Quick Blog Content Idea: Answer Comments in New Blog Posts

Welcome to Day 6 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Questions And Answers Computer Keys Showing Support Knowledge And WikisComing up with fresh content ideas for your blog isn’t always easy. Today I have a great new content tip for you and the best part is that some of your post is already written. It’s a bit like getting to skip ahead in line. Perfect for those busy days when your calendar is full but you want to get a blog post published.

Got Questions?

Keep an eye out for questions in comments. Save them, horde them, and when you need a quick post, take that question – copy and paste it into your blog and answer it. That was easy, wasn’t it?

Of course you want to answer your readers right away when you see the comment come up. Go ahead and do that. But keep a mental tab on this question and ask yourself this:

  • Will other people have the same question? (99% of the time the answer will be yes)
  • Is there more I can share on the topic?

If you answer yes to both questions (and most likely you will), then the commenter question qualifies for a follow up blog post. And that’s exactly what it is; a follow up to the original comment question and your answer.

Answer those questions

Start by introducing the topic or question. Share the question and then let your readers know that you wanted to give a more detailed answer, thus the new blog post. Share the answer you gave the reader in the original comment and elaborate as you see fit. That’s it. A quick and easy blog post and for a portion all you had to do was copy and paste.

Format it, add a graphic and you’re ready to hit publish. Rinse and repeat with other questions as they pop up in your comments. Readers love these types of posts because they often had the exact same question, but they were too shy to ask.

Your Personal FAQ section

If you find yourself with quite a few questions, you may even want to make this a new featured category on your blog. It will quickly become a valuable resource to your readers.  You can even answer them all at once (in different blog posts) and schedule them to be published on a certain day.  If you are consistent with this, your readers will know look forward to reading the answers.  You can also do this as a video if you would like just to give people a more personal connection to you as you are answering their questions.

It will save you time in the long run. By being thorough in your answer, it will not only apply to this exact question, but a multitude of related questions. When they pop up in comments, all you have to do is reply with a link to the post. You have created your own personal FAQ section for your blog.

Wasn’t that easy?  So, do you have any questions for me today?

Welcome to Day 4 of the Blog-A-Day October Challenge

Use Drafts to Get Ahead with your Blogging

writing-quillI have a quick tip for you today that will come in handy as you’re working on getting ahead on your blogging. It’s using the draft feature. Yes, it’s handy that WordPress and most other blogging platforms have a way to save your posts as drafts so you can continue to work on it over the course of a few days. It’s even better that they usually auto-save for you – at least it is in my case. But there’s another great way to use the draft feature.

You can use drafts to get ahead of the blogging game in several different ways. Let’s start with the most obvious one.

Use Drafts to Work on Your Next Blog Post (or Two)

The most obvious way to use drafts is of course to work on your current blog post until it is ready to publish. But don’t just stop there. If you know you have a busy day tomorrow or later on in the week, go ahead and give yourself a head start by creating a draft and working on it here and there as you can fit it in your busy day. You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to wrap up that particular post.

Use Drafts to Plan Out Your Week

You can also use drafts to plan out your blogging for the week. Let’s say you want to post 5 times per week. Come up with 5 topics and create a draft for each. Then start working on them, making sure you wrap up and publish at least one of the posts on each of your publishing days.

Not only will this keep you on track and show you at a glance what you’ll be blogging about this week, it also allows you to work on multiple posts throughout the week, giving you options when you get stuck on writing one post.

Use Drafts as A Way of Storing Blog Post Ideas

Let’s wrap this up with my favorite way to use the drafts feature. And that’s to use it as storage container for ideas for future blog posts. Here’s how to do it. When you get an idea for a blog post, go ahead and create a draft. Come up with a working title and make a quick note of what your blog post will be about. If you’re feeling ambitious, go ahead and write a quick outline for the post. Then save it as a draft.

Do this anytime you come up with an idea and save them for later. Then whenever you need something to blog about, browse through your drafts and pick one of these. The idea is there and you may even have done some of the writing already. These drafts make for fast blog posts and are just the thing when you’re suffering from writer’s block.

Welcome to Day 2- Blog-A-Day October Challenge

Simple Ways to Brainstorm Post Ideas Based on Categories

Blank notepad with copyspace surrounded by scrunched up pieces of paper symbolising writers block or brainstorming new ideas

There is nothing worse than sitting in front of your laptop, attempting to write a new blog post with nothing but a blank screen staring at you. We all have those days where inspiration just doesn’t strike and we can’t come up with a single workable post idea.

Or maybe you’re in a rush and you need something quick you can write and publish to stick to your blogging schedule and keep your readers happy. You don’t want to spend a bunch of time trying to come up with something to write about.

In either scenario it’s nice to have a list of blog post ideas ready to use. And that’s what we’ll work on today. I’ll walk you through a simple little brainstorming exercise that will result in dozens of blog posts ideas you can use over the coming weeks and months, or whenever you need a little extra inspiration.

Grab a notebook and pen, and let’s start brainstorming a whole list of future blog posts. I prefer to do this exercise with pen and paper, but if that’s not your thing, by all means use a word document, spreadsheet or whatever program you prefer for brainstorming topic ideas.

Step 1 – Log Into Your Blog and Make a List of Your Categories

Start by making a list of all the categories on your blog. You may have a pretty good idea of the main ones or the ones you use the most, but there may be some you are forgetting.

