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Just Can’t Find the Time

Just Can’t Find the Time

I often have people tell me “I just can’t find the time to blog more often”. Okay, then don’t. But don’t be surprised… ready for this… that you won’t be a successful blogger if you don’t blog. Except for the very rare exception, I call B.S. on anyone who says that to me anyway. Why? Because 99.9% of folks have some amount of passive electronic time during the day, usually hours of it. Some justify it as “relaxing” or “winding down”. Whatever.  Do yourself a favor and just admit its easier to sit and watch a movie or surf Facebook than to do the hard work of writing something that will help build your blog and bless others. Lots of Ways to Find Time Over the years, I’ve observed several common ways people can “find time”: Get up earlier – the art of early rising is a lost art now where it used to be a hallmark of the successful Turn off the [electronic item here] Use voice dictation to jot down blog post ideas and notes while driving or out and about Give up something else of lower importance Write MORE so that you get faster. Writing is like athletics… you get faster and more productive with experience and routine practice. I know this by personal experience. I can write a post like the one you are reading in  10-15 minutes while an inexperienced writer might struggle for  hours or even a couple of days on it. Learn to jot down quick outlines that are easy to flesh out later. For example, I might have quickly outlined this post for later with something like the following; doing this makes it easy to simply fill in the details when have time: Can’t Find Time Screen time is the biggest problem List ways to find more time Priorities In the end, it boils down to how serious and committed you are. It’s about priorities and discipline. We all have the same amount of time. You cannot sincerely say “I can’t find time” unless your schedule is completely full of activity (including rest and disconnecting) that is truly higher priority. But again, I don’t find one person in a thousand that can say that. Whether it’s blogging or something else you wish you did more consistently, there is typically a common culprit. I find that almost without exception, “I can’t find time” is due to one of these:  laziness, poor productivity, inexperience, wasted time or misplaced priorities. You just have to be honest enough to admit it, brave enough to recognize it, and disciplined enough to change...

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Your Blog: Deciding what to Write

So you’re desperate to start working on your blog, you’ve signed up to WordPress or Blogger and are itching to get going. That’s great – we applaud you – but let’s not jump in head first without thinking about what it is you’re going to be writing on. Deciding on your blog topic can be exciting, daunting – even terrifying – so it’s important to get it right from the off. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a blog you find you’re not writing a week later…as ultimately, what’s the point? Passion You might work as a checkout assistant during the day, but your true love could be a world away from the supermarket. Try making a list of what floats your boat and seeing what you come up with. Once you’ve compiled a list have a mooch around online to see what other blogs there are that cover the same sort of area. Is it thriving? Could you do better? Do you see a gap in the market? Find Something with Some Mileage Dedicating a blog to a very small and particular niche is probably not a good move. You’ll ultimately limit yourself and restrict the topics you can write on. Yes, maybe you are really fond of a particular breed of pig, but don’t just stick to writing about one of these curly-tailed creatures else you’ll soon run out of material. Instead, create a blog that talks about all different breeds of pigs and you’ll have plenty to talk about. Time/Lifespan When starting a blog it’s always a good idea to decide how much time you’ve got to devote to it. Will it be the case of writing one post per day, a couple per week or just one per week? Also, how long do you plan on keeping your blog going for? Is it purely a personal thing to chart something that’s happening in your life – eg. a pregnancy – or are you hoping to carry it on for the foreseeable future? Maybe you’re unemployed and want to blog about the process of going to job interviews – if that’s the case hopefully at some point you’ll get a job and then what will happen to your blog? It might be best to stick to topics that you’ve felt strongly about or things you’ve had a passion for a long time than opting to write about fleeting life experiences. Life has a habit of changing, you decide on your hobbies and passions – so if you want your blog to last stick to the...

