize just how little any of us can know about someone else, even if we’ve read their books, read their blogs, seen their videos or had them comment on one’s blog not just once but twice. 😀

In any case, he’s a fascinating guy to listen to and see what he has to say. But this isn’t a puff piece about him; not at all. In taking a break from this week’s marketing test (click here in case you haven’t been paying attention) I thought I would talk about two takeaways from the interview he did with Richard and one I got from him somewhere else some years ago… one that I think is interestingly important since I keep saying that when I grow up I want to be rich and famous.

1. You’re never as famous as you might think you are.

Chris was asked by someone what it was like having so many fans online. He said that he didn’t take it all that seriously because in his own hometown he can walk down to the local coffee shop, get coffee and possibly something to eat, and no one there knows who he is. He can pretty much go anywhere where he lives and not have people running up to him because they want his autograph.

Before I’d read that line I hadn’t had it crystallize in my mind but it’s an absolutely true statement. My friend Kelvin asked me a couple of weeks ago if I listened to any new music because I’ve never been on Pandora. I told him I had years of music from the period of music I loved so I didn’t need any of it, but if something hit me from out of the blue that I liked I’d deal with it then.

Overall, I have no idea who most of today’s young musicians are. There are a couple of names I’ve heard whose music I’ve never heard so I couldn’t comment on any of it. The same goes for TV and movie celebrities; don’t even think about asking me about anything “reality” related. For that matter, I don’t know who 98% of all athletes are either, even on my favorite teams (Syracuse University basketball is the lone exception).

Thus, if I were working in a hotel and someone who thought they were all that said to me “Do you know who I am?”, I’d probably say “no”, mean it and move on. See, as much as I’d love to be rich and famous, the truth is that the only shot I have at it is to entice a specific group that’s interested in what I have to share, and only that group, and hope that I could get at least 33% of them to know who I am and trust me enough to listen to me and buy from me. Heck, maybe all it would take would be 20%; who knows?

Overall, we can’t believe in our own importance when it comes to others. Be comfortable in your skin and put yourself out there, but don’t believe that almost anyone other than your mother is losing sleep wondering anything about you; isn’t that sad?

2. Business is personal.

In his interview with Richard, Chris threw out this gem and my eyes lit up. That’s because I’ve always believed this was a truth, even though most people you talk to in business will say it’s not.

Here’s the thing. I’m an independent consultant, and I spend a lot of my time reaching out to people in different ways. Sometimes I don’t expect to be contacted back because it’s typical sales; in other words, if I’m calling someone out of the blog and leave a message on an answering machine, there’s no obligation to call back because they don’t know me from Adam (have you ever wondered which Adam that phrase is talking about?).

If someone has reached out to me first, I return the correspondence, and then they don’t contact me again… or not for weeks at a time… that’s personal. Someone might say that’s business but it’s not; you reached out to me, I responded… it’s personal.

I’ve had some people tell me I’m too sensitive sometimes, that things happen in business. Bah! People who treat others like that when it’s business related do the same thing outside of business. Whereas it’s easy enough to change behavior from work to personal, it’s much harder to change patterns. I evaluate people in business the same way I do in my personal life, and my patterns are intentionally the same as it relates to business and my personal life. Anyone paying attention to their behavior would see they do the same.

So… on this one… I’d ask more people to consider it and the way they treat others when they believe it’s just “business”.

3. No successful person is a copy.

This came out of the interview with Richard as well, and it resonated greatly with me. I have a friend who says that one of my problems is that I keep trying to do things my way instead of just doing what someone else has already done. My response to that is we can’t always follow what someone else did exactly and expect the same results. Times change, factors change… we should take the best that someone has to offer and make it a part of who we are without losing who we are.

To try to make a point, check this cartoon out (you might have to click on it to see it bigger; if you’re new to this you’ll have to click twice lol):

BillW

All of us are unique; that’s just how it goes. We can take lessons we learn from others and apply them to our life, but at the end of the day we can only be the best “us” that we can be. Think about the 5 most successful people you know, either personally or not. You might see qualities in each of them that are similar, but for the most part you’ll realize every single one of them is totally different and succeeded because of those differences. We can learn perseverance from them; we can’t learn to be them.

I’m thinking these are 3 pretty good lessons. Course, what I say doesn’t always matter so I’ll put it out to you and your thoughts.
 

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