Log into your blogging interface and look up the categories you have set up. Copy them down in your notebook, leaving at least 10 lines of space below each category.

Or if you are just getting started, think of all the areas that you want to post about.  One simple way would be to think of all the questions that you are asked by your customers.  Make a list and then put them into categories.

Step 2 – Come Up with At Least 10 Blog Post Ideas Per Category

Now that you have your list of categories, come up with 10 blog post ideas for each category. Don’t censor yourself, just jot down the first things that come to mind. Remember this is a brain storm. The idea is to generate ideas without judgment.  You’re free to tweak, edit, and reject them later. For now, get them on paper and come up with a long list of potential post ideas.

Step 3 – Rinse and Repeat as Needed

One of the best things about this technique is that you can repeat it whenever you need a new batch of blog post ideas. By the time you get back to this brain storming technique (which means you’ve used up all the previous ideas), it will be easy to come up with fresh blog post topics for each category. And since you’re focusing on coming up with ideas for each category, no area of your blog will be neglected over the coming weeks.

Give it a try and see if this simple idea doesn’t help you generate a long list of future blog post topics.  Love to hear how this has helped you come up with your next great ideas.

 

5 Reasons Blogging is Good for Your Business

Blogging for business - internet concept -isolated text in vintage letterpress wood type

No matter what kind of company you have, you need to be blogging. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer or blogger, it’s essential because your business blog offers another touch point with your customers and It’s easier to do than you think.

Here are 5 reasons why you should blog:

  • To Create a More Personal Connection
  • Establish Your Expertise and Credibility
  • Customize Your Marketing
  • Improve your Search Engine Traffic
  • Increase Visibility for Your Products and Services

Create a More Personal Connection

Like social media, your blog gives you a chance to connect with your current and potential customers on a more personal level. While your website is a static page that simply tells them about your business, your blog is interactive. It’s a way to start a dialog where they can leave comments and get to know you better. Your blog gives your business a human face. Make sure that you use it as a way to humanize your business. In order to connect with your readers, be active and reply to each comment they leave.

Establish Your Expertise and Credibility

One of the best things about a business blog is that it gives you an opportunity to establish your expertise and build your reputation. You can blog about things you know. For example, if you’re a law firm, blog about simple legal questions people have. If you’re a cleaning company, share some easy house cleaning tips. Your blog shows your website visitors what you know and this engenders trust in your business. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust.

Customize Your Marketing

Blogging offers a much more effective and lower cost way to promote your business than other methods. If you want to place advertisements on other sites, this costs a bit of money. Other costly methods don’t make the same kind of impact that a blog written by you does. You also get information on your target market through their reading behavior and comments. Thus you know what problems they are looking to solve and you can offer them the right solution. When you are coming from a place of serving your customers and helping them, they will come back for more information.

Improve Your Search Engine Traffic

Adding a blog to your static website is a great way to attract traffic from search engines. The search engines favor sites that have fresh, updated content. If you write just one blog post per week, you’ll see more searches coming your way, especially if you choose a few good keywords for each post. Write two or three blog posts a week and you’ll really see your traffic climb. If you are making these posts relevant to your audience, you will also see more comments and these also act as fresh content in the eyes of the search engines.

Increase Visibility for Your Products and Services

Through your blog, you can tell your customers about your products and services. Let them know about discounts, special offers, new inventory items and offline events that you’re participating in. You can also add a feed to your social media sites so that every blog post shows up there as well.

Now, if writing gives you a case of the willies, don’t despair. Blogging isn’t like writing the Great American Novel. Focus on the wants, needs, interests and questions of your customers. Write short, conversational posts as if you’re speaking directly to them. Pick something related to your business and share your expertise with them. Your business blog doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel; it just needs to be helpful and engaging.

If you would like help getting started or just need more ideas, you can download my e-book “Blogging Brainstorming” at www.blogadaychallenge.com. This is the first of a 10 article series on Business blogging to help you thrive as a business blogger. Look for my next article, “Where to Start with Your Business Blog” tomorrow.

Welcome to Wednesday and Day #24 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Living each day wstartdaywithpositivethoughtsith intention is a core focus of mine.  I begin everyday in my hot tub where I think about how I want to experience my day.  I review what I am going to do that day, who I am going to connect with and how I want to FEEL about all of my interactions.  And I literally, set my focus for the day thorough my intentions.  And since these intentions are positive (such as feeling connected, productive or creative…), my day starts off in a positive manner.

It is as if I am setting my map for the day. However,  I don’t just leave the rest of my day to chance.  I check in throughout the day to make sure I am on course with my intentions and to reconnect if I have gone off-course (for example, if I intended to feel creative and am a bit stuck, I will do something that helps me be creative.)   I also set mini-intentions before each call I make, before each class I teach, and before each interaction I have so I can feel aligned.  This allows me to show up fully present.

So what is your intention for your day?

