Why Not Write about Something that Makes You Think?

Why Not Write about Something that Makes You Think?

Why Not Write about Something that Makes You Think?

Have you read something lately that really stopped you in your tracks and made you think? As I write these words, it’s the first day of the new presidency. So lots of changes are coming soon–and many changes have already happened today. Some of those political changes might make you consider things differently. And even if you don’t like politics, or don’t want to write about anything political, a change of administration can bring up a lot of feelings. It’s good to get into the habit of writing because without a good habit, you probably won’t be able to finish anything. Speaking of which, here’s Content Creation: What Are the Best Habits for Writing?

©Fredrik Rubensson 2013

Articles in the News

Covid isn’t the only thing in the news these days. There have been scientific discoveries, such as a new fossils uncovered in Argentina which may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth. And in something that really affects us all, Netflix’s ‘Shuffle Play’ will get rolled out to all users. And on the social media front, people are reportedly leaving Facebook and Twitter and “privacy-first social network MeWe is scooping these disaffected users up onto its platform.”

©Fouse Photography 2008

 

A Conference You Might Have Attended

If you attended a virtual conference recently, how was it different from others you’ve attended in person? The one I recently attended for a client was usually in person and those who ran it and attended were not so tech-savvy. There were lots of glitches in how it was promoted and how it was run, too. Still, it was a departure from the usual conference and much more convenient to attend, since it was mostly pre-recorded videos and virtual storefronts where you could check in and possibly win prizes. Here’s something that might interest you: 20 worthwhile conferences for women. Why not attend one and then write about it?

©Sam Saunders 2020

Quick Google Search

A Google search on your chosen topic will yield a list of ideas that you can blog about if you’re all out of ideas. And of that doesn’t do it for you, here are some more ideas: How to Find Ten Blog Post Ideas in One Hour That Will Make You Relaxed. I have confidence that you’ll find something to write about, so I hope you’ll get started right away.

©Todd Barnard 2009

 

 

 

Outsourcing Your Content Creation for the First Time?

Outsourcing Your Content Creation for the First Time?

Outsourcing Your Content Creation for the First Time?

You may have considered getting help with your social media or content creation for the first time this year. After all, last year you spent so much time working on it and that was time you couldn’t get back! Here are four good reasons you ought to outsource your content creation!

©TLC Jonhson 2017

You Have Better Things to Do with Your Time

This is the first and best reason you might want to outsource your content creation. You’re running your business and you’re busy. Creating content at the end of the day is the absolute last thing you want to do! If you want to know some other ways to save time (besides outsourcing), here’s an article you might like: Repurposing Your Social Media is the Ultimate Time Saver.

©Efrén 2007

©Efrén 2007

It’s Not Your Strong Suit

If content creation were truly your strong suit, you probably wouldn’t mind writing. But you’re much better at running your business and less inclined to want to do any marketing of your business. Besides, when you’re focused on what you’re good at, time disappears and work becomes more pleasant. And if you don’t focus on your strengths, you might want to read this: Why Leaders Should Focus on Strengths Not Weaknesses by Forbes.

©Jonathan Mueller 2011

©Jonathan Mueller 2011

You’d Like a More Polished Look

It’s not that you couldn’t do it yourself, but you’d like your articles and social media to look more polished. If you need help with writing, why not find someone else to do it for you? (Ahem.) I might know someone. And maybe you’d like someone who enjoys writing and also someone who writes every day for a living? That would be good, wouldn’t it? Kinda joking, but kinda not joking.

©d26b73 2015

©d26b73 2015

Someone Else Could Do it Faster

Back to that saving time item again, if someone else created your content for you, it would probably take them far less time. Maybe you could create a blog post in an hour, but how good would it be unless you were really practiced at it? Two hours? Four hours? Wouldn’t that time be better spent running your business?

©coniferconifer 2020

©coniferconifer 2020

Still Want to Do it Yourself?

