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

 

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.

Cross-Linking Blog Posts for More Interaction from your Readers

cross-link social media posts

What is Cross-linking?

As your blog starts to grow and you’re adding more and more posts, chances are readers won’t see every single post you write. Why not make it easy for them to find related content by cross-linking where appropriate.  You can even do this across social media platforms.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you blog about social media marketing and a particular post talks about using images effectively on Facebook. You could link within that post to an older post where you talk about using images on Twitter, or a more specific post where you explained how to fix things when Facebook doesn’t pull up the right image from your site. Do you see how this works?

The Power of Leveragecross-link social media posts

Let’s look at another example. Let’s say you’re writing a recipe blog and you’re sharing a new recipe for an amazing BLT tomato salad. You could link to an older post where you shared how to cook bacon in the oven. This is pretty easy stuff, right?  Or you can link to/from a post you did on Pinterest or Instagram or LinkedIn.  What about a video you posted on Youtube?  Sure, link them as well!   The more ways you can connect your content, the better.

This strategy serves a few different purposes. You’re engaging your readers more with your content. This gives them a chance to get to know you and your blog a little better. It also means you’re getting more exposure  and your visitor numbers will start to look better. It also helps you with search engines, believe it or not. They keep track of how long readers stay on your site and if they click around to read more. This is an indication of the quality of your content and your blog. In other words, if you can get readers to stick around longer, it will help your blog rank higher in the search engines.

Be of Service

Let’s not forget about the positive influence this has on your readers. You’re going out of your way to be helpful and share all sorts of great information with them. Not only does this allow your readers to get to know you better, it also builds credibility and trust which is exactly what you want.

Last but not least, the more pages your readers  look at, the higher your chances that they’ll comment or share your links on social media. That, in turn, will help you broaden your reach and grow your audience.  So, let’s see some cross-linking.

Today is the last day I am writing a  “How to” type blog for the October challenge ( I will keep sharing blogging strategies, resources and tips with those in the October Blog-A-Day Challenge so you can sign up  to keep getting this information –  http://www.blogadaychallenge.com).  I would love to hear what you have found helpful so far. 

Starting tomorrow I will demonstrate other ways you can blog and create a relationship with your audience. 

Content Recycle – Turn Your Emails Into Blog Posts

recycle your content

recycleOnce you build a bit of a following with your blog, you will start to get questions and comments via email from your readers. Or you may find yourself chatting with a friend or colleague about a topic, again via email. Take a look at your inbox and more importantly your sent folder right now. Chances are you’re doing a good bit of writing on a regular basis and much of it applies to your target audience.

Reach a larger audience

Isn’t it a shame that many of these emails only go out to one person? Which means only one person potentially reads them?

And what about the emails you send out to your list? Yes, they get seen by many more, but once you’ve sent them, they are gone and a few days later no one will look at them again.

There is an easy little content recycle strategy that will turn those emails into evergreen content for your blog. The basic idea is simple. Anytime you write an email, be it a reply to one person, or an email you send to your list, ask yourself, “Can this content  be repurposed into a blog post?”

Recycling One-on-One Emails

An easy way to recycle one-on-one emails where appropriate is to introduce the topic, share the email conversation, followed by your comment where applicable.

For example, you may share how the conversation started or that you received a question from a reader in response to another post on your site. Then you would share the email they sent you (anonymously unless you’ve gotten permission to share their name) along with your reply.

From there you can elaborate a bit, or give more general advice if it was very specific. This is  a quick and easy post since you did most of the writing when you replied to the email.

Recycling Email Messages and A/R Messages to Your List

Paste the entire email message into drafts and edit away. Maybe you can expand on an idea or tip, or maybe all you need to do is change a few words so it reads more like a blog post than an email. Use the formatting tips we talked about a few days ago (here is the blog on formatting tips)  and you’re good to go.

Anytime you don’t feel like writing much, or don’t know what to blog about, dig through your emails. I’m sure you’ll find something you can use.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Quick Blog Content Idea: Answer Comments in New Blog Posts

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?

Day 5: Blog-A-Day Challenge

Which is Better? Quick Blog Posts vs. Epic Blog Posts

blog post

Blog posts come in all shapes and sizes and range widely in both formatting and word length. Heck, some of them have (almost) no words at all, sharing instead and infographic or a video for example (more on this in a future post.)

For the purpose of today’s post, we’ll compare two different posts that are on opposite ends of the content spectrum – quick posts, or short posts, if you will vs. epic posts.

More than just about the word count

While there is no set number to define a quick post or an epic post, in my mind, short posts are anything under 500 words. Some may define it by a lower number. To me, the post you’re reading right now is on the long end of a quick post, and not just because of the low word count. More on that in a minute.

Epic posts are long, well-thought-out posts that convey a lot of information. They are usually at least 2,000 words long. They also take a lot more research and aren’t something you can quickly sit down and write in an afternoon.

Which brings us to the next big difference between quick posts and epic posts – and one that I think distinguishes between the two better than some random word count.

Epic Posts

An epic post requires some research and planning. You gather your thoughts, figure out what you want to share and convey and then come up with a plan or an outline. From there you spend some time writing a long post that covers a lot of ground. You may also choose to include several different images or graphics to illustrate your point or embed some videos. You may even go so far as to summarize the main points of your post in an infographic.

There’s a lot more work that goes into an epic post and it isn’t something you’ll want to publish two to three times per week. Instead, it’s the rare project you put together to gain authority, links, and hopefully a lot of traffic via social media and the search engines.

Quick Posts

Quick posts on the other hand are something you can write and share quickly. They are shorter and to the point and frankly, are easier to read. These are your bread and butter posts. Quick posts are the posts that you’ll publish several times per week to keep your readers happy & engaged and your blog fresh.

Each type of post has its place in your publishing schedule. Are you using both types of posts?

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 the October Blog A Day Challenge

Getting More Eyes on YOU- increase your visibility now

Hey B-A-D Bloggers-

orange and white 3D illustration with the word blog repeated in different shades

Welcome to the Blog-Day-Challenge October 2016  

This is going to be a great month and this challenge is a little different than the challenges in the past.  First, you don’t even need a blog- you can post on LinkedIN, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Youtube- whatever channel you use to get your message out there.  Frankly all I want is to have more eyes on you.

Each of you are also supporting a great cause, Curing Retinal Blindness (www.crb1.org) at the same time.  How cool is that!!!

The theme this month is MOVING FORWARD because thriving is all about taking one step forward at a time, consistent small actions lead to SUCCESS.

For this weekend (October 1st and 2nd), please introduce yourself in the comments section (this will allow me to approve you as a commenter).  Tell us a little bit about your blog and what you are passionate about.  Post a link here back to your blog so we can all get to know each other better.

Please also throughout the month, go and comment on each other’s blog posts and SHARE them

If everyone comments and shares on social media, everyone will have greater visibility. You can still invite your friends at  blogadaychallenge 

IMPORTANT:   Post a comment now to this post so that I can approve you as a commenter.

This is going to be a great month for all!

Have fun and look forward to reading your posts- sue

Want to join us and learn more about getting your message out to the world: 

BlogADayChallenge

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?