It’s Tuesday and Day #23 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Thought I would do something fun for today, the 23rd of the month.  Here are some reasons why 23 is the greatest number of all time as stated by www.urbandictionary.com  I changed # 8 to It is Tennis Day because that is important to me (see my blog post on “Why I am addicted to Professional Tennis”) and #12 because, come on, we all need to celebrate International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.  Enjoy!

dog cooling with a martini refreshment cocktail

Here are 23 Reasons why 23 is the greatest number:   It is…

1. a prime number, as are 2 and 3.
2. Michael Jordan’s number.
3. the NBA record for most consecutive points scored by a single player in a game, done by none other than Michael Jordan.
4. the number of chromosomes in a human sperm or egg.
5. the angle between the earth’s magnetic and rotational axis.
6. the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees N Latitude.
7. the Tropic of Capricorn at 23 degrees S Latitude.
8.  Tennis Day
9. the most quoted Psalm in the bible (“The Lord is my  shepherd…”
10. the number of people executed in “A Tale of Two Cities”
11. the smallest number of people for which there is at least a 50% chance that two will share the same birthday.
12. International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
13. one of the “Lost” numbers on the television show….also the sum of two of the other numbers (8 & 15)and the solution to 42-15-4=23, all of which are also Lost numbers.
14. the number of times Caesar was stabbed in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
15. has been prominently featured in the following: Serendipity, Futurama, Star Wars A New Hope, Monty Python The Life of Brian, Seinfeld, The Big Lebowski, The Matrix Reloaded, and Die Hard III among MANY MANY other movies.
16. the number of flavors Dr. Pepper claims to be a blend of.
17. the number of distinct orientations of Tetris pieces.
18. the sum of U2, the greatest band ever. U is the 21st letter of the alphabet.
19. the number of letters in the latin alphabet.
20. the number of the Illuminati.
21. the letter W in the english alphabet, a letter with 2 points down and 3 points up.
22. the smallest number of integer sided boxes that tile a box such that no two boxes share a common length.
23. the only US president to serve between nonconsecutive terms of another president (23rd president Benjamin Harrison serving between Grover Cleveland’s terms).

Welcome to Monday and Day 22 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Good morning!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready to tackle our last week of the Blog-A-Day Challenge.  Time to play with some other mediums as I have seen some of our bloggers doing.  Think also about creating a way to have people connect with you beyond the challenge (special report, a webinar Mondayetc).

 

Wishing you a Magnificent Monday! 

Welcome to the Weekend and Day 20 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

WAHOO!!! enjoytheweekendWe are entering the last 10 days of the challenge.  Keep up the great work.  Big shout outs to Kim, Karen, Juan, Terry and Cliff for consistently posting AND commenting.  And welcome to our new bloggers who have been sharing some great information.  Look forward to another great week!

Enjoy your weekend!

Welcome to Day 19 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

If you are familiar with my work, then you know that helping people understand and live into their values is deeply important to me.  It is my mission to support people in living out their passion by creating businesses that support their dreams and desire to serve others.   Having each of you share what is important to you on this forum has made me smile each and every day.  So, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for each of you.Livingourvalues

Thank You and have a nice weekend!

Welcome to Day 17 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

 

Collection of colorful speech bubbles and dialog balloons

Wow, the days seem to be flying by in this challenge.

I was on a blab yesterday talking about how to repurpose of your content.  Since leverage is one of my favorite words, here are just a few tips about how to increase the visibility and reach of your blog posts.  I will be writing more about this later today:

  1. When you write a blog post, take the few extra minutes to share it on social media (or have it set up automatically to share as I do)
  2. Look back on comments or on topics that you felt a passion for and repurpose it by creating a short video or you can create a special report that you invite people to download.  By seeing you on video or having someone opt-in to receive information from you, you are creating a stronger relationship.
  3. Share your information with other bloggers or in forums by either offering to guest blog or posting a link back to your blog posts.

If you missed my post yesterday about 5 ways to promote your blog, here it is again:

5 Ways to Promote Your Blog

 

Have a great day!

Welcome to Day 16 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge Feb 16, 2016

Get More Engagement for your Blog

3d small person the superhero standing in a confident pose in a raincoat. 3d image. Isolated white background.

 

Now that you have been writing for over 2 weeks and getting into a rhythm, I want to share some tips to expand your reach.  I will be expanding upon these on my blog today so I will post that later today.  Hope these tips help you and push your blog to heroic levels.

  1. Social Media: Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even LinkedIn to help create and expand your audience.
  2. Keywords:  What words do people use when searching for the information that you are providing.
  3. Great Headlines: Use headlines that will create interest and have people share your post
  4. Guest Blogging: Blog on other sites to increase your audience as well as add value for another blogger.  Create relationships with people who offer complimentary information.
  5. Power Commenter: Find other blogs which offer information to people who are in your target audience.  Make relevant comments and you can create interest for your own blog.

Keep up the great posts!

Welcome to Day 15 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Happy President’s Day

You are at the halfway mark!!

Composite photo of a Bald Eagle with a flag and fireworks in the background. Given a grunge overlay for a nice aged effect. Nice patriotic image for Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Presidents Day.

 

Whether you have been blogging everyday or you have dropped off a little, make the commitment this week to get back on track.  Finish strong.  One easy way is to create a theme for the week and write different blog posts related to that theme.  Ideas include: a comprehensive post introducing the topic, a shorter tip sheet,  an infographic or perhaps even a poll to engage your audience.  You could even add in a short video.  Then a summary at the end of the week.  Have fun with your blog.

Have a great day!

Happy Valentine’s Day: Welcome to Day 14 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Congrats on almost being halfway through the challenge!

I love blogging

I am very impressed with the level of dedication you have shown to yourself and each other. We are almost halfway there (darn that leap year).  Please take a moment and complete this survey. I will keep it open until Monday at 5 PM ET and share the results later next week.

