You are probably sick of all the best of articles that have been written the last week around the web though I do think that this is a great time to look at your blog and think about what you would like to improve in 2010. I personally believe that the goals you set should motivate you to work your butt off, though they need to be achievable too. There’s no point setting a goal to reach 10,000 subscribers if you only have 100 just now as you may feel disappointed if you don’t get there.
Set Your Blogging Goals
Some of you may not even be sure where to start when it comes to setting your targets for 2010. I think the best way is to break the targets into specific goals and non specific goals. The list below is not a complete list, nor will these targets be applicable to all bloggers, though it should point you in the right direction of how you want your blog to progress in the coming year.
- RSS Subscribers: The most obvious target to aim for is RSS subscribers, which is in my opinion still the most reliable way to measure the popularity of a blog (even if Feedburner counts do go up and down all the time). As I mentioned before, I think you should set a high target but make sure it can be attained. If you are starting a new blog then reaching 2,000+ subscribers within a year is great. If you have 2,000 subscribers already you may be looking to break the 5,000 mark.
There is no right or wrong way to set a target, the whole point of the target is to give you something to aim for in the long term, something to keep driving you on to blog.
- More comments: Increasing discussions on your blog is something which you may want to target. Blogs with regular discussions may not always be the most popular though their readers are usually more loyal.
- Income: Most bloggers are looking to make money though their blog. If you are not making any money just now then you should set your targets low and aim to bring in regular advertisers to cover your costs with a little left for yourself. If you are already making money through your blog then may be looking to significantly increase it in 2010.
If money is something that motivates you then this will be an important target for you.
Non Specific Goals
- Build relationships with other bloggers
- Raise your profile in your niche
- Get to know your readers more
- Improve the quality of articles on your blog
- Manage your time more effectively
I think the whole reason for setting targets is to give you something to aim for, something to drive you on to write great articles when you’re wondering if it’s all worth it, something to help you focus when you’re feeling lazy.
How To Achieve Your Goals
Once you know what your goals are, you should develop a plan of action in order to achieve them. If you are a visual type of person then I recommend having your goals posted above your computer at all times, and next to them you should have a list of things you can do to reach them.
Here are some ideas of how you can develop your blog in 2010:
- Spend more time on your blog posts and do more for research them.
- Make sure the quality of your articles are always high by spending time proofreading them.
- Interact with your readers more often by replying to their comments on your blog and theirs.
- Do guest posts on more popular blogs to bring in traffic and raise your profile.
- Write at least two long detailed articles a month in which you answer a question or address a problem which your readers may have.
- Write at least two high quality link bait articles a month which link heavily to related blogs and websites.
- Change your blog design or improve it in some way.
- Look for suitable advertisers on your niche and build a good relationship between them and your readers.
- Spend more time on your blog and less time reading and commenting on others.
The above list is far from being comprehensive though it should help you understand how short term action can achieve long term goals.
I hope you have all had a fantastic Christmas and I hope you have a great new year too. Have a few days and spend some quality time with your family. I encourage you all to a have a think about how you will improve your blog over the next few days when you are relaxing. Once you get back to your computer you should hopefully have lots of great ideas to put into action.
Let’s start 2010 with a bang!
Good luck 🙂
7 Key Components to Create a Winning Brand Identity
Every brand needs a stellar logo to enhance its image. Developing the right logo requires a lot of foresight and a thorough understanding of human psychology. It can be difficult to get right the first time, which is why some companies need to test different variations. IBM had to change its design six times over the years before settling on one that works.
Studying the logos of some of the most famous corporations is a good way to get inspiration for your own. Here are some great lessons to pick up from seven of the world’s leading corporations.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to consider a few different options and opportunities when it comes to logo design and branding. For example, there are plenty of tools online to help you design a logo, but you likely won’t end up with the professional look and feel you are looking for. A better option might simply be to go with a logo design company that has a proven history of success, and is well recommended for their branding efforts.
Some of the most immediate benefits of going with this route are:
- Getting immediate access to a wide range of suggested designs from professional logo designers.
- Having a logo design that is based off multiple design concepts, while avoiding simple variations and blatant copies.
- Owning full legal copyright over your complete logo design and brand image.
- Receiving files in relevant formats; suitable for online & print purposes (.ai, pdf, jpg, and png)
Of course this is all part of the logo design process and something that every site owner or brand will have to go through. To help with this design process and to also give you a few ideas on how other brands have been able to create a trustworthy brand identity, let’s take a look at some of the top logo designs in the world today.
IBM shows that a simple blue logo has many benefits
IBM registered its first logo in 1884. It was a picture of a globe with the company’s acronym attached to it. This logo wasn’t very popular and the company revised it five more times over the next 90 years before settling on the one that it uses today.
The modern IBM logo is a simple font in bold blue letters. The only thing that distinguishes it from other acronym logos is that it is broken up into 13 horizontal bars.
