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Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

Does your blog make you feel good? 

If your answer is yes, chances are it is extending that wonderful feeling to your readers as well. Feeling good is a bit like yawning, you can’t do it without affecting others. Its contagious. So is being miserable in your writing. Writing a constructive rant is one thing but nobody wants to read stuff that brings everyone down, all the time. 

What kind of blogger would you rather be? Positive and inspiring others, or a whiny one. Nobody likes whingers, at least that’s what I notice around me. And that’s what I teach my kids too.

I am a huge fan of those bloggers who can put a positive spin on just about anything.  It is my utmost pleasure to read what they have to say. You read these people and you feel like you can do anything. They give you that extra something you need from your reading – something to tell you it’s all going to work out in the end. 

You can write like that too. 

You don’t have to be the world’s most optimistic person. You just have to be human. 

Be HAPPY

Have a cheerful disposition in real life? When people see you, does it put a smile on their faces or do they think ..uh oh. 

Being a joyful person that you are, let your blog posts reflect that. I am not suggesting that we all need to only write about the good things, after all what’s the purpose of having a blog where you can’t let loose and do an occasional rant. But really, there is a lot of misery in real life, much gloom and doom. Talk about that if you must, but it pays if people leave your blog feeling much better. 

Be HELPFUL

Your blog has to do either one of two things, either it entertains or it helps. 

Make your writing useful. Provide some value to your readers. When you provide genuine help to your readers, they see it’s not all about you. Yes, it’s all about your writing but for what? Feel better about yourself or some other higher purpose. 

I write to help myself and .. others. 

Educate yourself by helping others. In helping others lies your sense of achievement and pride. Do your part. 

Be HUMOROUS

There is nothing sadder than not being able to laugh at oneself or to not see the lighter side of things. It’s truly amazing what laughter can do to brighten up a room, how it lifts everybody’s spirits. 

Laughter is generosity. It means you are interacting in a way that is neither judgemental, nor serious. People love it when there is unexpected humour amongst all the serious stuff. It’s like the icing on the cake for me. 

When you write lightly, it means you encourage others to look at things in a new perspective. All of a sudden, things seem better and it keeps everything in perspective. 

Be HOPEFUL

It keeps everyone going. 

I am sure everyone has those days when everything seems to take a turn for the worst. Nothing goes according to plan and after few such days, it’s quite easy to start questioning the purpose of it all. It’s a state of depression and it strikes us all. I too suffer from it and in those days you don’t even know what hope looks like. On that day I long to find something that offers hope, something that reminds me why I am doing it all. Could your blog do this for your readers?

Share your successes with your readers. People love a happy ending. 

Share your hard lessons you learnt. People love you when you refuse to stay down and show them how to come out smiling. 

Do you have any stories to tell? You will find many listeners. Be positive. Be that blogger. 

Be HUMAN

Show your human side. Make people relate to you. They like hearing a human voice, something that is real, honest and well… just human. 

Be human, be yourself and all will be well. 

   On a day when I am following my H religion, nobody is more successful on the planet than me. There is nothing that I cannot achieve. On a day like this, I want to write a post like this and share it with everybody

  Not everyday is like that, and sometimes I don’t get to meet all things H for many days. One those days it’s impossible to write a cheerful post. On those days, I look forward to reading all other bloggers who are humorous and help out others by reminding us that there is always hope. They remind us that this is all part of being human. And we are happy.

Join my circle of happiness, and become a part of my ‘happy’ blog. Subscribe now. :)

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What is your biggest excuse to not post regularly? Bet I know what you’re going to say. 

What keeps you from actually writing something down? As soon you plonk yourself before your computer, what happens? 

Is it lack of time? 

Really? 

Well, funny I have the same complaint as well. And so do the hundreds of bloggers. Few lucky ones don’t. How do they do it? Well, the reason is very simple. They don’t get distracted. Heard this before? Don’t know why it doesn’t REALLY click in. It did for me yesterday. 

At my house, I had a fuse blown for more about two hours or so. I couldn’t turn the TV on, receive any calls and access the internet (which was probably the hardest). I went offline – and I went invisible.

