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Top 10 New Year Resolutions That’ll Make Blogging More Fruitful in 2014

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top 10 new year resolutions

2013 is about to wrap up and as we welcome 2014, it’s important to look back on several things that shaped our lives the past year. It’s important to reflect on the things we did (and didn’t do) to find out which areas we can improve.

Are you happy with your blogging career? Did you accomplish the goals you set for yourself?

Great if you did.

Don’t worry if you still have a lot of items unchecked. There’s always time to do better.

That’s what New Year resolutions are for

top 10 new year resolutionsIt’s been tradition for many to have a list of the different things they want to change about their attitudes, habits and even image. And since it’s been helpful to many, why not do it to improve your blog?

Top 10 New Year resolutions that will make you a better blogger

10. Create an editorial calendar

Your blog needs to have fresh content for it to rank. Now, I know how difficult it can be to come up with great posts on a regular basis. Many times, writer’s block will keep you from meeting your deadline.

By making an editorial calendar, you’ll know what you need to write about in advance and that should give you ample time to research and write.

It’s so simple. You can either create a spreadsheet or input it directly on your calendar. Understandably, you can’t plan posts for the entire 2014 so what you can do is have at least two weeks’ worth of posts. That is if you update your blog several times a week. If you publish only once a week, then have a list for 2 months.

9. Get distraction-free writing tools

Blogging can be tremendously hard when you’re constantly distracted by emails and social media. Even those who consciously make an effort to stick to writing often get distracted, like me. The best way to not disrupt your writing is to use distraction-free writing tools.

I’ve used Write Monkey before and found it useful. I tried it mainly because it’s free. It blacks out the entire screen and all you’ll see are the words you type. Other tools that might interest you include OmmWriter, Q10, WriteRoom and Focus Writer.

8. Get to know Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool to learn what readers think about your blog. This will also give you a lot of ideas on what search terms to leverage and what type of posts to continuously write about. How do you know that? They’re the posts that have the most clicks. It’s easy to use this free tool. It’s got an intuitive interface.

7. Read 1 book a week

You can’t become a good writer if you don’t read a lot. Most successful writers attribute part of their success to their love for reading.

Don’t like reading? You must force yourself to like it because you will never write exceptionally if you despise books.

These are just some of the many things you can get out of reading:

  • Improved vocabulary
  • Familiarization with different styles of writing
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Acquisition of new information that you can use when writing about different topics
  • Improved grammar

6. Comment on different blogs regularly

Blogging isn’t just about writing stuff and getting people to read. It’s also become social. Successful bloggers are those who’ve established relationships with both readers and other bloggers. Commenting on other blogs is one effective way to do that.

Make it a point to comment on others’ posts. It’d be nice if you can set a goal, like comment on 50 posts a week. This can do wonders for your blog. It can:

  • Invite others to check out your blog
  • Let others know that you know what you’re talking about and look at you as a niche expert
  • Introduce you to a huge network of bloggers
  • Get the attention of pro bloggers

5. Find your most productive time

Ever found it hard to write even when you’re squeezing your brains? Writer’s block isn’t the only reason for being unable to churn out posts. Sometimes, you’re not making progress because the time isn’t right. Creative people have a productive time. Find out what’s yours.

Try waking up earlier than usual, say at 6 a.m. and then start writing. Or stay up late. Or try writing in the middle of the day. See which part of the day you’re inspired to write. That’s your productive time.

Remember, though, that this can change.

4. Play more

Blogging is a lot of work. To get the best results (more hits, engaged readers, viral posts) you must be prepared to work long hours. It can be tough. Successful blogs are results of blood, sweat and tears.

BUT…

It doesn’t mean you should bury yourself in work. Play hard. Play more. Do stuff you enjoy. Make sure to set aside a few hours during the day to relax and enjoy. The time you spend for fun and leisure will relax your tired mind and contribute to enhanced creativity and productivity.

3. Invest in a writing class/program/book

As a blogger, your most important asset is yourself. Invest on your skills. Buy books that’ll help you write better. Enroll in programs on blogging and other related courses. Don’t be scared to spend money because the things you’ll learn will contribute to your success.

2. Exercise

Exercise will keep you from getting sick. Illnesses will affect your work. They will keep you from writing, marketing your blog and networking with others. Lost time means lost income.

Another benefit of exercising regularly is it does wonders to the brain. It:

  • Sharpens memory
  • Improves mood
  • Prevents cognitive decline
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Boosts brainpower

All these will be extremely helpful when trying to come up with great blog posts that readers will love.

1. Write regularly

This deserves to be on the top spot of your New Year resolutions list because the sure-fire way to improve your blog is to become  a better writer and that stems from writing regularly.