 

Here is the poll:

http://sguiher.polldaddy.com/s/week-2-of-blog-a-day-challenge

 

 Thanks and have a great Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Happy Saturday: Day 13 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

Happy Weekend!!

Happy Weekend Concept

Wishing you a wonderful Saturday.  I look forward to sitting in front of the fire and catching up on my reading tonight.  Many of you may be doing the same. This weekend I invite you to try something new on your blog.  Maybe you decide to shoot a video or share a quote that inspires you.

I will be posting the survey here over the weekend. Please take the time to complete it (should take less than 5 minutes).

 

Also you may have noticed that I figured out how to add the social buttons.  PLEASE use them to share the post- this will help all of you.  Thanks.

Have a fantastic weekend!!

 

Day 12 of the Blog-A-Day Challengers: And the winners are

Congrats to All of You!
Hand holding a winner trophy cup in multi colored confetti concept vector illustration

 

 

You are all doing sharing such great information and support that each day I get excited to read what you have shared.

Thanks for being so committed to yourself and each other.

 

 

 

There are a few people who have really stood out by their posts and comments for the first week and I want to give them a BIG SHOUT-OUT:

Karen Langston: www.karenlangston.com

Juan d”Argent: www.noeconnect.com

Kathy Marcino: www.kmmdisc.com

Terry Green: www.bizeasesupport.com

Cliff Martin: www.claritytodesire.com

We have another survey coming this weekend about week 2.  PLEASE fill it out as I really do value your feedback.

Enjoy your weekend!

It is Day 11 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge Feb 11, 2016

Gear system

 

You are moving along like a well-designed machine and it is getting noticed.

Please continue to share your wisdom and support with each other.

I am traveling back home today and will announce the winners for week 1 tomorrow.  Thanks for your patience as I sort through all the blog comments!!

Have a great day!

Day 10 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge: Happy Hump Day

camelHappy Hump Day!!

We are at Day 10 and I just want to say “You Got THIS!!”

Your posts have been interesting, engaging and informative which is just what will help your audience.

With that, here is DAY 10!

Keep Thriving!

 

 

 

 

It’s Day 9 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge- Feb 9, 2016

Thank you in different languages

 

Thank you to those who completed the survey; appreciate the feedback.  Also LOVE how you are getting into a groove.

Many of you commented about getting new ideas about how to blog and what to blog about and about the support of the community.

You all ROCK!!!   Keep going!!! 

 

Welcome to Week 2- It is Day 8 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge

What a great community we have here!

Concept of connecting

Thank you to everyone who has participated this past week.  Also Thank you to those who have answered my poll about our 1st week of blogging.  Very much appreciate the feedback.  The survey closes at Noon today.  I am excited to read your posts this week!

Enjoy and bring on week 2!

Blog-A-Day Challenge Day #7- What a week!

The words TIME TO VOTE on a clock

This has been a great week and I want to say “Great Job everyone”.  From people blogging for the first time, to video blogs, to posts going viral, we had it all and it is only the first week!  The topics have been amazing, with posts covering mind, body, spirit, health and wellness and all aspects of business and, of course, a  bit of fun thrown in.  🙂

PLEASE take the time to complete the survey and vote for your favorites and also provide some feedback.

 

Here is the link to the survey:

Blog-A-Day Challenge Bloggers- What are your thoughts?

Thanks and have fun if you are enjoying the Super Bowl festivities today!

Wahoo- It is Day 6 of the B-A-D Challenge (2/6/16)

Welcome to the Weekend! 

I know for some of you this is catch up time.  For others, this might be the time to try something new- a quote, an infographic, or perhaps even a video.  Great job Janet Vasil on all your video blogs (vlogs).  love the weekend

So keep posting, keep commenting and PLEASE Keep Sharing on Social Media.  You can go to www.facebook.com/thrive4success and share these posts (this increases the visibility of the challenge and also each of your posts) and also share each other’s posts.

Look for a poll tomorrow about our first week of posts.

 

Day 5 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge: Feb 5, 2016

Happy Friday to you all!  And a Big Welcome to a few new people who have jumped in over the past 2 days.

Print

So I have been asked if we are blogging over the weekend and the answer is YES!!  It is important to keep the momentum going and I find that it is easier to do that if you continue through the weekends.  It is also a time that I know several of you have told me that you are going to catch up with reading posts.  It can also be a time to stack your writing so you have some blog posts  ready for the weekend.

Keep up the amazing posts and comments.  LOVE it all!!

Welcome to Day 4 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge (Feb 4, 2016)

Collection of colorful speech bubbles and dialog balloons

Hey B-A-D Bloggers!! You all rock!  I love the way you are engaging in conversation and also supporting one another.  Remember to also share via social media.  The increased visibility is happening.  Kristin Smedley has had over 800+ views on her blog in just the past 2 days.  Check it out if you have not already.  I realized you might not have been seeing my posts because they are on my blog but not in the comments so I will be posting them here as well as on my site.

Thanks again for being so awesome!!