If that’s the case, I have a couple of ways to help you, for not very much cash. Maybe you’d like to try it out. In that case, I’ve got two books that you might like, both available on Amazon in either paperback or eBook format:

©Wesley Nitsckie 2012

©Wesley Nitsckie 2012

Sound Like You?

If any of this sounds interesting, you know what to do! Of course, you could also leave a comment here. I’d appreciate it. Thank you!

 

Best Holiday 2020 Recipes from #DigiBlogChat

Best Holiday 2020 Recipes from #DigiBlogChat

Best Holiday 2020 Recipes from #DigiBlogChat

For the holidays this year, we shared ideas and recipes for #DigiBlogChat. Randy Clark came up with the questions, and our chat friends came up with the answers. Here are some of them.

Q1. What healthy snacks do you enjoy, or would you rather overdo it? What are your favorite “Guilty pleasure” snacks? Or healthy ones? 

@KBerryMS A1. Humus, granola bars, guacamole, and chips+ salsa for the healthier side. I tend to stay on the healthier side as the naughty snacks are good in the moment but don’t always leave you feeling great.

Q2. Baby, it’s cold outside, so what non-alcoholic hot beverages do you recommend?

Q3. We’re all so busy this time of year, so what are some quick no-cook snacks? 

Q4. Besides gingerbread houses, what are your tastiest baked treats?

From Maricar Jagger: Grandma Gribble’s French Truffles.
Note: The truffles are made to use up the egg yolks when the whites are used for making Royal Icing for the Christmas cake.
Ingredients
200g plain chocolate (70-80% cocoa)
75 g icing sugar
100g butter
4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons brandy
Cream the butter and icing sugar. Add yolks, melted chocolate and brandy, and beat thoroughly. Allow to set in the fridge and then roll into balls (makes 20 of about 1 inch balls) and roll in drinking chocolate. It’s a messy job, but pleasurable! Refrigerate the truffles until ready to eat.

Loni of @JorgensonLocker shared this terrific recipe for”Christmas Crack!”

Jackie Yun shared this wonderful recipe:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q5. Let’s get to the meat of it. Share treats made of meats!

Q6. Share one of your grandmother’s snack recipes, please!

Q7. Not to get too “cheesy,” but let’s talk cheese.

Q8. It had to be asked, what store-bought treats do you serve?

Q9. What snacks have you concocted during the COVID?

Here are two creations from Randy Clark.

1. Tortilla Pizza. 8” Soft flour tortilla, 1 tsp olive, coat both sides, pinch of garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper, 1/3 cup shredded cheese. Top with what you like. Bake at 400 3-5 minutes.
2. No measure healthy oatmeal cookies. Mix about 1 cup of oats, 1 egg, splash of milk, stir to paste. Add whatever you like and have – nuts, raisins, coconut, berries, spices. Tablespoon onto baking sheet. (I use parchment.) Cook 400F for 10 minutes.

Q10. Last but not least, you knew it was coming, holiday adult beverages. Is it 5:00 yet?

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/268140/hot-buttered-rum-single-serving/

Thank you all for participating and Happy New Year to everyone!

Repurposing Your Social Media Content Is the Ultimate Time Saver

© The U.S. Army 2019

© The U.S. Army 2019

By now you’ve heard that repurposing your social media content is a must-do. Right? After all, so many companies reuse their social media content. Why shouldn’t you? The answer is that you should! Read on to hear why.

© Alexander Boden 2013

© Alexander Boden 2013

Your Time is Limited

There’s only one of you. Maybe there are a few people on your team who all do the writing, but there’s only one of you. And your schedule is packed already. Spending time blogging or creating content doesn’t always get to the top of your list. In fact, some days it might not get on your list at all. Bridget Willard has an excellent post about Time Blocking Tips (and even uses a baseball analogy, which I love).

