I want to tell you a little secret.
Most people tell you that practicing your blogging skills every day, taking courses, honing your writing voice, learning about SEO or educating yourself on all matters of marketing are the most important aspects of being a successful blogger.
While these points are certainly extremely important, there is one hardly talked about principal that stands in most writers’ way of ever being massively outstanding: exercise.
If you’re groaning and rolling your eyes right now, I completely understand. Working out can be such a burden, a source of discomfort and displeasure, but it doesn’t have to be.
We all can find a form of exercise that makes us instantly and passionately fall in love with it, whether that is yoga, Zumba, basketball, indoor cycling, weight lifting, running, body step, body attack or simply walking. We live in a world with more choices than we can handle and the excuse of not finding the right fit for you is simply that: a lazy excuse.
However, once you tap into this world of moving your body regularly, of feeling your muscles, connecting with your strength and testing your limits, the repercussion it has on your writing career is amazing.
What exactly are the benefits of exercise on blogging then?
Exercise crushes every writer’s block
We all now the drill: You sit down, either having a deadline in mind or desperately needing to create an epic post for your blog in order to finally increase your readership. You stare at your screen, write a few words, delete them again, think some more, rinse and repeat. Nothing creative, nothing surprising, nothing worth reading comes to your mind. You start to doubt your ability, your creative energy and the frustration you feel grows every second.
A regular workout routine will not only increase the blood circulation in your brain, but it will also give you a clarity of thoughts and space of mind that is so desperately needed when coming up with new blog posts.
Every time I come home from a hard workout, my head buzzes with plenty of ideas for my blog and my business books, which gives me topics to write about for months to come. There’s something about being in the zone of a particular good workout that makes you forget about the constraints of your brain and lets you go far beyond the places you have experienced before.
The articles you write because of that will be better than anything you’ve written before.
Exercise energizes You
That’s kind of a no brainer, isn’t it? And yet so few people take advantage of the buzz you feel after a short workout. What a waste of opportunity that is. Working out in the morning can change your entire day because the endorphins you release into your bloodstream during exercise will make you feel much more invigorated, which lets your productivity go through the roof!
And we’re not only taking about a short boost of effective and creative energy here, but a lasting and steadily high standard of being able to perform on a completely new level.
If you want to be a prolific blogger, which, hey, we all want to be, then that is an element you cannot go without as there is nothing worse than experiencing a constant fatigue that casts a shadow on all of your work.
Exercises increases Your Confidence
If you want to survive in the crowded blogosphere, you need a great deal of confidence. I am not talking about being cocky, but having a healthy sense of your abilities, expertise and willingness to succeed is an asset you have got to cultivate.
Working out regularly is the perfect way of making you feel better about yourself. It boosts you self-confidence and gives you a sense of control over your body and mind. If you constantly feel incarcerated by your physicality, weighed down by self-doubts and limited by your lack of boldness, then accelerating your heart rate regularly and overcoming new barriers will demolish all the uncertainty and feelings of inadequacy.
Exercise reduces stress and frustrations
If we lived in a perfect world, we’d always have enough time to finish our projects. There would never be any technical hiccups or other sources of frustrations in a blogger’s life. Since, quite unfortunately, reality paints a different picture, it’s important for us to have an outlet for all the emotions that stir up over a blogger’s workday.
Sure, you could scream around, attack the poor people that surround you, have a binge feast or get a few drinks too many, but since you’re smart and don’t want to engage in destructive behavior, exercise is the ultimate way of releasing all the negative emotions, which otherwise would have occupied your minds for days, if not weeks.
A great side effect is that often, you even come up with a solution or at least part of it due to the refreshing nature of converting negative feelings into physical movement.
Exercise creates Optimal Health
If you’re in the blogging profession for the long hall, then optimal health should be of special interest for you. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to interrupt your career because of either burn out, heart disease, high blood pressure or constant fatigue due to being overweight. It’s important that we take care of ourselves.
While a balanced diet is one pillar of a healthy lifestyle, exercise is just as important.
It not only boosts your immune system, but it also helps to prevent health concerns such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, arthritis and more, which would all result in either a very much reduced blogging performance or even the end of it.
Sure, you can go on and write articles with your batteries half empty.
Sure, you can try to fake self-confidence hoping your readers won’t look behind your facade.
Sure, you can waste time staring at a blank screen desperately waiting for ideas to pop into your mind.
And sure, you can put words on a screen with an underlying frustration and negativity.
But just think how much more incredible you would feel and therefor your posts would be if you bubbled with energy, believed in and loved yourself form deep within, were free of negativity and filled with excitement and a slew of ideas?
So, taking the time for a workout in the morning or after you’ve finished your work should find it’s way into every schedule of a blogger. The clarity, vibrance, assertiveness and balance will give your blog an edge that makes it stand out from the millions of other ones.
This post was written by Anne – Sophie Reinhardt, who is a world traveler, an anorexia survivor, a positive body image advocate, podcaster, blogger, digital entrepreneur, speaker, wive, lover of books, aspiring yogi and social media enthusiast. Her blogs My Intercontinental Life and Fighting Anorexia are focused on living a purposeful, free, healthy and passionate life.
