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
It’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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Get Your Blogging Mojo Going if You Feel Hopelessly Stuck
I lose blogging momentum sometimes.
You may be in the same boat, being human and all.
But if you regularly find yourself saying “I need to get serious about building my blog” over the course of years it is time to own this fact: you need to get your blogging mojo going before you become permanently stuck in a blogging rut.
I was rut-stuck here and there for many years, on and off. Maybe I didn’t quit blogging totally but I’d start blogging, then stop, and continue this process for weeks on end. Not good.
You can find your blogging mojo and get unstuck by following these blogging tips.
1: Pick a Dream that Makes You Feel Alive
I am led by my dreams, not pushed by problems, because I picked a big old dream a while back. I wanted to circle the globe. Bingo!
Since I wanted to travel the world more than I feared doing uncomfortable, blogging-building things, I built a rocking blog and kept on moving, keeping my blogging mojo going.
What is your dream? Figure it out. Hold it tight.
If you need inspiration watch my video from New Zealand. I filmed this one at Mount Cook a few months ago.
2: Feel Fears Fueling Your Struggles
Some folks believe they lack motivation to blog. Others feel they are lazy. But at the end of the day, if you are not acting, you are afraid of something or someone.
Laziness is fear manifest. So find your fears, by shutting a door and sitting in a quiet room, and if you feel the deep fears you purge the energies and proceed from an inspired, loving, persistent, energized space.
I kept putting off writing an eBook for many years. Turns out I was not lazy; I just feared nobody would buy the eBook because I saw myself as a loser who knew little. I also feared people would criticize me. But I went forward and wrote my first eBook to get out of my fear-rut and to keep on moving.
Some of my eBooks do not sell as much as others and people sometimes post negative reviews of my eBooks but since I do not fear these outcomes, neither have any power over me. I just keep expanding my success, helping folks and befriending blogging pros because I move forward, unburdened by many blogging fears I faced, embraced and released.
3: Study Persistently Energized Bloggers
I am no Tony Robbins but blog persistently from an energized space.
Each day I:
- do 1 hour of deep yin yoga
- exercise for 1 hour
- usually take an icy cold shower
- focus on having fun with my blog versus attaching to money or traffic outcomes
I have written thousands of guest posts, over 10,000 blog posts (old and new blogs combined) and I have also written over 100 eBooks. Toss in the thousands of videos I created over many YouTube channels (since closed) and you see I am a pretty prolific dude. An energized, prolific dude at that.
You’d be wise to see how I go about my energy ritual daily to take a few pointers. Consider deep yin yoga to open up your body, to open your mind and to form the habit of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Maybe meditating daily opens your awareness. Exercise is definitely a must, every single day.
Circulating your energy freely moves you from being fear-based, lazy and sluggish to being love-based, energized and prolific. I was once pretty dang lazy before I dove deep into energy work.
Wrapping it Up
Keep at it guys. I know this blogging journey feels scary sometimes but if you grab the right blogging resources and follow the above tips you will avoid common blogging ruts that appear to cripple most bloggers.
1 Clever Way to Find Blogs for Reading and Commenting
Have you missed me?
I dove full bore into promoting my eBook through blog commenting a number of months back. Toss in a prolific blogging campaign over at Blogging From Paradise and some serious video creation and you see I am a busy bee.
A few days ago I uncovered an incredibly neat and pretty clever way to drive traffic to your blog through blog commenting, via a neat method of finding new blogs for your collection.
Do you feel stagnant, blog-reading-wise?
I did. For a minute.
Turns out I dug deep into my blogging comfort zone for too many years, reading and commenting on the same blogs week after week, month after month.
If you know anything about successful blogging you likely know that all blogging growth occurs well outside of your comfort zone. So I had to venture out of the familiar by finding new blogs in both the blogging and travel blogging niches because my readers gravitate to both.
Enter a cool method for identifying new blogs for reading and commenting.
Google Image Search
The other day a neat little idea knocked on my mind’s door; why not use a Google image search to find blogs in my niches?
5 minutes later I literally had an unlimited number of blogs for enjoying, commenting and for connecting with fellow bloggers.
The method is simple. Google a competitive keyword in your niche. Example; I Googled “blogging” to start my search.
I then clicked on the “image” link by the top of the page. A series of images popped up related to that keyword.
Some images link to business sites but for the “blogging” keyword, most images linked to well-read, reputable blogs. Perfect.
Blog by blog, I slowly worked through each image, clinking on the blog post URL related to each picture. After reading each post I published a personalized comment and retweeted every blog post, adding the #blogging hashtag for increased targeting on Twitter.
Why this Strategy Is So Powerful
I – like you – have run into stagnant blogging circles on social media and through forums. Even if new bloggers join sites like Facebook and G Plus daily you cannot access and unlimited number of new blogs on a daily basis through either channel once you become an established blogger.
This is not the case with a Google Image search because the sheer volume of new blogs – for competitive keywords – yielded through such a search boggles the mind. Even better? Ranking high for an image search usually indicates a high quality blog for reading, for commenting and for building friendships with top shelf bloggers.
Some of these blogs linked to images are low quality offerings. Resist the urge to grab and scarf down rotten blogging low hanging fruit. Stick to quality blogs.
Some images point to business sites. I found this to be especially true when Googling major cities and islands around the world to find new travel bloggers. A high volume of images found during a search linked to tour operator sites. Sifting through tour sites or local chamber of commerce sites to find legit travel blogs requires a significant amount of time and energy.
Spending the time and energy to find new blogs is worth the effort but if you find some keyword image searches seem dominated by business sites – not blogs – feel free to try another keyword that may be linked to predominantly blogs for an image search on Google.
I only dove into this traffic driving strategy a few weeks ago but I noted new bloggers finding me daily through this approach.
If you are stagnating in familiar blogging circles commit 100% to this Google image search method. Reach out to new bloggers, build brand awareness and drive traffic through an easy to follow tactic.
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