© Oregon National Guard 2018

© Oregon National Guard 2018

You Have Other Things to Do

You have so many things to do that sometimes you run out of space on your list! If you write your to-do list the old-school way, sometimes you run out of paper! Does that sound like you? Sometimes it sounds like me! However, people are always asking the same questions. So turn those frequently asked questions into blog posts and you’ll be set. This article from Greatist about To-Do Lists made me smile. If you’re a maker of lists, you’ll love it. For instance, there’s this golden nugget: “Start the list with at least two items that absolutely must get done today to make sure you don’t end up vacuuming instead of finishing a project report due tomorrow or remembering to buy medications.”

© Kaarina Dillabough 2018

© Kaarina Dillabough 2018

Evergreen Content Can Be Used for a Long Time

Evergreen content is content that can be used over and over, thus saving you time in the long run. If you don’t know about evergreen content, here’s some more info: How Long Is Evergreen Actually Good for? Share it and reshare it (but differently each time)! Some of my older posts are still evergreen years later. And yes, I still re-share those evergreen posts occasionally. After all, they took time to research and write.

21 Ways To Repurpose Your Social Media Conent

21 Ways To Repurpose Your Social Media Content

There’s a Whole Book about it!

Yes, there is, and I wrote it! Discover more about how to reuse your own content. You can find 21 Ways To Repurpose Your Social Media Content: And Why Repurposing Your Content Is Critical on Amazon in two formats, eBook and paperback. If you go to the Amazon link, you can even take a quick look inside the book. Thank you for looking!

A Short History of the #DigiBlogChat Twitter Chat

A Short History of the #DigiBlogChat Twitter Chat

A few people have asked about #DigiBlogChat, a chat that Larry Mount and I started on Twitter a number of years ago. So here goes.

In the Beginning…

Once upon a time, there was a startup in San Francisco, which like a number of other startups, no longer exists. At that startup, I began a Twitter chat called #BigDataChat. That was the end of 2013.

The Before Time

#BigDataChat became very popular. We had a number of big players tweeting along with us on #BigDataChat. We had giveaways and prizes. Sometimes we gave away books, other times there were tickets to startup events. O’Reilly Media was one of the big participants in the chat.

Larry Mount Was a Participant

Larry would regularly participate in #BigDataChat. Each week he would log into #BigDataChat and contribute his thoughts.

When #BigDataChat ended, Larry became sad and lonely. Not really. I made that part up, to give this story more dramatic oomph. But he did notice that #BigDataChat had ended.

The Biggest Giveaway

The company I worked with decided to give away the chat to O’Reilly Media. The chat didn’t last too long after that, for reasons I’m not clear about. At any rate, I was no longer involved with the startup or the chat.

Friendship and Brainstorming

Over the course of the months that #BigDataChat occurred, Larry and Carol (that’s me!) became online friends. After that chat ended, we wondered how to continue the chat experience, and brainstormed ways. We decided upon a day of the week and a time.

©Andy Mangold 2010

©Andy Mangold 2010

#DigiBlogChat Was Born

We all missed #BigDataChat. It was a good time to exchange ideas, over the course of an hour. Once we decided upon Tuesdays at 1:00 pm Pacific Time, we started to collect ideas. And we reached out to people we knew. We sometimes have had prizes and giveaways, too.

The Chat Grew…and Grew

Now #Digiblogchat has a regular bunch of contributors who log in every week. We’ve become friends online and offline, too, in some cases.

The People

Since we crowdsource the topics for our chats, we have an extremely engaged audience. There’s Tripp Braden, Randy Clark, and the enthusiastic Beth Staub. John Lewis, who also runs #Innochat is a regular. Finola, Maricar, and Mitch Mitchell regularly weigh in. My friend @MistressPrime occasionally visits. @CharlesMcCool and @jpretorious are there, too. Then there are @nina_wag and @htindesigner. We couldn’t forget our friends at @interprosepr! Sandy of @CreativeWoodVT has been a friend for a long time. Loni of @JorgensonLocker is also a regular on the chat! And @JKatzaman is always making us laugh!