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Nine & One Half Golden Principles of Great Writing

Nine & One Half Golden Principles of Great Writing

There are timeless, proven principles of good writing. Even if you aren’t naturally gifted at writing, following these guidelines can elevate you to the status of a competent writer. Add a little creativity (which anyone can develop) and you can be a good writer. Mix in some God-given natural talent and you’ll be on the way to being a great writer if you do the hard work. In this post I’m going to cover nine and one half golden principles of writing. You could list about a hundred, and they have all been around since God wrote the 10 commandments demonstrating perfect use of these principles. I claim no original thoughts here, just the effort of spitting them out in my own style of teaching. We’ll cover: Write Like a Grave Stone: Keeping the End in Mind Six Basic Types of Writing: Knowing the Structure Less Is More: Knife the Unnecessary Words Break It Down for the Reader: Let Them Know What You Want Them to Know Make It About You but Not About You: Personalizing Grabs the Person Help the Reader Across the Puddle: Use Transition Words to Guide and Connect Don’t, and Do, Use Long Sentences:  Length Makes a Big Difference Simple Is Not Simply Simple: Writing for the Reader Birds of a Feather Live on the Page Together: Organizing the Content Write Like a Grave Stone: Keeping the End in Mind No, it doesn’t mean to write like you’re going to kill your readers with boredom. What do you typically find on a gravestone? Answer: an epitaph. An epitaph is a summary of the person’s life. Usually it’s untrue because it’s written by someone who doesn’t want to put “here lies a jerk, and life’s a whole lot easier now that he’s gone”. Imagine though, if you could write your own epitaph while still alive and then live your life in such a way as to make the epitaph come true. This is how you should write. By that I mean you should keep the end in mind at the beginning. In other words, begin your writing by stating exactly where you’re going to end up. Tell the reader up front what you’re going to tell them. Write from the top down. This goes against our logical flow of thinking where we naturally want to write all of the supporting details and then wrap it up by telling the reader what it is we want them to learn, understand or experience. Instead, what you want to do is present the goal (epitaph) right up front so 1) you are assuring reader interest if they continue, and 2) you are helping the...

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Fours Ways to End Writing Laziness and Procrastination

Fours Ways to End Writing Laziness and Procrastination

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear a someone complaining how they just can’t get started writing, and cannot produce blog content consistently.  You know, the bloggers who put up a post every few weeks stating “I haven’t posted in a while but I’m going to get started really soon.” Maybe you aren’t that bad, but are you completely satisfied with your ability to routinely produce high quality content? If you are, go read something else, this post is not for you and your time is valuable. If you are not satisfied, I’m going to cover four ways to overcome writing laziness and blogging procrastination: Taking Serious Action Have a Routine Be Realistic in Your Writing Goals Pushing Your Flywheel If you were expecting some dazzling new concepts or productivity tricks, I’m sorry to disappoint. It just doesn’t work that way. People have been trying to shortcut hard work and discipline ever since Adam had to pull the first weeds out of his freshly cursed garden. It didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work today. Nike had it right when they said “just do it”. This is the downfall of most people no matter what the goal. They think, they plan, they prepare, they contemplate, they organize, they rework… but they never get around to “doing it”, doing it right, doing it consistently and doing it no matter how hard it is. Why? Usually a combination of reasons: some are afraid to fail; some people won’t do something unless they are naturally gifted at it and it comes easily. Insecurity, procrastination, perfectionism and just plain old laziness are all enemies of action, in this case, writing blog posts. You’ll find a common trait of many productive and successful bloggers is that they just simply “do it”. Start writing. I have numerous people who have been promising for months to get me an article for the magazine, submit a guest post or start their book project. It would seem they love the THOUGHT of doing it, but not actually doing it. They love planning for it and perhaps telling other people they are going to do it. Perhaps they lack the work ethic or are frozen by fear. If that’s YOU, no worries. Today is the day you end all that.  At the bottom of this post I’ll give you some simple steps to get you writing on a blog post RIGHT NOW, steps anyone can do if they simply CHOOSE. Take Serious Action Why describe it as “serious action”? Many people are good at taking action but it’s not serious or productive action. It’s action in order to FEEL like you’re taking...

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