So I sat down and wrote- and wrote- and wrote. 

We can see what had happened. There is a reason why I was able to do exactly what I wanted to do and even a bit more.

I was NOT distracted. 

I did not start my day by checking my email first. Believe me when I say this, nothing happened when I didn’t check my email in the morning. The world didn’t stop. The sun did come out a usual.

I did not spend hours looking at other blogs, and commenting on different posts. Thats all good but if I do that, then I am not working on my own blog. 

I did not have a quick look at my facebook. Now, I have only few close friends and family on my personal account, even that takes me away from work. A quick message here and there, maybe I’ll write a long overdue email to someone who just posted a quick update to their status. Hang on, might as well watch that youtube video while I am here. You get the idea.

I did not log on to twitter. I did not see who started following me, therefore, I was not enticed to click on their profiles, which could lead to looking at their blogs. I might have decided to follow them back and send them quick messages. It takes away time that I could use to finish my work. 

I did not turn the TV on and drift away by catching mindless piece of information.

I did not receive a long call from a close friend and end up chatting for 45 minutes. Nor was I tempted to make one.

I did not sit around feeling intimidated by the task ahead of me. Didn’t have to think, oh I can’t do this, it’s beyond me. Was that really the case or have I made it this way.

I had something to do and I did it. 

When you are working at and office, are you constantly doing things that take you away from work? I am guessing no – for the most part. Then why do we do it at home? 

Distractions are funny, they are small and seem insignificant. They come unexpectedly and when you start attending to them, all your planning flies out the window. And you are left wondering where all your time went.

You can beat them in 3 easy steps.

Get Organized

That’s the first step to having a shot at acheiving what you want in life. Make a list of tasks for the day and follow through. It’s that simple.

Yes, you will have to be very self-disciplined.  But that’s the whole point of it.

Prioritize Your Time

Make blocks of all the demands on your time that take you away from your task at hand –ie writing a new post. If it’s being on the internet, turn it off.

Set a time aside for checking your blog subscriptions.  Say 20 minutes. Even if you can’t read everything, you’ll probably find out that you did the thing that is more important at the moment. Writing a post. 

Do not go around commenting everywhere. Only comment if you genuinely have something to say, or praise the exceptionally well-written post. 

Check your emails together instead of checking throughout the day. Same goes for the phone calls, return them in bunches if you get many while you are working. 

And finally,

Stick To It

Would you be able to access social networking sites or tv at work? Do the same while you are working from home, its no different really. If you allow too many distractions, you will lose valuable time and end up accomplishing nothing.

I did it for one day. The goal is now to do it for every day of the week. No more lame excuses for why I did not publish three times a week. I have taken the first step.

What keeps you distracted from writing post regularly? Share your tips on how to beat these nasty buggers with all of us.

Subscribe to keep up with all blogging fun… :)

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Ever wonder why some people get to be so happy? So far, I have established one thing, happiness is somehow tied to simplicity in life .. the simpler your life is, apparently the happier you are going to be.

I like to think that I am a fairly happy person. It might not have been the case just a year ago but in the last year alone, I have managed to rediscover my self. I was able to achieve all of my goals – and more. Through sheer hard work and determination, and with a positive approach to life.

I started my kids in a great school and daycare, got in my Post Grad diploma of Teaching in a highly prestigious university of my choice.

I changed house, bought new furniture along the way and topped it of with a new SUV a few days ago.

I started my blog that got great exposure when my Blogging Tips post made it to freshly pressed – for four days. YAY! I also got great readers and subscribers, who wouldn’t have found me otherwise. I also found great writers and bloggers to learn from. :) I got some work published on the web, a great start in the world of web writing.

I completed two teaching placements and one year (half) of my teaching degree. Phew! It’s hard to believe I actually survived.

After my parents’ visit from overseas, I am going for a holiday of about 6 weeks with my family. YAYYY :) Leaving on Jan 15, so get in your comments early. :)

So yes I have had a very good year. This brought on a sudden burst of inspiration to write something light-hearted on life and happiness, taking a break from blogging and writing advice. Psst .. it helped to read The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People: What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It by David Niven as well.