There are probably others that I’m forgetting and for that I apologize. 

Join Us!

Come join us on Twitter. It’s every Tuesday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time. For more info about how to join, read How to Join #DigiBlogChat Twitter Chat.

Quick and Easy Ways to Content Creation

Quick and Easy Ways to Content Creation

Quick and Easy Ways to Content Creation

Maybe you’ve been blogging for awhile, but writing doesn’t come easily to you. Everyone says how easy writing and blogging are, though. There must be some easier ways to do this, you might be thinking. After all, people are creating content every day without so much trouble, right? Right! Read on for some easy tweaks to make to your content creation.

Decide to Begin

Now that might sound silly, but getting started is usually the hardest part for anyone. So get yourself into the right mindset, sit down at your desk (or kitchen table), and get started! Or, if you’d rather do a video blog (vlog), get set up for that. Give yourself permission to quit after 15 minutes. That often helps.

UNclimatechange ©2014

UNclimatechange ©2014

Spend the Most Time on Your Headline

If you only have an hour to write, spend about half that time on your headline. Seriously. Some people won’t even read your article before sharing it, but you want them to click through, right? For more info, you might like this article: What Happens When You Write 25 Headlines Before Choosing One? Lately I’ve been using Google to help me find topics for blogging about. Just type in your keyword and see what Google comes up with.

Write Every Day

Now writing every day might not sound easy, but could you write two sentences a day? Or a paragraph or two? That will definitely help you get started. And those little changes add up. I like this article from Tiny Buddha: Things Change When You Do (and Small Changes Add up). One of those changes is to take care of yourself first, by the way. (Writing can help with taking care of yourself.)

Andrew Bowden ©2010

Andrew Bowden ©2010

Write Out Loud

Talk to yourself and then write down what you say. Or call a friend and write down what you say to them. You may want to use the talk-to-text feature on your phone. Here are the 8 Best Voice-to-Text Apps of 2020. You’ll still have to edit your text, but voice-to-text apps are getting better all the time. You can certainly talk about your business, even if you think that you can’t write about it.

Completion, Not Perfection

If you’re a perfectionist, you might have a hard time with this one. Yes, you can write something that’s good. But it probably won’t be perfect. Aim for getting it done and it’ll be much easier.

Herry Lawford ©2011

Herry Lawford ©2011

Reward Yourself

This is another quick and easy hint. You’re not supposed to reward yourself with food, but come on. This is 2020! Have the cookie. Or go for a walk, if that makes you feel less guilty. I vote for the cookie.

What If You Have a Time Crunch?

And if you only have an hour to create a blog post? You might like this article: How to Write a Perfectly Fine Blog Post in One Hour. Yes, you really can do it! At least you’ll have a great deal of it done in one hour, and the momentum to move forward.

Matthias Ripp ©2015

Matthias Ripp ©2015

Have Other Ideas?

Let me know with a comment! And thank you.

 

 

How to Boost Your Self-Esteem!

Manel Torralba ©2017

Manel Torralba ©2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you define self-esteem? And do you depend on other people to develop your self-esteem, or is self-esteem something you develop in the privacy of your own quarantined home? Whichever way you define it, there are definitely ways to develop your self-esteem. Here are some ways that have worked for me.

Derek Bridges © 2008

Derek Bridges © 2008

 

We’re Not Worthy

Surely everyone of a certain age remembers the “we’re not worthy” guys from Wayne’s World. And we’ve all felt that way when suddenly being recognized by someone we deem worthy. Do you ever feel unworthy of the kudos coming your way? And almost as if, as Groucho Marx said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

Alan Levine ©2011

Alan Levine ©2011

Imposter Syndrome

Everyone, me included, sometimes feels like an imposter. As though everyone else knows what they’re doing, but maybe you don’t. But there are ways around it.

