Organizing Your Social Media So You Can Have a Better Life

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Everyone says you need to know your why before you feel motivated. The reason you want to organize your social media is so you’ll have more time. Hence, you can use that time to have a better life. There are lots of different ways to organize your social media. Here are some suggestions.

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Block out Your Time

I like to check Twitter first thing in the morning. So I group all my Twitter accounts together and do it that way. If you have some task that you can group together, you could do the same thing. Using a block of time, whether it’s 15 minutes or three hours, will make you more efficient. For instance, you could schedule a week’s worth of Facebook posts all at once. See how long that takes and put it right on your calendar. You might like Time Management for the Tired and Frazzled.

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Have Daily Topics

If you struggle with what to post, you could always have a daily topic prepared. Think of five things you would like to post and then attach that to a day of the week. There are already people who post certain things on particular days, and you can use already-existing daily topics, such as #MotivationalMonday or #ThrowbackThursday. I’ve always liked #ThankfulThursday myself. You may be able to create on particular to your business.

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Outline Several Ideas for Your Blog Posts

While you’re writing an article for your blog, try to think of future topics for yourself. It’s good to always have five at least five. That way, you won’t have an excuse when you’re writing and run out of steam. Just jump to the next topic and continue there for the alloted time. You might also like How to Come up With a Year’s Worth of Blog Content.

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Connect the Dots

You don’t have to share the same things across all your social media platforms. If you do, you might want to reshare that content using a different image, a different quote, and at a different time. For example, create something on Twitter with a hashtag that you then share on Facebook without a hashtag and using a different image. Put that same content on LinkedIn, but write a bit more. Experiment and have fun with it!

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What Will You Do with Your Extra Time?

Why, focus on your hobby, of course!

 

 

How to Become a Better Blogger: Quick and Easy Ways

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Maybe you’ve thought that you want to become a better blogger. You’ve considered blogging, or maybe you’re an occasional blogger. Either way, there are always ways to improve (and I’m no exception). Every day, someone will say something that resonates. Take those tiny lessons from the things that resonate with you, put them into action, and you (or I) will improve for sure.

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Read Other Bloggers

There are so many great blogs out there. Here are some of my favorites.

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Listen to Podcasts

You may also get ideas when you listen to podcasts. Even if the podcasts you listen to aren’t strictly business oriented, you’ll get ideas when you listen. Right now, I’m enjoying Hardcore History, which is a deep dive into the history of World Wars I and II. Dan Carlin is a damn good talker, as one review of his long-form podcasts mentioned. Each episode is hours long, which you think you can’t listen to, but his passion and storytelling make for fascinating listening.

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Write Every Day

If you like to write with other people, you might join a movement, such as NaNoWriteMo, where writers encourage other writers during the month of November. You might also give yourself a deadline, or a specific number of words to write each day, or a dedicated time to write. For me, I work in 15-minute increments, because anyone can do something for 15 minutes, right? Usually that 15 minutes turns into 30 or 45 minutes because the hardest part of writing is just getting started. The important thing is not to wait for inspiration, because you might be waiting forever. You might also like How-to secrets to blogging for your success.

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Blackmail Yourself

Awhile back, there was a guy who suggested blackmailing yourself by giving yourself a deadline. He mentioned giving someone else some money which would go to an unsavory cause if you failed. Now that’s one way to do it, especially if you prefer the stick approach over the carrot approach. Me, I’d rather have a carrot than a stick any day. If anyone else can remember his name, I’d be interested.

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Your Seat in the Seat of the Chair

Putting your seat in the seat of the chair is the number one tip for getting better as a writer. Whatever slogan helps you get there (“Just Do it!” comes to mind) is the one to use. Tenacity and diligence are the two things that will help you improve your writing the most. Unless you have a secret, that is. Do you have a secret for improving your writing?

People Are Looking for You Online. Ready to be Found?

Everyone knows you should be blogging and paying attention to the little bots that roam around on Google. Consistency is important in blogging. As in, blogging more often will get you more attention, and blogging on a regular schedule helps. A lot. But what do you do if someone finds you?

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So Who Is Looking for You?

And how many people are looking for you? That depends on your business, of course. For instance, if you’re a realtor, there are many many realtors in California. That’s going to be a harder sell than if you’re selling, say, hamburgers. Certain businesses have an easier time. Where I live, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, people with services do really well. Plumbers, electricians, and handy people have plenty of work. You can always set up a Google alert for yourself or your business if you’re wondering whether someone has mentioned you online.

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Social Media Helps You Get Found

Social media doesn’t usually help with sales. It helps with brand recognition. So if people have seen you a few times on social media, they’re more likely to do business with you, so long as you do an outstanding job at your business. Social media can help your business even before the business officially gets started. Often, people will start their social media campaigns before the business has opened its doors. You can do the same thing! Want to know what else social media does? Here’s what social media marketing does in a nutshell.