Keep thriving~ sue

 

Blog-A-Day Challenge: Day 2

GroundhogWelcome to Day 2 of the Blog-A-Day Challenge:

Congrats on all the great posts yesterday!  Here are a few things I want to clarify so please read carefully:

  1. Post your blog post first on your own pages (blog or Facebook)
  2. Post the link to that post in the comments on the day of the challenge (for today, post your link in this comment section)
  3. THEN go and read your fellow participants blogs (do as many as you have time for)
  4. Comment on THEIR blog comment section (each of you need to allow comments on your blog)- Doing this will increase  visibility for all.

I love the comments and connections that are already happening.  I have heard from several of you that you are having fun, are stepping outside of your comfort zone or just plain GLAD that you are participating.   “WAHOOO” is all I can say!

Look forward to seeing your posts for today….  And yes, if you didn’t post yesterday, feel free to jump in today.

 

She called me Fierce: Finding my Brand Voice

Recently,  I was working with my coach on finding my voice.  This was somewhat ironic to me since I have 28 years of experience as a communication expert (including doctoral work in adult communication, teaching MBA communication classes for an Ivy League school for the past seven years AND being a writing coach for that same school.)

Perhaps you can relate, I was stuck on how to write to my community not the content I want to share with you but how to say it.  Put me in front of an audience or a video camera, no problem. Tell me to email my community and suddenly I was without words.

So we started with adjectives.

She asked me, “How would you describe myself?”  Oh, that was so hard.  At first I was speechless and then I said a few lame (though true) things like “hard-working”, “smart”, “somewhat funny” (though what I really meant was playful and goofy.)

And that is when she said it!  “Sue, I have met you and I heard you speak and you are FIERCE!!  You show up and play full-on.”

 

Well, that hit me smack in the face and if I had a red nose, I would have been flying in the air like Rudolph did when Clarice called him “Cute”.

“She called me F-I-E-R-C-E, she called me F-I-E-R-C-E”

 

 

Fiercely- Caring….

And, you know what, Denise was right.  I am Fierce!  Fiercely- Caring.  I fiercely care for my family, my friends and all those in my community.  I often say to my clients that I care about their businesses as if they are my own and I always want the best for those around me.

This sense of fiercely caring also shows up in the coaching and teaching spaces I create.  It is why I tell it like it is and do it with a caring touch (I have often been described as having “an iron fist in a velvet glove” or a “steel boot tip in fuzzy slippers” depending upon what you need.)

Don’t come to me if you just want me to sugar-coat things for you because I don’t.  I quickly get to the heart of what is keeping you stuck, call you on it and then help you move forward.  I do this because I care about transformation and I care about you.   Not only about your business success, I care about you living as your best self.

That is the caring piece.  My goal is to always move you forward so you can take the next step.  This fiercely-caring me is how I show up everywhere offline.

I am committing in 2017 to bringing the fiercely-caring me to my community online.  I will be sharing more of who I really am and what I care about in an effort to better support you.  I also like giving gifts so I will be doing that more often here on my blog.  The first one is my communication ebook to help you communicate better.  You can get it as my gift here:

http://thrivingentrep.wpengine.com/100-tips-better-business-communication/

Enjoy!

 

Happy Saturday- Life of a Thriving Band Mom

chris

Well, it is Saturday which means we had a football game last night.  Not jsut any game, it was the last game of the season and the North/South game- the two sister school battling it out.  Well South (our school) won by a score of 35-14 which was a nice way to cap it off for our seniors.  Also Chris decided to bring out the “Pink Trombone: for the last time this season.

Today it is off to the State Championship game at West Chester University!

Here is a view of our performance last weekend.

Wish us luck and Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Understanding Your Procrastination Style

Understanding Your Procrastination Style

2-understanding-your-procrastination-style-image2There are many reasons solopreneurs and business owners procrastinate. It could be due to perfectionism, overwhelm, or problems prioritizing. The key to overcoming procrastination is learning what your procrastination style is and how to deal with it. Once you’re armed with this information, you’ll find it easier to defeat procrastination and get back on track. it makes sense that each of us is unique so there is not a one size fits all solution. See which one fits you…

It’s Time to Put Down the Cape, Super Woman

It would be an understatement to say you have a lot on your plate (and lots of plates in your life.) You have so much to do that they are overflowing with tasks. Your to do lists are usually a mile long. You’re always in motion, bouncing between projects and deadlines. You take on too much and usually, you don’t realize that until it’s too late. You may procrastinate by avoiding your to do list or working on tasks that are necessary but in the long run, won’t make you money.

What you Struggle With- Refusing to Delegate:

Take a deep breath and take a critical look at your to do list right now. Ask yourself what tasks are ones that only you can do, like serving your customers/clients or creating your new service package. Okay, so these you may need to do.  But if a task doesn’t require your attention, consider delegating it. You can delegate by hiring a virtual assistant or taking on an intern who’s interested in your niche (or even hiring your own kid.)

Stop Being a Perfectionist with Your Projects

Not only do you feel the pressure to get everything done on your to do list, you also feel pressure to have it done perfectly. You hate doing anything that you don’t deem your best work and you’re continually finding flaws in the finished project. You may procrastinate by telling yourself you’ll release your next product/program after you’ve polished your copy one last time or gotten two more testimonials.

What you Struggle with- Failing to Launch.

Launching a new product or service is scary. You may find it helps to hire a coach that will encourage you to launch version 1.0 and upgrade your offering later on. You could also try setting a public deadline. Let the world know when they can expect your product and stick to that date, no matter what.