Mário Simoes ©2016

Mário Simoes ©2016

Act As If

Acting as if you’re already successful can really help to avoid imposter syndrome. Pretending you’re already there to the top of your personal Mount Everest can ease some of that worry. Or even imitating or channeling one of your much-loved heroes. For instance, when I have to do something difficult I often channel my brother.

Nenad Stojkovic ©2017

Nenad Stojkovic ©2017

 

Writing as a Way to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Now you might not have thought about writing as a way to boost your self-esteem, but writing can help your self-esteem in several ways. For one thing, writing helps clarify your ideas and that always helps. For another, you can write a series of articles, scoop them up together and turn them into a book. Or start a podcast, for that matter.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Ensure Your Tweetstream Tells a Good Story

©Stewart Butterfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re trying to decide whether to follow someone, or follow someone back on Twitter, how do you do it? Do you look at that person’s timeline to try to decide? Or do you have a conversation first? Here are some ways to make your own Twitter stream look better so others might want to follow you.

Don’t retweet posts with huge lists of people

Recently, people have restarted that Friday Follow tradition. Remember the one that almost made you leave Twitter? When Friday Follow first started, it was fun. That was many years ago. Then, more recently, Friday Follow became huge lists of as many accounts as people could squish into one tweet. Don’t retweet these if you can help it. It looks messy and does nothing for those you already follow. If people see too many of these tweets in your timeline, they’ll either 1. not want to follow you, or 2. unfollow you if they’re already following you. By the way, here are some Friday Follow best practices from the vault (2013!): Follow Friday: 8 Best Practices.

Read the stuff you retweet

Make sure the links you’re going to retweet really work. I admit I’ve been guilty of retweeting without reading–and it’s not a good idea. Occasionally, the links don’t work. Also, if you’re sending your friends to a site with a paywall or that’s spammy or filled with tons of popups, wouldn’t you want to warn them? Seems like a good idea to me! If you’ve tried to retweet something without reading it lately, Twitter is now suggesting that you read before retweeting! Apparently, it worked, because “Twitter says the prompts worked, and users opened articles before sharing them 40% more often than they did without the nudge.”

©Felipe Cabrera

Have conversations!

Engagement is definitely the gold standard of social media. So if you’re sharing something, say something about it. Talk to people. Ask questions. Say hello. Engage in tweetchats (even if you can only add a comment or two, it’s better than nothing. For more about engagement, you may like: For Better Social Media Results, Focus on Engagement. Still have questions? Talk to me on Twitter!

Still here?

If you’re still reading, thank you! I haven’t been blogging since August, but I’m back and I appreciate your reading all the way to the end!

 

You Need to Know about Pinterest’s Powerful New Feature, Story Pins

Photo by ShardsOfBlue

What Are Story Pins?

Story pins let you put together up to 20 pages of images and texts in one pin. If you’re inside Pinterest, you can create story pins on the top left corner of your screen (see the screen shot below). Once you’ve created a story pin, there will be a number there, too, to indicate how many pages or images exist in the story pin.

You Need a Pinterest Business Account

If you’re a business and don’t have a business account on Pinterest, you need to do that. Here’s why: Ten Arguments for a Pinterest Business Account. Seriously, do that first. I’ll wait. Bottom line–you need analytics so you can measure your results on Pinterest. Otherwise, you may be wasting your time. One tip for you? Publish in the evening, at around 6:30 pm, for the best results.

Three Types of Story Pins

Currently, there are three types of story pins: Recipes
, DIY, and guides. Here’s an example of a recipe pin: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/128985976816932426/ (You may need to log into Pinterest to see it, but there’s cake there.)

Who Can Use Story Pins?

Anyone who uses stories can use a story pin! That should probably be all of us. Stories make time stand still, and keep your followers engaged. And they’re fun!