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Why Do You Want to Be Found?

That is, what do you want people to do once they’ve found you? Do you want to have coffee with them? Do you want them to download a report? Or do you want them to interact with you in some way? Decide what you want from people, and tell them. Nicely, of course. Good manners, especially online, always helps.

Here are 31 Call-to-Action examples you can’t help but click on, from Hubspot.

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Having a Positive Mindset

It’s not fairy dust, I promise. People really are looking for you. And you can do a lot to help them find you. Having a positive mindset is the most important thing. Believe that people are looking for you. It’s not that the belief itself will help them find you, but the belief will help you act in a way to be found. Does that make any sense? And by the way, you might like this post about having a gratitude strategy.

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Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

The gold really is in the follow up, especially if you have a service that’s costly. People take a long while to decide whether something is right for them. The more the service or item costs, the longer it takes. People don’t normally buy a car in five minutes–they like to do research.

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Do You Want to Be Found?

If you’d like some help getting found, I can help! Leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you! And thank you.

 

Why Outsource Your Blogging When You Could Do it Yourself?

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Why should you outsource your blogging when you could do it yourself? Of course you could do your own blogging. But have you? Have you even started? You could also do your own plumbing. It’s easy, said your brother the Master Plumber. You could also build your own house using leftover palettes. There’s probably a YouTube video made by those guys in Indonesia where they do (and it includes a swimming pool, too!). But have you? No!

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Sewing Buttons on Pants

Here’s another thing that hasn’t happened. Sewing a button on those pants, the ones you wore five years ago that used to be your favorites. Hasn’t happened. Inevitably, you end up at the dry cleaner and ask them to do it. And that’s way easier than blogging, right? So if you haven’t sewn that button on your favorite pants, why wouldn’t you outsource your blogging? There are plenty of online resources, such as this: The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business. I like their idea of hiring specialists, not generalists.

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You’re Great at What You Do

What you do is raise money for your startup. And manage people. You’re great at networking, talking to people, and finding new business. So if you’ve ever wanted to outsource your blogging, why not now? After all, there are people with tons of talent, a background in writing, and years of experience. You might enjoy my previous article: Outsourcing Your Blogging Might Be the Best Thing You Do.

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Find Someone Qualified to Blog for You

If you don’t know where to start looking for someone who could write for you, try asking around. You might be surprised at who has people writing for them. Often, bloggers are ghost writers and no one knows where they are (or who they are). Of course, doing a Google search could help you, but you might only find the biggest agencies that way.

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What Questions Should You Ask?

There are a number of questions you could ask a would-be blogger. For instance:

  • Where did you go to school?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • Could I see some examples of your work?
  • Tell me something you do that no one else does

You might like this article: Hiring a Professional Blogger? What You Need to Know First.

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Here Are Some Answers You Might Hear

I studied English at Berkeley, have many years of experience (five is a good minimum number, by the way), and yes, I’ve written hundreds of articles. Your results may vary, of course. There may be other questions you want to ask a professional blogger. There are some good comments on this Quora thread: Should I hire a professional blogger for my startup?

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What Else Do You Want to Know?

If you were hiring someone, what other questions would you have about the process? Let me know in the comments! And thank you.

 

 

 

Content Creation Will Make You Insane If You Let it

Content creation will make you insane if you let it.

Content creation will make you insane if you let it.

So many people have been talking about content creation lately. But do they ever talk about the daily grind of what happens when you have to churn out content on a daily basis? Mostly, content creation is glorified as something easy and simple that anyone can do. How much work goes into the creation of content, though? Like so many things in life, the answer is: it depends.

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Who’s Your Audience?

Your audience is made up of at least two parts: those who actually visit your webiste and read your posts, and the little bots that roam around Google visiting your site. Having new content on a consistent basis helps your site rank higher so that both the people and the bots are satisfied. Of course, your human audience should come first. You don’t want your words to sound like they’re written for bots!

The Problem is Consistency

Coming up with one or two or even ten blog posts isn’t the problem. The problem is sustaining your content creation for months and maybe years. Will you ever get tired of writing? What if no one reads your writing, or you don’t just don’t feel like blogging any more? Will you be able to continue writing even if you don’t want to? If you’re feeling stuck, you might like this article: Content Creation: How to Make Your Writing More Fun! And, once you’ve read that and followed it, you could also share that blog post four (or more) different ways.

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Content Creation: Be a Tortoise, Rather Than a Hare

Creating content for your readers puts you in the camp with the tortoises, not the hares. That is, you need to have steady progress and keep at it. Someone told me something a long time ago, and it stuck: Apply the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair for success. So sit down and write something–anything–even if it’s bad. Write one sentence. Then write another one. See where it takes you.

