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. 🙂
You’re getting a two-fer today and yes, I’m talking about videos. I decided to go this route for two reasons, which makes sense. One, because both videos help me explain my main topic today. Two, because I did the two videos close to two years apart; hey, that’s the best I’ve got. 🙂
In the first video, I question why we don’t do the things we should be doing. Let’s lead with that, and then I’ll come back:
I hope you’ve watched that video, otherwise some of the rest of this post might not make sense. That’s because, based on that video, I’m going to give 4 recommendations for figuring out how to take action, no matter what it is.
1. Look at your main goal and figure out how to break it into small incremental, achievable actions.
Things often seem daunting when you’re looking at the ultimate goal and start thinking “wow, that’s going to take a lot of work”. Hey, goals take work; that’s life! However, very few real goals can be done in one day. They take planning and then step by step actions.
Think of building a house. In my area, it starts with clearing the land. Then a big hole is dug and fashioned into a basement (I’ve learned that not all homes in the south have basements; just go with it). Then you cement the basement. Then you build the frame of the house, which includes a roof. Next come the outer walls. Once that’s done, for most everyone else you see a house. However, a lot more work has to be done inside, but now it’s easier to get to because the workers are more protected from the elements.
All of these things are done in increments, and I left a lot of stuff out. Still, if it’s your house, you start to swell with excitement with each new addition; think of your goals that way.
2. Find the positives in everything you want to do and only concentrate on those.
If you read this blog or my other blog often enough you know that I always espouse the belief of positive thoughts over negative thoughts. Thus, if you want to learn something, instead of thinking about how hard it is you should be thinking about how good you’ll feel when you achieve it. If you need to lose weight, you should be thinking about your health and, once again, how you’ll feel rather than the work it’s going to take to lose it.
I know a lot of people who say they thrive off negative energy, such as wanting to show someone who didn’t believe in them how wrong they were. I’m not going to deny that works, but it’s not as sustaining as doing things for yourself rather than against someone else’s beliefs.
3. Think of your own interest rather than someone else’s interest.
This one is somewhat controversial but stick with me for a moment.
I know some people who say “I want to do ‘blank’ to show my kid/spouse/parent that I could do it”, or “I want to do ‘blank’ for my kid/spouse/parent”. In essence, they see themselves as doing it for someone else; that’s not true when you think about it.
Doing what needs to be done is always in one’s own best interest. When you think you’re doing it for someone else, you’re actually doing it for yourself, because “you” want something for a specific reason, even if someone else is involved. You need to keep that in mind because, strangely enough, it turns out that when you really believe you’re doing it for someone else you’re more likely to fail.
I’m not the only one saying something like this by the way. There’s a post by a lady named Gretchen Rubin titled Why I Try Not To Do Things For Others, But Instead, Do Them For Myself, where she talks about finding happiness once she learned this as a concept. Also, a book I’m presently reading called Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin talks about the concept of taking control of your own actions because they’re really the only thing one can control, and then things will come together for you even if in some way they’ll involve other people.
It might seem selfish, but remember the recommendation on every flight you take: “put on your own mask before helping someone else put theirs on”.
4. There’s always a way to do something you might not believe can be done.
Finally we get to the point where the second video comes into play. Last summer I was having major problems keeping my glucose levels under control; I’m diabetic, in case you’re new here. I knew I had to do something to get it under control because it was damaging my eyes and my feet and probably other things I didn’t know about.
I decided that walking was going to be the way I addressed this problem. Lo and behold, it worked. However, when I started I was out of town on a consulting gig down south. When that ended and I came home… it was cold! Even if we have a few days of warmth here and there in November, it’s starting to get really chilly at that point, and of course December through May… it’s cold and snowy in my area.
Sure, I could get out and walk by bundling myself up, but not only is it somewhat problematic but dangerous, especially once the snowbanks start building up. Less room to walk, cars sliding all over the place… not the best of circumstances, and you can’t go to the lake and walk either. So… see the video, which is fairly brief:
Before I made this video I had friends wondering how I was putting in the number of steps I was getting every day. As my buddy Rasheed says, if you really want to do something the universe will help you figure it out. 🙂
That’s what I’ve got for you; so, get going and do what you need to do!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 😉
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.
In 2006 the movie The Secret, there was a lot of talk about the overall premise, which is the laws of attraction. I had actually written more specifically about it a day before on my business blog. It’s actually that post that leads me into talking about it today.
I wrote both of those posts in 2009. Over the years, I’ve worked on applying the concepts to many parts of my life. I’ve had some successes with it and some negative things because of it. Yes, I blame both on the laws of attraction, but nothing overly metaphysical, which both the book and the movie alluded to a lot.
To begin with, I do believe in the laws of attraction. I believe it in the way that I believe that good begets good and bad begets bad. In that, I mean that if you think positively about things you bring positivity to you more often than bad, and if you think negatively you bring negativity to you more often than good. Sure, every once in a while something happens that counters each of these things, but based on people’s patterns of thinking they’ll soon go back to the way things were before because, when all is said and done, if you have a pattern of thinking one way you tend to fall back into that pattern without thinking about it.