Top 5 Most Competitive Niches for Bloggers
Finding the perfect niche is like a unicorn for many bloggers. The right mix of passion and competitiveness can be found in the most surprising places and isn’t always clear until you’re already well on your way. But the good news is that the harder you look, the closer you get — which is a cliche, but surprisingly true in this case. So before you give up on your dream of creating content about knitting dog pajamas or anthropomorphized helicopters, start by having a look at what niches are the most competitive at the moment.
Most blogs earn their money through affiliation. The good thing about affiliation is that it doesn’t require you to focus on one particular brand, unlike sponsorships. You’re free to place links in your content or not. And to write whatever you like about the brand in question. Money is earned through reader engagement, not through passive exposure.
Of course, the most coveted and stereotypical blogging dream niche is travel. Who would turn down reviewing hotels in the Caribbean or exciting jungle safaris? Only a few bloggers get to do this, however, but there are still a lot of sub-niches that are easy to get into and earn well in. Local guides and localized content is a great way to find perfect fits for valuable affiliation links and you can even make direct content advertising if you ask. The future is definitely localized.
Making content about gambling is often as much about search engine optimization as affiliation links. This has made reviews and guides extremely competitive, but creating content only for SEO purposes can be a little monotonous. More localized information in a specific niche like mobile gambling makes mobile-casino.ca a perfect example of how to stay competitive without losing quality.
Health & Fitness
For ethically minded bloggers, this niche can be a minefield. Health and fitness bloggers can benefit from having a blog of their own in many ways — such as keeping themselves healthy and fit, while also inspiring others in the process. This niche market is also filled with misinformation, dangerous recommendations and straight up lies. Are you the one to finally inform readers about the one true way to stay healthy or get fit? Joking aside, whether you’re a zealot or a skeptic, there are affiliation networks for you. Just include a source or two, please.
Including this niche might be cheating. It can cover so much — but that doesn’t mean that your blog should. Specialised content that you’re both passionate and informed about can be very valuable for direct ads. Everyone has some kind of lifestyle niche they’re focused on, whether it be simple admin improvement or urban hiking. Find out if readers are interested in the topic, either directly or related, before you go all in, though.
With how competitive blogging is, blogs that explain how to succeed are more popular than ever. You’re reading one right now and you could write your own very easily. You don’t have to be the best or the most insightful to write an inspiring blog about blogging — it’s more useful than you think to write down what works and what doesn’t in your own humble experience. You can be an expert in learning.
Have you noticed any commonalities yet? If you look hard enough in any niche, you’ll learn enough to create content with a fresh and exciting take. And that’s the current trend for being competitive: Being both subjective and informed; localized and aware of international trends.
Do You Really Know Your Readers?
See the featured image up top guys?
I know readers dig my eBook. Said readers dig my paperback too.
Enter this featured image. I use similar images frequently on Blogging From Paradise. Smart way to appeal to my audience.
But during lean years I did not know my readers because I:
- did not listen to my readers
- did not ask my readers questions
- did not spot my reader’s pain points
- did not read my reader’s comments carefully
- did not spot patterns among my readers
Eventually I woke up. Easy to see this now. But back in the day I had a hellish time owning the fact that I did not know my readers.
Reader Red Flags
You do not know your readers if:
- traffic stalls or disappears
- blogging profits stall or disappear
- engagement dies on your blog
- nobody seems to reach out to you on social media
These are a few red flags guys. Own the flags. Honestly. Owning your mistakes is one quick way to turn things around, to free yourself of this common blogging error.
Do You Know Your Readers?
I mean; do you really know your blog readers? Be genuine before you answer the question.
I know my readers incredibly well now because every blog post, video or podcast I create meets their needs. No guess work, no writing and publishing because I want to write and publish a post and certainly no off topic posting here, on Blogging From Paradise or any place where I guest post.
The other day one of my blogging buddies endorsed my paperback with a YouTube review. In addition to feeling grateful I tuned into one other idea; his endorsement, emails from other book customers and smiling selfies from other book customers alerted me to the fact that my readers are beginning to buy my paperback too, in addition to my eBook. I published a post linking to my paperback and explaining how my book solves pressing blogging problems after spotting this pattern.
I know my readers better and better each passing day because I listen to my readers more closely each passing day. As everything expands with my blogging campaign I find it easier and easier to help folks, to come up with blog post ideas and to know my content hits the mark because blogging with my readers in mind has been the simplest way to connect with these folks.
Your blog is for you and your readers. Never forget this fact. Never forget that if you write just for yourself you are publishing a cyber diary. No need for anyone to read a blog if the blog does not solve their problems.
Knowing your readers genuinely requires you to be:
Listen to the latest podcast interview I did with Alonzo Pichardo on his Sound Cloud channel:
He has invited me to chat on his highly popular channel – with over 300,000 listens between only 8 episodes.
Alonzo is a master at spotting the most pressing issues of his audience. My readers also suffer from problems related to these topics. Naturally, as he shares and builds his impressive tribe and as I build my tribe, we have well over a quarter of a million listens between only 8 podcast episodes.