It’s harder than it sounds because it requires discipline and commitment. With all the stuff going on in our lives, it’s easy to set aside writing for later, tomorrow or next week. You have to make a conscious effort to write even when there’s so much going on.

At first you’ll struggle but if you do the first 9 New Year resolutions in this post, making it a habit should become a lot easier.

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Irwin creates awesome content for various businesses online. He blogs about writing and other stuff, like Survivor. He also contributes for a lifestyle magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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1 Successful Blogger Assumption that Needs to Go

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I see a lot of bloggers who make excuses as to why they fail.

Some outside condition or circumstance holds sway over these folks.

But even worse; said bloggers tend to say successful bloggers did not have to face any hardship or traumatic circumstances on their way to becoming established, pro bloggers.

I cannot tell a lie; I made a similar assumption as a new blogger. I believed millionaire bloggers took an easy journey while bum me had to face obstacles millionaires never had to face.

I discuss why you need to let this assumption go to build a successful blog:

OK guys.

I live a dream life.

Spending months or years in places like Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica, I have seen some of the most spectacular places on earth.

But I faced many obstacles along the way. I ran into financial hardships. OK; let me rephrase that. I lost all of my money LOL! I also had a difficult time with family at points during my blogging journey, some of whom questioned my decisions.

Blogging confused me. Being an entrepreneur baffled me. I became terribly frustrated with my blogging trajectory a few times during my blogging career.

My mom has suffered through a terminal illness while I built my blog. I battled depression earlier during my blogging career.

But here I am. Blogging From Paradise.

Established, pro bloggers usually face and embrace far more difficult obstacles on our blogging journey. Doing so makes us more fearless which helps us grow like a weed while most bloggers feel weighed down by fear, doubt and anxiety.

I can almost guarantee you that assuming successful bloggers had an easy, bump-free, smooth journey is a root cause of your blogging struggles. Even if you succeed on some level you stunt your blogging growth by assuming successful bloggers had it easy while you have it much harder.

Not true, guys.

Diving deeper into obstacles and strong fears, you begin to see why nudging into these energies feels highly unpleasant but also helps you develop a type of fearlessness. Being more fearless than the average blogger helps you create prolifically, build new connections and most of all, you avoid panicking and being shaken out when your blogging results don’t seem to be growing too much.

My life became easier after I nudged into deep blogging and life fears because after these unpleasant but brief experiences, I no longer feared burning out, being criticized or failing. Letting go those 3 chief fears made me work more persistently, more energized and more focused than most bloggers, promoting my success.

Excuses Are For Losers

Excuses are for losers. If you make excuses that you cannot succeed because you face difficult obstacles that top bloggers did not have to face, you only hurt yourself because the statement is untrue.

You lose traffic and profits because you don’t do the uncomfortable but freeing things successful bloggers do to succeed.

Guys; this journey is fun and quite fascinating. Sometimes this blogging journey feels scary. Move forward through scary moments. Do not make excuses. Do not explain away your struggles and failures because you assume successful bloggers would not have succeeded if they did not face the same struggles, because this assumption is untrue.

You probably have yet to face the really deep, scary fears we all need to face before gaining blogging success so release your excuses, move forward based on your passion, be generous, open and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Blogging gets easier if you cease making excuses and start getting things done.

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Why Bloggers Need to Start Paying More Attention to Your Pay Stubs

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It’s payday, and you’re ready to go out and celebrate with your coworkers, friends, and family. For bloggers and internet marketers, the concept of a ‘paycheck’ might be something totally new — or something they actually issue to themselves on a monthly basis. However, even for those in the workplace, fewer people are getting actual paychecks and paystubs, as automation is now key.

If you’re asking, “What is a pay stub?,” then congratulations on getting paid via direct deposit. As of 2016, 82 percent of American workers received their paychecks that way.

With direct deposit, you only have to check your bank account to make sure the money was credited. You should still receive a payroll stub from your employer, though, and you need to pay attention to it.

Read on to find out more about why paycheck stubs are important — even for bloggers.

What is Gross vs. Net Pay?

The biggest and most obvious thing displayed on a pay stub is the amount of money you made. But looking at your pay stub also allows you to figure out how you made that money.

There are two types of pay displayed on that stub: gross pay and net pay. The gross wages are the overall amount of income you earned over that pay period, regardless of if it’s biweekly or monthly.

Do you get paid hourly? If so, you would take the number of hours you worked and multiply that by your hourly rate. Both of those things should also appear on your paycheck stubs.

In the world of blogging and affiliate marketing, you might be getting paid a $100 commission on every new hosting referral made, but after taxes, you could be looking at another 30% cut in actual profit made.