Here goes

My top tips that are helping me to lead a truly happy life.

Have a Purpose and Meaning in your Life

Set goals in your life and make sure they are in perfect harmony with each other. They are life tyres of your car, they must move in the same direction. If they conflict with each other, you will end up being very stressed out and dissatisfied with your life. 

Invest in Friendships

Life without close, meaningful relationships is meaningless.

You do not have to be a social butterfly, however true friends will make you come alive. Take care of your friends and reap the rewards of belonging.

Friendship beats money, hands down. Tell your friends what they mean to you and make their day, as well as yours. Keep your word. 

A happy life

It Hurts to Compare with Unrealistic Standards

Think of those whose examples are worthy but make sure you stay true to yourself. 

Have realistic expectations. You are a person, not a stereotype. Be comfortable in your own skin.

Be grateful that you are fortunate than many. Accept yourself. Believe in yourself – Just not too much.

Ask for help when you need it and share your problems with your mates.

Every relationship is different, don’t compare yours with your friend’s.

Let your goals evolve or you will get seriously hurt. Do the things you are good at. Money is not the end to all problems. 

Turn off the TV

Excessive tv watching takes you away from life. Your partners and kids literally need to shout to be heard. It makes you lazy and makes you take your relationships for granted. Do not take tv’s view of the world, the picture is tainted. 

Be Open to New Experiences

Life-long learning is the key to life long fun. Get a hobby, be it dance, cooking class, new form of exercise or some course at the university; try something new to stay young and fresh. Volunteer your time in your community. Join a group. Have fun. 

If You are Not Sure, Guess Positively

If somebody is being nice, do they have an agenda or are they a nice person? Are you the type of person who stays positive, or assumes the worst? Try banishing this self-defeating habit and see the profound effect on your life. Check  out positivity blog’s 5 powerful questions that can help make 2011 a fantastic year for you.

Be Happy

Develop a Household Routine

If your life is all over the place, you will dread waking up in the morning. You will be harried, rushed and overly stressed trying to manage your average day. Surround yourself with beautiful things and wonderful smells. Enjoy the ordinary. 

Get a Good Night Sleep

Works wonders. Exercise and get physically active. Its nothing like feeling your best throughout the day. 

Keep Your Family Close

Develop shared interests with your loved ones. 

Be Thankful

Pay attention to your life, you might already have that you really need.

Your definition of success has to be your own. Remember to think good, your life is a success based on your judgement only. Keep perspective, maintain integrity.

  2010 was my happiness project, check out Gretchen Rubin’s site for her book in which she documented her year long happiness project. What has made you particularly happy with yourself the past year? Any major goals, any outstanding achievements? Please share. What are your best tips for being happy?

If you want to get the best of books on; writing, blogging, publishing, personal growth, inspiration, women issues and more, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog & keep talking in comments section. Looking forward to knowing you more. Many thanks. :)

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1. I am fine tuning an idea for a niche. I am going to polish it, add few posts with the underlying theme and see how the readers like it.

2. I am going to post three times a week, and space them out evenly. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays might work.

3. I am going to add all the blogs that I have bookmarked to my blogroll. This way people can see which ones I subscribe to and follow regularly.

4. I am going to organize all my blog post ideas. These are all over the place at the moment and I cannot seem to find anything when I need it.

5. I am going to learn more about SEO Search Engine Optimization

6. I am going to look at more widgets to add to my blog.

7. I am going to get my own domain name for my blog – maybe upgrade with word press, just so people know how serious I am about this.

8. I am going to write a free report for new subscribers. I will also mail this report to people who have already subscribed, just to say a special thanks to them. I really do appreciate you guys. :)

9. I am going to network more with other writing blogs and comment more often. I will also query blogs to see if I can guest post for them. Fingers crossed.

10. I am going to learn more about blogging, and share everything with my readers.

So what are your new year’s blogging resolutions? Please share, I would love to know. :)

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Best Blogging Tips

As the original post was getting a tad too long, I decided to split into two parts. For the first 4 tips on blogging, check out part 1.

