Focus is one of those things in life that can feel really hard to attain so we might resist against it. Yes, deep down we know that if we spent the time and created the discipline, the pay-offs would be huge for our productivity and ultimately, our freedom.
What is a habit? What do you think of when you hear the word habit? If you’re like most people, you hear the word habit and associate something negative with it. Smoking, overeating, and always being late are all negative habits.
However, habits can and do show up as positive, if you know how to train yourself toward this goal. A habit doesn’t have to have negative associations. Many people, in addition to thinking habits are bad, also think new habits are painful. This does not have to be true either, I fact they can be downright fun.
Once you see how habits are beneficial to you and how they will change your life for the better, you will live a fuller, more productive life.
Belief. Ah, that 6 letter word holds such power. If you look belief up in the dictionary, there are different definitions but most state, “Belief is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof, trust, faith, or having confidence in (someone or something.” Often, people will view their beliefs as a fundamental truth and this is where it can get tricky.
We are all hard-wired to create beliefs, many of them we are not even aware of. We create beliefs about ourselves, the existence of a higher power, other people and how the world works. Our beliefs allow us to experience and “make sense” of our world almost from the moment we are born. As children, we believe in our parents and that their ability to protect and support us. As we grow, we continue to add layer our beliefs based on what we learn and what we experience.
We 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.
Everyone 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.
In this rush, rush, busy, hurry up world of ours, it is easy to get into 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.
I am often called the “Queen of Busy” because I am a mom to 3 active kids, a business owner, a wife and I also teach communication classes in an MBA program and yet, I rarely feel overwhelmed . 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. I start my day relaxed and spend time to create my thriving mindset by setting intentions. This allows me to 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.
Values are a key component of how we think, what we believe and how we show up in the world. When you create you life and business based on what you value, you experience greater connection and passion.
What is Important to you Changes on a Regular Basis
Interestingly, your values can also be a window into how you are feeling on a particular day and thus what is important to you right at this moment. So for fun, take a look and share what are the first 3 words you see. Are you surprised? OR did they reinforce what you already know is going on for you right now. Share what you see and your reaction to it. Consider how you might use this as you move through your day. ENJOY!
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?
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.
I 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.