As an example, let’s say a worker named Bob makes $20 an hour and worked precisely 80 hours the last two weeks. That means the “gross pay” amount on his check should be $1,600.

What if Bob has an annual salary of $50,000 instead of an hourly wage? Then he would need to divide $50,000 by the total number of paydays in the year. If he’s paid every two weeks, then that adds up to 26 annual pay periods.

Net pay is how much money you’re actually going to see in your bank account after various deductions get applied. Those deductions can include things like taxes, health insurance, and your 401(k).

Employer Contributions

When looking at your payroll stub, you’ll also see a space for something called “Employer Contributions.” What does that mean?

If you work a full-time job with benefits, then your employer pays for a significant portion of your health insurance. You might pay $50 every two weeks, but your employee might pay the other $100. This will be on your stub as “health insurance” or maybe “medical.”

If you’re lucky enough to work at a company that provides 401(k) matching for your retirement, then that will be under “Employer Contributions” as well.

Generating pay stubs used to be more complicated, but nowadays, companies can use an online pay stub generator. It may take a while to create a pay stub for everyone in the building, but the actual process isn’t nearly as arduous as it could be.

Most Bloggers Will Probably Ask ‘What is a Pay Stub?’

Answering the question “What is a pay stub?” is critical, but it isn’t all you’ll need to do to stay on top of your finances. More often then not, pay stubs are still being used, but since we are living in an electronic age, it’s usually all happening behind the scenes.

Avoid the temptation to throw away your pay stub as soon as you look at it. Keeping your pay check records will help you look for any patterns or problems at work. It’s also the best way to provide proof of income.

Don’t forget to put some of that paycheck in a savings account, too. For more on that topic, be sure to check out our top finance and stock market blogs to follow online.

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Why All Blogging Metrics Are Vanity Metrics

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Ha!

Made ya look, right guys?

I did a Facebook Live Broadcast recently discussing this concept.

Check it out here:

All blogging metrics are vanity metrics because you check any blogging metrics to see how YOU are doing. Who cares? What about your readers? How are your readers doing? How are you helping your readers? How are you assisting your readers? If I see one of my videos nabbed a few hundred views I realize my video nabbed a few hundred views but this is entirely unrelated to how my readers are doing, because numbers and human beings are different concepts. Numbers are inanimate objects. Humans are humans.

Passion

I love to blog. I know how I am doing when blogging because I feel passionate about blogging. Do I need to look at a number on a screen to verify that I feel passionate about blogging? Nope. Any time I check a metric I think about how I am doing but checking numbers on a screen has nothing to do with how my readers are doing.

I serve my readers not by checking stats but by writing this guest post. I serve my readers not by checking metrics but by creating a video. I serve my readers by commenting on their blogs and by promoting my readers, not by trying to get bigger and bigger numbers after poring over metrics for minutes or hours on end.

All metrics are vanity metrics because all metrics are about you; you never check metrics to see how your readers are doing but you do check metrics to see how you are doing.

Stats Can Serve a Useful Purpose If……

….you spend a few seconds or a few minutes gauging stats, to see if you want to head in a different direction.

Emphasis on seconds or minutes, guys. Stats can be a little stopover, indicating you may need to let go an activity or maybe you need to expand an activity. Beyond those few seconds or minutes, give the rest of your attention and energy to creating helpful content and building meaningful connections.

Stats never bought my eBook so I do not check metrics. People buy my eBook so I do serve people every day, for hours a day.

Stats are all about you and service is all about other people.

Stop obsessing over how you are doing. Exit survival mode. Exit self-service mode.

Focus on other human beings. Write your next blog post. Create a video. Comment genuinely on a blog, personalizing the comment after reading the blog post. Promote another blogger on social media or via your blog. Be a servant; not a stat checker.

Develop some skills and meet a ton of people daily. That is my blogging mantra.

If you don’t focus heavily on blogging outcomes/stats and trust advice from seasoned pro bloggers you will see increasing success eventually. If you believe in yourself and help people and hone your skills through persistent practice you will succeed through your patient generosity. No need to obsess over numbers because obsessing over numbers is obsessing over yourself. Obsessing over yourself is a recipe for failure because you will run a cyber diary and sell nothing by focusing on yourself; you need to serve human beings to grow your business, not yourself.

Be patient. Be persistent. Be generous. Create and connect. Don’t obsess over stats. If you follow your passion – and you better – you know exactly how you are doing. You’re doing great! No need to verify that feeling with numbers on a screen. You’re good. Ask other folks how they are doing and serve them. Help solve their problems.

Get out of your head into a life of service.

Blogging success will be yours.

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