Being A People Pleaser Means Your Needs Are Ignored

Whenever someone presents you with a new idea or project, you jump on it. You’re enthusiastic and you love getting to say, “Yes”. The problem is if you say, “Yes” to everything, you end up saying, “No” to important things. You may procrastinate by taking on someone else’s workload instead of tackling your own. You tell yourself you’ll work on growing your business as soon as you finish this marketing task for a client.

What you Struggle with- Failing to Prioritize.

You put others’ needs and wants before your own. In some cases, this is admirable and it comes from a good place. But if you want to succeed with your business, you have to become ruthless and willing to cut projects and clients that aren’t right for you. Stop trying to fit your work around everyone else’s needs. Instead, do your work first and if you have extra time and energy, you can invest in helping someone else.

Procrastination is not a diagnosis. Rather, it’s a symptom of something else that you need to address. Once you understand the root cause of your procrastination, you can begin to beat it and get back to being productive.

 

The Importance of Video on Social Media

Dog shooting video

The Importance of Video on Social Media and Why You Might Be Missing Out

Dog shooting videoEven though I train lots of people to present well so they look good on video, I have not been using it as much as I know I could.   This got me thinking?  I began to research to find out the answer to this question,  “Exactly how important is video in social media today?”   Some would say that it’s absolutely everything, and there are those who have built a successful social media marketing campaign solely around video.

There are three key reasons why video has become increasingly important:

1. It’s simply popular. Video gets more sharing and other interaction on social media than other types of content. People love videos.
2. Videos appeal to the most hyper-active age group of people on the internet – those in their teens, twenties, and early thirties.
3. Major social media sites have native features that allow you to share video easily and there is a wealth of tools that make video production easy.

One final reason is that your competitors are probably already using video.

Video is likely to become even more important in the future, so if you’re not using it now, it’s time to get started. A good place to start is to observe your own social media activity. Have you watched any videos on social media in the last few weeks? What were they and why did you watch them? This will help to give you some ideas on the type of videos you can produce yourself.

For many businesses just getting started with video, it’s hard to imagine what you might create. Here are some ideas for videos that you can produce yourself:

Answer a Question or Solve a Problem.

Take a common question or problem your customers face that your expertise can solve, and solve it for them in front of the camera. This is especially handy for businesses that perform services like cleaning or repair work. You can actually show your audience how to do it.

Get in Front of the Camera and Talk.

“Vlogs” or “video blogs” are simple but extremely popular on the internet. This is where a person simply sits in front of the camera and talks. Take a topic that’s of interest to your audience and discuss it in a quick video that is just a few minutes. Express your opinion on a topic and and ask for your audience to chime in with theirs

Behind the Scenes.

Take your audience behind the scenes in your business or industry and show them a side they don’t usually get to see. Show how your products are made. One client of mine who made organic bath products would take people behind the scenes once a week and it was very popular.

These are just a few simple ideas to get you started. Remember that videos don’t have to be complex. In fact, short simple videos are  one that are the most shared on social media.  So let’s get shooting!

What is Causing You to be in Overwhelm?

My brain is in overwhelm

 What is Causing You to be in Overwhelm?

Digitally generated My brain has too many tabs open

I know that lots of people are in overwhelm and are feeling like “they are flying by the seats of their pants.”  Rather than me giving more information (perhaps overloading you even more)  today by giving a whole lot of tips or ideas, I am putting my listening ears on and wanting to know a few things from you and then I will respond in the comments section  Perhaps even invite you to a call with me where I will REALLY listen.

So, I am curios- “What is holding you back?”  or “What is Causing you to Be in Overwhelm?”

 

That’s it- I truly want to know and I wish you a wonderful weekend- sue

 

Why You Need Good Listening Skills

Dog listening

The Importance of Having Good Listening Skills

Dog listeningWe often think we are communicating effectively and of course, we want people to take action on what we say. So it can be frustrating when we talk and share a message and NOTHING happens.  Crickets…. Most likely, you were doing only half of what needs to be done to effectively communicate- the talking part. Listening is the other half – perhaps the better half – of all communication. Unfortunately, most people rarely receive any formal training for how to do it properly. Improving your listening skills can enhance your professional and personal life. Follow these practical steps towards becoming a better listener, even in challenging situations where it’s most important.

5 Tips for Better Listening

1. Ignore distractions:

Give the speaker your full attention by looking him/her in the eye. Don’t be looking at your phone or anything else.   Let the speaker know you’re interested. Having an appreciative audience makes it easier for people to express themselves. It will also help you stay alert.
 If you notice your mind wandering, bring it back to the subject at hand.

2. Listen for the main points:

It’s usually more effective to focus on understanding the key points that someone is making, rather than trying to etch each word into your memory. Listen as though you were taking notes even if you’re not.

3. Hear people out.

Let people present what they have to say without being interrupted. Concentrate on what they’re saying rather than formulating your own response. Don’t just wait by patiently until you can have the next word.  Listen for understanding.

4. Encourage people to express themselves: 

Sometimes people are hesitant to approach a sensitive topic. Use open-ended questions and patient pauses to enable a more complete discussion.
Verify the message. With complex or emotionally charged material, it’s important to listen attentively and verify what the other person is saying. You can repeat back a brief summary of the message to be sure you’re both on the same page.