This iconic logo has stood the test of time, because it is a simple design with bold, blue letters. To the casual observer, it is difficult understand why this logo works such wonders over the human psyche. After conducting a little more analysis, it becomes a lot clearer. Here are the core benefits of the IBM logo:
- The simplicity of the logo signifies trust and transparency. Too many customers are used to getting cheated with unscrupulous companies that try to confuse them with doublespeak.
- Blue is both a symbol of dominance and trust. The dual message behind the color of the logo suggests that Big Blue has captivated the market by being honest and straightforward.
Companies that use simple, blue logos are especially likely to thrive in our current climate, since people are more skeptical of big companies than ever before.
Adidas logo tells customers that it will help them reach their fullest potential
There is one universal truth across all industries – customers have clear goals in mind while purchasing a product or service. They’re always going to want to go with the company that best helps to meet those goals.
Adidas understands this principle very clearly. They even incorporated it into their newest logo.
Compare the newest Adidas logo with its predecessor. You’ll notice that the first logo was composed of three horizontal lines. The only difference with the new logo is that those lines are positioned diagonally instead. Why is this significant?
The newest design is meant to mimic the outline of a mountain. It suggests that people will be able to conquer their biggest challenges when they purchase gear from Adidas.
The message is subtle, but it is also very clearly imprinted in our subconscious. Adidas is telling you that it is the best company to help you reach your goals. Since the company markets to athletes, this message is especially important.
Google shows that a small differentiating element in an otherwise mundane and logo makes a very bold message
Google seems to have one of the most basic logos any designer could have come up with. After all, it is nothing more than the company name written in letters with different colors. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about it. Or is there?
When you really take a look at the Google logo, you will see that it actually has a very strong message that our conscious mind does not immediately pick up on. In order to grasp this, you need to pay a little more attention to the logo colors.
The company logo has six letters. If you glance quickly at the logo, you will see that every letter seems to be written in a primary color: blue, red and yellow.
Now look a little closer. You will realize that the “L” Is green. It is the only letter in the logo that does not have a primary color.
This logo is making a very clear message. It is telling the observer that Google does things differently.
The genius of the Google logo is it simplicity. It would not have been able to emphasize its uniqueness by having a much fancier design. Instead, the small difference in color would have been lost in all of the noise.
The lesson companies can learn from the Google logo is clear. It can be a great idea to have a very slight element that stands out in an otherwise very simple logo.
McDonald’s conveys warmth and security
The McDonald’s logo can be traced back to 1962 and is possibly the most famous in history. While the famous Golden Arches are recognizable to billions of people all over the world, the average person hasn’t stopped to think why they have been so successful for branding. Here are several reasons:
- The arches date back to a time when the covered roofs protected customers from the rain while they were placing their orders.
- The logo is bright yellow, which is a symbol of warmth.
- The shape has a Freudian link to feelings of nurturing and sustenance.
The golden arches are very simple at first glance, but they are one of the world’s most successful logos.
Nike uses a simple shape to illustrate movement
Nike is another iconic brand that is complemented by a very simple, yet effective logo. The Nike swoosh is an incredibly basic symbol, but it is still immediately recognized by millions.
Despite its simplicity, the logo clearly conveys movement. This is a testament to the agility of people using their product.
AT&T uses a blue globe to simultaneously show trust and connectedness
AT&T has changed its logo several times in nearly 130 years. They eventually settled on the current logo, because it does such a great job communicating a message of connectedness and trust. It achieves this by using a globe with solid blue stripes.
Coca-Cola shows that a company name can (sometimes) be the best logo of all
Coca-Cola is one of the few companies that has not altered its logo meaningfully in over 100 years. The logo is simply the company name. While this may not work for every company, it has been very effective for Coca-Cola. It works, because it is part of a very consistent branding strategy.
What Are the Biggest Takeaways from Major Logos?
You can learn a lot by studying the world’s most famous logos. Here are some of the biggest takeaways:
- A simple design is usually the best
- Identify an emotion that you want your logo to convey
- Know which symbols and colors best complement your message
Put some thought into your logo design. It will play an essential role in your brand positioning strategy.
1 Key to Blogging Happiness and Success
In today’s heavily charged political climate you may want to debate, outright fight or criticize people on social media.
Maybe the news seems to magically draw you in to negative, toxic headlines.
I have a little secret that keeps me happy most of the time.
Goodness knows following this secret promoted my blogging success.
The secret: I see fighting as fear so I do not get caught up in kicking a dog when it’s down.
This is code for: I largely do not engage fearful, unhappy folks. If I do engage said folks, rest assured the chats last for a few seconds, if that.
Why Doing this Makes You a Happy and Successful Blogger
Avoiding unhappy people automatically makes you happier because nature abhors a vacuum. Ignore fear. Ignore unhappiness. Loving, happy people move into your life since love is the opposite of fear and happiness is the opposite of unhappiness. Many of these happy, successful people will be clients, customers and rocking bloggers who promote you and endorse you.