Whew, that was a mouthful! By now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this article. If you were paying attention to my little marketing push from last week you know that I talked a lot about changing my business model and asked people to give me their thoughts on what they’d like to learn from me that they might consider paying for.
I went into it knowing that I wasn’t going to get what I was asking for as far as the numbers go. However, that wasn’t the real reason I did it.
I did it because I needed to change my mind’s focus, and in my own way I decided to use a laws of attraction principle to help me do it. This leads me into being able to talk about some specific types of rules concerning the laws of attraction, especially as they pertain to me. So, let’s get started.
1. You must establish a reason for wanting to change.
The reason this part is important is that it helps you to bring focus to what it is you want in your life. Not only that, but the laws of attraction don’t pay as much attention to whether what you’re thinking about is positive or negative, good or bad… just what you’re thinking about more than anything else.
In my case, I decided it was time to think of my business in more positive terms, because I have to admit I’ve been pretty negative about how things have been going over the last bunch of months. So, the reason I wanted to change is because I wanted to work from a positive point of view; who doesn’t want more positivity in their lives? So, I thought about how I wanted a mind shift, and last week was a big part of pushing my thoughts towards the good side of things.
Oh yeah; it’s working. 🙂
2. You want to have a working goal; it doesn’t have to be overly specific.
If you checked out any of last week’s posts on any of my blogs, you saw that I had a lot of options for what I would create as well as options on how I could deliver them. The overall working goal is that I want to create more products and set myself up for doing more live presentations, since my dream is to be a professional speaker when I grow up.
You know, I keep saying that previous sentence over and over but the reality is that I’m already a professional speaker; I’ve just been out of the game for a few years. So, this is a goal that I know is attainable.
The reason you don’t have to be overly specific is, as The Secret mentions, you never really know how things will manifest themselves, no matter how much you put into things. For instance, I could create what I consider to be the perfect package on a specific topic and not sell one because of factors I can’t control. At the same time I could create something that was more work than pleasure that could sell tons.
This means the only thing I can control is the creation of the packages and the delivery system; that leaves a lot to chance. However, we address that with the next rule.
3. Establish something that you “know” will make you happy.
Something I’ve been working on over the past couple of weeks is the language I use when I’m writing on all my blogs. Over the years, I tend to use language that’s not overly forceful or definitive; like this sentence. lol
I’ve always tried to be more realistic in my language and things I say. If I could guarantee something, then I’d say it; otherwise, I’d hedge my bet by saying things like “if you try this thing out you “might” become more proficient…” That’s encouraging isn’t it? Not even close! I’m betting you’d be more impressed if I said “if you do this you will become more proficient…” I actually owe this change in language to something Lynn Terry told me a couple of months ago when I first started marketing my latest book on leadership, Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy.
As soon as I started thinking about creating products based on things I know and working more on getting speaking engagements and doing live presentations… I started feeling happier than I had in a long time. I have a long way to go of course but feeling better means I’m moving in a positive direction… I think I’ve beaten that horse enough already. lol
4. Open your mind to allow outside factors positive access.
Last week I wrote 15 posts, which I distributed between 4 blogs. I offered 9 major topics of discussion and 6 methods of delivery for people to choose from. Yet, something that happened is that 3 people who voted asked for me to deliver a YouTube option, which I hadn’t included.
This kind of threw me off because I’d had problems sharing private videos in the past and hadn’t even tried to broach the subject again. However, since I was asked I decided it was time to do some research to find out how I could do it. I found out it’s a pretty simple thing to do (knowledge is always nice!), so I added it as an option to all the blogs for the final posts.
Learning something new and finding it could work well for me was a very positive experience. If I hadn’t kept my mind open to it then it’s possible that others who might have wanted it that way would have been left out of the loop, I might have hurt sales, and I wouldn’t have learned something that made me smile.
5. You’ve got to do the work!
One of the major criticisms of the movie The Secret is that it seemed to be telling people that all they had to do was think about things and those things would come to them. Well, if one only paid attention to the visuals that’s what they’d have gotten.
Yet, on more than one occasion someone said you couldn’t just sit around thinking about things and hope they’d come. You had to work towards what you wanted, while being open for it to manifest itself in ways you weren’t expecting.
To that end, last week I started working on outlines for two of the things I’m looking to create. I spoke to a few people locally about wanting to put on some presentations… hopefully paid. I got some ideas, but the truth is that I wanted to get a feel for how people thought about me locally; I’ve been out of the game for a long time here.
I also read a book by one of my friends about how to get more paid speaking opportunities. We briefly talked also. I met up with another friend who passed along the name of someone who helps people get speaking gig; yay! And I sold another book as well; yay again!
And, of course, I had 15 posts marketing the topics and concept throughout 4 blogs, but also wrote two other posts, worked on a couple of my websites, and realized that I needed to market my other products and speaking topics more.
You know what? I worked a lot last week, and I plan on working a lot this week… though it’ll probably start either Monday afternoon or Tuesday, as I have a lot of other stuff to catch up on. However, I’m ready to put in the work, and when I’ve finished something… I’m ready to market it.
Those are my thoughts on it all; what are yours? Are you ready to try to do something similar, or are you going to wait around to see what I can do?