5. Listening with empathy:

One of the best ways to understand what a person is really saying is to put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand their thinking and feelings.
 Manage your own emotions. When you’re listening to something that evokes a strong emotion, you may need to detach yourself temporarily from your feelings. It’s critical to distinguish between what is actually being said and your own assumptions and emotions.

Remember, God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Becoming a better listener can enhance your own life and help you make a more positive contribution to the lives of others. Enjoy the many benefits of improving your listening skills.

Tips for Solopreneurs – Get the Blogging Weight off Your Shoulders

Helpful Blogging Tips

Tips for Solopreneurs – Get Blogging Weight off Your Shoulders

Helpful Blogging Tips“Yikes!”  “I don’t have enough time.” or “I don’t know what I will write about!” is what I often hear when people talk about blogging on a regular basis. .  There’s no question about it – blogging takes time. If you’re a solopreneur with a daily to-do list as long as your arm, you may feel like you don’t have the time to update your blog. However, it might be your day’s most important task, so don’t skip it. Here are some tips for taking the blogging weight off your shoulders and making blogging what it should be – fun, energizing, and creative.

 

Find Your Best Time to Write Your Blog Posts

Everybody has certain times of the day when they feel more inspired than others. For example, you might have your best ideas in the mornings just after you wake up. Set aside some time each day during these periods for working on blog posts. Make it part of your schedule and it will become a habit and ideas will flow and when they do, write away.

Load Them Up

Now even though you have created a schedule and are getting into the habit, sometimes things happen and you have to change your schedule.  So, let’s be prepared for that.   Set aside some special time to write for a longer period of time.  Perhaps you can devote a morning or afternoon (or maybe a whole day) to writing and loading up your blog with draft posts.  You never know what could happen to impact your ability to write. However, if you write a number of posts at one time, when you’re on a roll, you can create enough for several days or weeks. Just upload it to your site in draft form. Then, review and hit publish whenever you’re ready for another post.

Keep a Blogging Idea List

Any time you get an idea for a post, write it down (or jot it in your audio notes.) It could be while you’re at work, out walking around somewhere, or even going to sleep at night. Start an ‘Ideas’ file and just keep adding to it. Whenever you’re feeling uninspired or have writer’s block, refer to this file and pick one that strikes your fancy. You might also set aside some time for brainstorming topics. Let the ideas fly and don’t judge whether they’re ‘good’ or not. An idea you think is off-the-wall now may be a winner later.

Know Where to Get Blogging Ideas

Bookmark some good sites for getting new ideas when you run out. You can find interesting ideas absolutely anywhere online, but some of the best places include forums, question and answer sites, article directories, social media sites, or other blogs. Read what people are talking about. Take each question you see asked online and write a blog post that answers it.

Outsource and Edit

Hire someone to write your blog posts for you and then edit the work they deliver so that it’s ‘you’ and in your blog voice.  (see post on having your own blog voice) One great way to save money doing this is to hire people to write short articles (300 words or less) to use as skeletons that you’ll flesh out. As you edit, expand on the points they make and add your own ideas. This is cheap and it saves you a considerable amount of time. If you find a good writer, you can also let them come up with post ideas for you.

When the Inspiration Dies…

Whenever you don’t feel like blogging, stop. If you push it and write when you’re not feeling inspired, it’ll show. You need to give your readers nothing less than your best. And if you’re feeling uninspired, remember that there are simply days when the writing doesn’t flow. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, maybe shooting a video will be more fun or a quiz or  sharing a quote that inspires you and that will inspire your readers.  Blog posts do not always have to be written articles.  Change it up and have fun with your blog.  And always, share who YOU are with your audience.

Create Your Blog Voice for Your Business

How to Create the Blog Voice for Your Business

Find Your Blog VoiceMany businesses start blogs without a real plan. After all, it’s easy to do and you just need to start writing. But actually, there’s some serious planning involved and one of the major decisions to make is  your blog voice. Just like you need consistent, clear messaging in the rest of your business, a good blog has a clear and consistent voice that is communicated on every page. Consistency helps you create a brand and this is what builds trust with your audience. More importantly, you need a blog that is not a copy of anyone else but a true reflection of you and how you want to show up to your audience.

The Elements of a Blog Voice

What does ‘blog voice’ mean? It sounds simple but it’s made up of a number of different elements including personality, beliefs, tone, style, and type of content. Some questions to ask include:

  • Is your blog going to be strictly factual or opinionated? (are you going to be a technician or thought-leader)
  • What values will it speak to?
  • Is the tone going to be casual and friendly or more professional?
  • Are you going to focus on recent news items, write reviews or offer how-to information?

Personality is an especially important consideration because your blog can’t be dull and formal. The human aspect has to come through. It needs to be engaging and speak to emotions as well as simply giving the reader information.

Your Ideal Reader

Just like any other time you are communicating your message, the best way to determine all the elements of your voice is to picture your perfect reader. Who do you want to become a fan of your blog? If you can imagine this person clearly, you can write posts to them that resonate perfectly. It may take a bit of market research. Find out which demographics are important parts of your niche. Find out what they like and dislike. Learn about how they feel, what they want out of life, and how they see themselves. Some people even draw a physical picture of their ideal reader and look at it whenever they write!  I even recommend going further and naming this person so you can really connect to them as if s/he was sitting next to you.