Where Do I Sign up for Story Pins?

If story pins are not yet available where you are, you can request access: Story Pin Request Form. They should be available shortly for everyone. It takes 5-7 days to gain access if you request it.

How Do I Get Started?

Here’s a short guide, straight from the horse’s mouth, Pinterest. Create Story Pins. Although story pins might seem complicated, they’re easy and fun. The important thing is to get started! You can edit story pins, so there’s that.

When Should I Use a Story Pin Rather than a Regular Pin?

Recipes are good for story pins. And, as suggested by Pinterest, anything that requires multiple steps and that you can be illustrate with pictures is a good idea. So a simple craft would make a good story pin. Or something like how to paint a wall yourself. You can put up multiple videos, or even use a video as the cover for your story pin.

React to a Story Pin with Emojis

You can react to a story pin with five different emojis! They are: Good idea, love, thanks, wow, and haha. Pay attention to the number of repins, impressions, and closeups for this pin (above), after just one day. Kind of cool, right?

What Else?

After you’ve published a Story Pin, you can edit the public note, the board you published it to, topic tags, and details. You can also delete an existing page, add a new page, or reorder existing pages. How many times have you published something (say a tweet), and wanted to edit it but can’t? You have to delete it and start over! UGH! Anyway, if you try story pins let me know!

 

 

 

10 Best Ways to Manage Time on Social Media

sands photo

Time is precious, and yet we all tend to waste it (including myself here). Time management can be a tricky business, especially when you’re using social media. Here are some things I’ve learned from ten years managing social media for myself and others.

sands photo

Use a Timer

A good timer, such as Noko (the one I use) helps you see in graphic format exactly where your time is going. If you don’t have the money for a professional timer or app, any timer will help. I used to use an egg timer, and that worked fine. Something about the ticking really did help. If you’re short on time, you might like: What if you only have 30 minutes for social media?

sands photo

Plan Each Day

Before you start working, have a plan. Now, you may not follow the plan, but at least you have a structure to fall back onto when you think “now what was I supposed to be doing?” Because you will forget and become distracted without a plan. My planning takes roughly 5-7 minutes to do, either the night before or the day of. A social media content calendar is a very good idea, by the way. You can use Excel or you can use a social media content calendar, such as this one from Later.

Prioritize

Once you’ve written down everything you have to do, prioritize. You probably have 5-7 things you must do each day. Decide which items are necessities. Then decide which you’ll do first, second, third, etc.

prioritize photo

Have a Reason

Why are you on Twitter? What are you doing on Facebook? Stick to your reason, post, and have a definite period of time you plan to be there. Then get out before you get sucked in! Because you will get sucked in…there are a million billion videos of cute kittens just waiting for you.

Maintain Focus

Stay focused on your purpose for being on social media. Are you there to comment on others’ posts? Then do that? Are you there to check on your own posts? Do that and (again) get out!

chess photo

Delegate

If you get distracted easily, you might want someone else to do your social media for you. Find someone who can post, or who can engage on your behalf. Need more time? You might want to Outsource Your Social Media.

chess photo

Keep it Quiet

Most people thrive with a quiet environment, especially if you tend to get sensory overload from being online.

Use White Noise

A white noise generator can also work if the sound of waves or wind help you. I like one that has birds (quietly) chirping, along with a few frogs.

chess photo

Learn to Say No

Saying no is perhaps the most important tactic of all. Think of a few different ways to say no. In the article 7 Tips for Saying No Effectively, Joseph Albert suggests being assertive and courteous: “You might say, “I’m sorry I can’t right now but will let you know when and if I can.” This approach is polite, and puts you in a position of power by changing the dynamic.” Isn’t that wonderful? He also suggests standing firm when pushed, which leads me to the next suggestion…

chess photo

Be Ruthless

Guard your time like a dragon guards its lair. It’s your life and your business, after all! Who else is going to guard it?

 

 

 

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