Ignoring folks having a moment, or perhaps, having a tough life just allows them to find their balance on their own. You are a leader, not a savior.
If a trusted friend is going through a difficult time you can be a sounding board for a bit. No worries there. But even this sounding board stage has its limits and you eventually need to move on to allow these folks to find clarity and peace on their own. This benefits both parties.
Happiness and Success Is an Energy Thing
Folks wonder why I smile in most of my travel pictures. I smile because I am predominantly happy. I am predominantly happy because I see fighting as fear, and I do not kick a dog when it’s down, meaning I do not engage, chat with or try to convince fear-filled, fighting folks on social media, through my blog and through my email.
I do this because I have compassion for these fear-filled folks. Especially for fear-filled folks who fight about politics, religion or whatever topic these individuals are unclear on.
Typically, most of these fear-filled, unclear folks find other fear-filled, unclear folks to complain to, and they all agree in their fear and lack of clarity, and disguise their fear as passion or a love of their political party, or whatever sounds good, to soothe their bruised egos, and their unclear, fear-filled minds. Either way, the dog is down, and since I was once in the same position is life, I ain’t kicking.
Following this practice has dramatically raised my energy from fear to love. Raising my predominant vibe from fear to love has helped me be in harmony with the world, which made me:
- an energetic networker
Taking on these qualities accelerated my blogging success and grew my happiness, because happy, successful bloggers are generous, prolific, helpful and energetic networkers.
But you need to move up the energetic ladder to embody these traits and that involves leaving those fear-filled, unclear folks near the bottom of the ladder. Even if they appear to be successful, blogging business wise, rest assured that their political or religious fight is fear, manifest.
You can still be connected with them and chat casually here and there about blogging or other topics where they vibe love, not fear, but you will be leaving many of these folks behind until they face, embrace and release their deeper fears, to vibe more from love and clarity, so they can join you on higher rungs of the energetic ladder.
Surround Yourself with Loving, Generous Bloggers
Loving, kind, generous bloggers promote your blogging success by showing you the way.
These folks also lift your spirits, making you a happier blogger.
Seek them out. Promote successful bloggers. Comment on their blogs.
Be happier, healthier and wealthier.
1 of My Secrets to Being Kinda Prolific
I have written hundreds of guest posts for this blog.
I have written about 1000 on Blogging From Paradise between posts and travel pages.
A few moments ago I checked my DA for a sponsored post opportunity. The business owner wanted to know blog domain authority before deciding to place a sponsored post on the blog.
Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 48 and 22,457 external links in.
Not super shabby.
I am kinda prolific.
If you want to publish helpful content frequently, just run with my most basic of tips.
Do not wait around for folks to read your content, comment on your content and share your content before writing your next blog post or guest post.
Do not wait to create.
Do Not Wait to Create
The old me – and most bloggers – became highly attached to any single piece of content I created because I feared the content would not register enough shares, comments, page views and sales. Fear drove me to share this piece of content in many places to boost my stats. All well and good but because fear drove me, I resisted my prolific nature, allowing worry and lack to goad me to do stuff that led to me being the farthest thing from prolific.
Eventually, I observed how bloggers who seemed to be in 10,000,000 places at once simply prolifically created a high volume of helpful blog posts, guest posts and videos. Success found these folks because they did not wait around for readers to check out their blog posts. Said bloggers moved on to writing and publishing their next blog post.
Acting abundantly – not allowing their fears to eat into their prolific nature – promoted these blogger’s success as they created generously, publishing a high volume of content across multiple platforms.
I finally learned of this secret and used it effectively when I chose NOT to wait to create.
Now I publish 3 posts daily on Blogging From Paradise. I also publish the odd guest post from time to time. My success accelerated and my online presence expanded when I decided not to get attached much at all to any one blog post, because the next blog post called me.
No sense waiting around for folks to read my stuff because they simply will read at their own leisure. My job is to keep creating helpful content to help readers build successful blogs. As I move in this direction, everything keeps expanding for me.
All because I chose not to wait to create.
Being Prolific Impacts Folks
Peep this tweet from my friend Corey Hinde of The Good Oil Marketing:
awesome!! Congrats Ryan – one of the hardest working bloggers on the planet you are!!
— CoreyHinde-GoodOil (@thecorsta) July 16, 2018
I am humbled by such kind words from an established, super successful internet marketer. This is pretty much what happens when you are prolific; you impact folks in a positive way, and you also expand your reach and help more folks, all because you refuse to hold back.
Tips to Be Prolific
- Blog mainly for the fun of blogging
- Nudge yourself out of your comfort zone daily
- Surround yourself with prolific bloggers to feast on their creative energy
- Do not wait to create
- Beware getting attached to any one piece of content; promote posts freely across a wide range of channels but look toward the next blog post, guest post or video to create, in order to become incredibly prolific.
Guys; this journey gets a little uncomfortable at times but if you love fun and freedom more than you fear doing some uncomfortable things you will become a highly prolific blogger.
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