Your Blog’s Image

Now that you’ve got a clear image of your blog readers in mind, the next step is to create an image for your blog that appeals to them. Consider not only your readers but also your business’s unique selling proposition. The key question to ask yourself here is – ‘How is my blog different than other similar blogs in my industry?’

The answer to this question lies in the specific niche you choose for your blog. One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is trying to be everything to everyone. The truth is that no niche is too specific (unless it’s a market of one person). You need to carve out a unique place for yourself in the blogosphere that will set your blog apart.

Finding Your Voice

Finding a voice for your writing is something all writers must do. If you’re going to blog, you’ve got to consider yourself a writer, even if you don’t have the training, experience or writing chops. Take some time to read different blogs to see how each person’s voice differs. Some write in a very personal style, some are humorous or slightly outrageous, some write posts that are short and to the point. Find your own way of writing that you enjoy and that resonates with your readers.

So, I would love to hear what your voice is…. Share in the comments.

 

How Personal Is Too Personal for Social Media?

How Personal Is Too Personal for Social Media?

Sharing Social Media informationEveryone says that you should show your personal side, even if you’re using social media for your business. Personalizing your content and interactions puts a human face on your business. This is how you build real, authentic relationships. But there are cases where you can be too personal, and you need to steer clear of these or the results could be disastrous.

No “Big Talk”

The type of personal content we share on social media falls under the category of small talk, not “big talk.” You might mention a place you ate today and how it was. You may show a picture of your dog and share a milestone in his or her life. But you would avoid topics like romantic encounters, touchy political issues, or things that annoy you about certain people, unless those topics are a central part of your branding.  We have all seen how too much politics has made people cranky and frankly rude to one another- even leading to the “unfriending” behavior that is happening all too frequently.

Sharing (too many) Problems

Venting and complaining about your problems is more likely to annoy than engage. However, there is a right way to discuss problems that can actually boost engagement. The way to do it is to share a problem you faced that is also a common problem of your audience. Get them to discuss the problem with you. Even better, offer a solution to this common problem or ask your audience to share theirs.

Oops, I Shouldn’t Have Said That

Before posting anything personal, remember that this goes on your permanent record. Read back over it to make sure it isn’t something that might come back to haunt you later. Once you unleash it upon the world, it could be there forever.  

Data Collection

Keep in mind that any personal information you put out there could be accessed by data collectors for nefarious or otherwise malevolent reasons. If you publish something like your address or share pictures of your children, this could compromise your identity or safety.

That’s Not What I Meant

Before posting, always read your content to make sure that it won’t get taken the wrong way. Stories abound on the internet of people making a harmless joke that blew up in their faces and caused major damage to their brand image. Everyone may not be “in on it,” so make sure that your content won’t be misunderstood.

Think about Others

Finally, tread very carefully with the privacy of others. Don’t share personal details about other people unless these are things you know they are open about, themselves. You can always ask them to make sure before posting.

As you get more and more social, remember the goal is to be engaging and inviting so you can connect with more people.

Beyond Overwhelm and Busy to a Space of Intentional Calm

Stay out of overwhelm

slow down, relax, take it easy, keep calm and other motivational lifestyle reminders on colorful sticky notes

Sometime for you to consider this weekend…  In this rush, rush, busy, hurry up world of ours, it is easy to have a sense of overwhelm.  Sometimes it feels too hard to stop and spend some quiet time to relax, unwind and find your center.  And yet, this is crucial.  It is in creating that space that we allow ourselves to feel at peace.

Beyond Overwhelm and Busy to Relaxed and Focused

I am often called the “Queen of Busy” because I am Mom to 3 active kids, I am a business owner, and I also have another job teaching at the graduate level.  So how does the “Queen of Busy” stay out of overwhelm? I start my day by creating a space for peace.  I get up early and I start my day sitting in my hot tub.  Start my day relaxed and creating my thriving mindset by setting intentions,  I decide how I am going to experience my day.  We each get to CHOOSE every moment of every day and how we respond to what is happening to us.  I choose to respond in a positive way that allows me to stay connected and focused on how I was to feel and what I want to achieve.

Although the world is filled with negative influences, I avoid being distracted by them. I remain calm and composed because I embrace the influence of quiet time.  I have already created my focus for the day, even before it fully begins.

Listen to what your heart is telling you

When I stop and listen,  I am confident that I can handle whatever happens throughout my day and I am able to stay on course with my intentions.  I am confident to rise when I have challenging days or are confronted by difficult people. Calm energy envelops each circumstance and produces positivity.  Take the time to Listen to the sounds of your breath and you too will relax. Taking deep breaths in and out will calm your mind and your soul.

Deep breathing produces a quietness that betrays the noise around you. It creates a forcefield that will protects you and gives you a peaceful disposition that aptly tackles the toughest moments.

Be Aligned with your Purpose

Being one with my purpose is important to accepting what life throws your way. When you quietly accept who you are, there are very few things that will be able to rattle your nerves.  You will respond to people, projects, circumstances with an enthusiasm that you may not have known was even possible.  Let that out!  Let your purpose and your gifts shine on everyone around you.

Today, give yourself some  downtime to enjoy connecting with self, family and friends, your environment and NOTICE how you feel. You can connect to this sense of calm and ease whenever you choose.  Approach life from a place of peace and calm and you will experience how much easier and in the flow you can be even when you are very BUSY.

So here is my last question to you?  

What  do you do to achieve  some quiet time when you are constantly on the go?