If you get to really know your readers and patiently hit the mark with your content, over years, 10 listens becomes 100 listens, then 100 becomes 1000, then 1000 becomes 10,000 listens, then 10,000 becomes 100,000 listens, and upward from there.
Develop an intimate bond with your readers guys. Poll them. Email them, asking how you can help them.
Much of your blogging success rests on knowing clearly what your reader wants so you can serve it up to them.
Listen. Ask. Observe.
5 Best Content Upgrade Ideas to Growth Hack Your Blog Email List
Growing an email list is a pain in the ass and rightfully so. It’s no longer enough to send out weekly newsletter as a way to get their attention. You need to go the extra mile to provide site visitors with immense value for them to sign up to your list.
Content upgrades provide the value that tips the scales to your favor. By giving them something in return immediately for signing up, you grab their attention and get them to subscribe to your list.
However, it’s not enough to offer just any content upgrade. You need to make sure that the incentive email contains actual useful information about the topic. If not, there’s a risk of your new subscribers to opt out from your list due to your poor content upgrade.
To help you make the most of your blog’s list building strategy, below are content upgrade ideas you can create for your blog so you can generate more subscribers for your list and help grow your traffic and sales.
Content upgrade ideas you need to use for your blog’s list
1. Cheat sheet
It’s difficult to cover everything about a topic in a single post. For example, if you’re writing a post on how to promote your blog the right way, you can’t break down the exact process of promoting your content on a social media platform. You can turn it into a post on its own so you can create more content on your blog.
Another alternative is by turning it into a cheat sheet that visitors can download from the post once they sign up to your list. The cheat sheet contains hacks about a specific topic depending on what the visitors wants to know.
Going back to the previous example, since the post is about promoting their blog, your content upgrade can be about growth-hack tactics for Pinterest blog promotions. You can details the exact steps on how you can effectively share your content and drive more traffic to your site using this image sharing social media site.
A downloadable cheat sheet about a related topic you weren’t able to cover on the post increases the chances of people signing up to your list. This way, you grow your list and they get their hands on the cheat sheet. It’s a win-win!
Your visitors want something quick and useful for their content upgrade. After reading a long and exhaustive post about a topic from your blog, for instance, they want to cleanse their pallet by downing the information you gave them into actionabl bits and pieces.
That’s why checklists are great content upgrades because they complement your long-form content by summarizing them into different points they need to check. For example, if you listed down the many SEO factors that bloggers need to observe, you can create a checklist for the factors that people can download. Therefore, instead of browsing your post to see the different factors, they can use refer to your handy checklist to find out which SEO factors to keep in mind.
If you want to establish clout in your industry, then you need to create signature content that will put you in the map. You can’t just churn out content that’s been done to death by your competitors. To stand out, you need to develop reports and use them as content upgrades.
Reports are extremely valuable because they are unique in the truest sense of the word. By putting in the hard work and interpreting the information from the data you collected, you can create content that stands head and shoulders from the pack.
A great report to create is running your own tests or doing a quick survey and giving them away as freebies. For example, Express Writers wrote a data-driven post about the most shareable blog topics. They presented the topics backed by research to help make their case. While they made it a post, you can use the same strategy to create your report and use it as a content upgrade.
Compared to other content upgrade ideas in the post, reports are very difficult to create. You need to be produce substantial proof to back up your claims and double-check your information so everything you say is true. However, the rewards are just as great. Creating a great report will help grow your email list faster than any type and catapult you influencer status.
Some people need motivation to help them with their needs. For example, people struggle to write blog posts regularly. There are lots of factors that explain why they find it hard. However, you as a blogger are not responsible for explaining why. Your job is to show them how to generate posts for their blog like it’s second nature.
This is what Sark e-Media did with their 30-Day Blogging Challenge. For the next month after subscribing to their list, people will receive daily emails on how they can build a blogging habit and churn out excellent posts for their blog.
This example of a challenge content upgrade allows you to continuously engage with your subscribers over a period of time. As part of the challenge, you can invite them to your Facebook Group to discuss the posts they’ve written or sell them affiliate products they can use to help them blog better.
As a purveyor of knowledge, you can evangelize your visitors by handing out worksheet for them to fill out and answer. The worksheets will help them organize their thoughts so they have a clearer picture on what to do next. Worksheets essentially helps people overcome a hurdle in their lives or career. As a blogger, your worksheets are a godsend to them.
An example of a worksheet is a downloadable editorial calendar. To help people blog on time, they can fill out the calendar with the post they plan to write on that day. The worksheet can include other factors about the post such as target audience, keyword, question to answer, and others. By presenting the worksheets as a way to neatly plan their blogging schedule to a tee.
Which among the content upgrade ideas do you want to do?
Each of the content upgrade ideas above work best under certain circumstances. You can’t just choose at random and expect stellar results for your email list. You need to check what your audience needs first and how to present the content upgrades before settling on which type to create.
However, you can enjoy more sign-ups to your blog email list if you use the content upgrade ideas correctly. If your blog is dying for email subscribing, then any of the ones above will make your email rain with sign-ups!
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