5. Respect your readers

Don’t blog about anything you can’t say to a person’s face. Scott McNulty of The unofficial Apple weblog

Accept criticism with open attitude and see what you can learn from it.

Think about others’ feelings before you post. Your blog is not a license for rudeness.

6. Gain experience from your personal blog

Blogging means different things to different people. Peter Rojas; Engadget. Figure out what are you blogging for.

Before starting a blog, make sure you have more than one thing to say. Make a list of half-dozen or more ideas. Rebecca Lieb. ClickZ

Blogging for free, on your own, may win the attention of paying blogs. Victor Agreda Jr. DIY life

Experience with a personal blog can prepare you for blogging for pay. Deidre Woollard. Luxist.

A personal blog is a better platform for being yourself and communicating honestly, rather than a blog you are paid to write. You admit to your biases rather than hide it. Mary Jo Foley of All about Microsoft.

A blog can support and extend the life of a book. Brad Hill. Weblogs, Inc

The strength of successful blogs is their authenticity. Content and personality are both important.

Blog from your heart. Deborah Peterson of Life in the Fast Lane.

7. Blogging is a learning process

Says Gary Lee of An internet Marketing Website.

Blogging is an ongoing learning experience. Gina Trapani of Lifehacker. It can help you learn more about a particular subject.

8. Increase your readership over time

Be passionate about what you write, it shows.

Write original, thoughtful, well written content and readers will come.

If you want people to come to your blog, you must offer them something of value. Steve Rubel. MicroPersuasion.

Respond to your comments, your readership counts.

Look for opportunities to self promote your blog.

Comment on blogs of high-profile bloggers in your niche area to draw traffic. Kristin Darguzas. ParentDish

Growth does not happen quickly. John Neff. Autoblog.

Learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Link to other blogs where appropriate. They might link back. Joel Comm. JoelComm.com

Links from other blogs are more important than SEO, because those links give you the effect of SEO. Robert Scoble. Scobleizer.

Avoid begging for links. Mike Masnick. Techdirt.

Rather than focusing on bringing in traffic, let content guide your blog. Philipp Lenssen Google Blogoscoped

Setting up titles that appeal to both search engines and humans is all the SEO that most blogs read. Brad Hill. Weblogs, Inc

       So, anytips for having a successful blog? More importantly, what is your definition of a successful blog?

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Blogging Heroes on how to have a successful blog

I have just finished reading ‘Blogging heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World’s Top Bloggers’, and I must say  that Michael A Banks is a GENIUS. I simply could not get enough of it. 

Being relatively new to the blogging scene, naturally I was interested in picking the brains of the best of the best – how they started and made it big. Although the book mostly covers the major players in technology, news, politics and lifestyle – and my blog doesn’t have anything to do with any of it-  it really is a must read for every new blogger who is dead serious about it.

At the end of each interview, Banks summarizes advice for newbies these veterans have churned out. Here I compile my own list of bits I especially loved from these world-class bloggers.

How to have a successful blog, for new bloggers

1. You don’t have to write everyday

Write when you are inspired and and set up extra material to post at later dates. That way your readers know when to expect your new posts. Dave taylor of The Intuitive Life Business Blog.

It does help to post regularly, this way people are likely to return. Frank Warren of PostSecret.

Readers expect fresh content every time they visit a blog.

2. Go to other blogs

.. and engage in discussions to bring readers to your blog.

Don’t write quickie comments as an excuse to leave your url, its annoying. Add your comment if you genuinely have something to say. Don’t spam other blogs with link to your blog.

Keep up with other blogs. Almost all bloggers admitted to subscribing to 200 or so blogs on average.

3. Find a niche

Chris Anderson of The Long Tail advises to focus on specific interests. You don’t have to appeal to an overly diverse audience. Focused blogs are self selecting…

‘A specific focus or mission is necessary to sustain a blog’. Ina Steiner, AuctionBytes.

4. Cultivate Good Writing

Don’t worry about reporting on new things, find a fresh and exciting perspective instead.

Write descriptive headlines to your posts, especially important for people who subscribe to your feeds. Mark Frauenfelder of Boingboing.net.

Don’t forget other blogs as sources of information and always credit by linking to them.

Use a relaxed and personable style rather than a news style. Ken Fisher of Arts Technica.

Take time away from your blog to get fresh ideas. Credentials are not necessarily indicative of quality of blog posts.

    The final 3 tips on blogging are posted here. These also talk about how to build readership – the million dollar question.

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Imagine going through minds of professional bloggers (and thinkers). What would we find? Let’s have a bit of fun, shall we?

 

What does ‘blogging’ mean to you?

  • I believe the term “blog” means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume. Michael Arrington
  • Blogging is using a new medium for what it is good for – connecting and interacting. George Siemens
  • Yes, blogging is entertainment. It is performance. Each blog post a show, sometimes an opera, sometimes a 30 second commercial. Like a show, it may start with a bang, lead you along from song to song, have a great climatic moment, then leave the audience wanting more. Lorelle Van Fossen
  • A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list.  Unknown
  • Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining “Blog” is a fool’s errand. Michael Conniff 

What’s a single important decision to make when you are thinking of starting a blog?

  • The first thing you need to decide when you build your blog is what you want to accomplish with it, and what it can do if successful. ~  Ron Dawson 

What can you write in your blog?

  • Your blog is what you say when there is nobody standing over your shoulder telling you what to do. Lorelle V Fossen
  • The personal nature of the blog is what they find appealing. Ethan G. Salwen
  • Your blog is your unedited version of yourself. Lorelle V Fossen
  • The casual conversational tone of a blog is what makes it particularly dangerous. Daniel B. Beaulieu 

My blogging club

 Why do readers subscribe to blogs? What makes a blog ‘successful’?

  • Bottom line of a successful blog is what else but solid contents. Partha Bhattacharya
  • Readers subscribe to blogs when they provide an informational or entertainment value so great that it would be a loss to not subscribe to it. Maki
  • Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs. Seth Godin
  • Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers. Brian Clark 

How important is to establish any relationship with your readers?  

  • A blog is in many ways a continuing conversation. Andrew Sullivan
  • As I have repeatedly written in one form or other, blogging is not about writing posts. Heck, that’s the least of your challenges. No, blogging is about cultivating a mutually beneficial relationships with an ever-growing online readership, and that’s hard work. Alister Cameron
  • Blogging is a conversation not a code. Mike Butcher

Is linking to other blogs important?

  • Link to your enemies. Link to your competitors. Link to everyone. Instead of being sticky, be linky. Robert Scoble
  • The heart of blogging is linking…linking and commenting. Connecting and communicating – the purpose of the Internet. George Siemens 
  • Unless you restrict your reading habits to a really small segment of the blogging population, or you are a blogging machine like Robert Scoble, a feed reader is only going to give you a small window of what is happening in the blogosphere. Andy Beard

Happy bloggers. My community. Join?

How can we become better bloggers? Any tips?

  • Blogging is best learned by blogging…and by reading other bloggers. George Siemens 
  • Blogging is an art, same as any other method of self-expression. Some are better at it than others. Hugh Macleod

Why do writers in particular enjoy blogging so much?

  • I think the pleasure of completed work is what makes blogging so popular. You have to believe most bloggers have few if any actual readers. The writers are in it for other reasons. Blogging is like work, but without coworkers thwarting you at every turn. All you get is the pleasure of a completed task. Scott Adams
  • And it occurred to me that there is no such thing as blogging. There is no such thing as a blogger. Blogging is just writing — writing using a particularly efficient type of publishing technology. Simon Dumenco.
  • I realised that blogging is in itself another form of creative writing. Unknown

What can blogging do for you – professionally speaking?

  • Blogging is good for your career. A well-executed blog sets you apart as an expert in your field. Penelope Trunk

Why do some people say blogging is hard work?

  • Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant. Sufia Tippu 
  • Blogging is not rocket science, it’s about being yourself, and putting what you have into it. Unknown

What is the most important lesson you have learnt while blogging? I am happy to learn from the best. If you want to join me, subscribe to my blog. All are welcome! :)

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