Wrangle Those Words

Keep at it, even if you don’t feel like it. Because sometimes you’ll change your mind as you start writing. It’s like going to the gym. Put on your gym shoes and get yourself there and fake it if you have to. One thing that helps me write more is to read my words out loud. Try it and let me know how it goes! And don’t go insane in the process.

How to Share a Blog Post Four Different Ways

How to Share a Blog Post Four Different Ways

How to Share a Blog Post Four Different Ways

Everyone talks about working smarter, not harder, but what does that actually mean? If you’ve been wondering about what that looks like, stick around, and you’ll get some ideas.

Your Time is Valuable

Do you really want to sit down and create an entirely new blog post from scratch? No! How, then, can you take the same post and share it all over the place and make it look entirely different? Ah, that’s the secret. For this exercise, I’ll use my own blog post, Content Creation: How to Make Your Writing More Fun. Take a look at the original blog post so you can see what that looks like–that is, with the top image shared. Remember, not everyone is going to read your excellent writing, no matter how great it is. So the original is the first one shared.

Use a Different Image

The image is probably the most important part of your article, even above the title of your blog post. So make it beautiful! Or make it something that will make your audience say “hmm…I wonder what the heck that is!” Maybe that happens when I use my own pictures. I imagine people squinting with puzzled looks on their faces. So rather than rewrite that blog post, I could change the image. Take a look.

Change the Quote When You Reshare

No doubt, you’ll have a few different quotes that you can pluck from your blog post. So choose one or two, put those into quotes, add the title, the link, and a hashtag or two, if needed. Of course, you don’t have to change the hashtag or the shortened link, but you could reach a different audience (at least with different hashtags). And using a customized link does look fancier.

One Post Four Different Ways

One Post Four Different Ways

Customize for Social Media Platforms

The post above was shared on Facebook. It looks similar, but with a different quote, different image, and no hashtags. You could do something similar on LinkedIn. You might want to share the same post but on a different day.

Bonus Idea

Another way to change up a blog post is to write a completely original quote–it’s kind of “meta,” but why not add something about what was happening the day you wrote it? Or some sort of context about the article itself?

How-to Secrets to Business Blogging to Fire You Up

HOW TO SECRETS TO BUSINESS BLOGGING TO FIRE YOU UP

HOW TO SECRETS TO BUSINESS BLOGGING TO FIRE YOU UP

Everyone may say that there’s one secret to business blogging, and there are some shortcuts, but really the best secret is there is no secret! That said, there are a number of hints that may help. Here are a few.

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Get off Your Buts

You know what I mean. Stop procrastinating and set yourself in a chair and get started. Once you get started, the cobwebs will start to dissolve. My friend Bridget Willard covers the subject of procrastinating in her excellent article: Are you busy procrastinating? If you suddenly have to clean the house before you can get started on your business blogging, you may be a procrastinator! Or if you have to “get ready to get ready,” that’s another sign.

Have a Series of Topics on Which to Write

Sometimes the toughest part about writing is knowing what to write about. So when you’re at your peak creativity, why not create a list of topics your audience might want to know about? If you like this idea, here are more details: How to Come up with a Year’s Worth of Blog Content. You may think you can magically come up with ideas in the moment, but it’s not really that easy. It’s much easier to have just a little structure before you get started.

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Ask Your Friends for Ideas

Often your friends will have even better ideas than you have yourself. Or while they’re talking, you’ll suddenly have an ‘Aha!’ moment. Ask them what sorts of business blogging you should do, and you’ll definitely be surprised by some of their answers. You know more than you think you do, and sometimes knowing too much can keep you from seeing an opportunity that’s right in front of your face.

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Have a Deadline

Give yourself a deadline, and see if you can make it. If you can’t do your business blogging once a week, how about once a month? Write about something that inspires you, bothers you, or that you can’t get off your mind. How about setting aside a 15-minute block of time to work on that important goal? Then talk it out and make it into a blog post. Or you could do a short video. This is more of a time hack than a deadline, but still.

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Write about Something New in Your Business

Is there something in your business that you’ve just started doing? Is there something you’ve expanded upon? Is there something you’ve stopped doing? There are three topics for your business blogging right there. You could word them like so:

  • How My New Business Opportunity Benefits You
  • Why the (fill in the blank) Part of My Business is Expanding
  • Why I No Longer Do Free Consultations (or whatever you no longer do)

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Hire Someone

If you can’t handle business blogging yourself, hire someone to help. Or hire someone to help you brainstorm topics or to get you started. There may be someone you know personally who can help you. You never know. And here’s what happens when you hire a professional blogger. Hiring someone doesn’t have to be forever. You might want to hire someone for just a few months.

How-to Secrets to Overcome Writer’s Block

How-to Secrets to Overcome Writer's Block

How-to Secrets to Overcome Writer’s Block

We’ve all suffered writer’s block at some point, right? Staring at a blank screen or blank page is never easy, and it sometimes happens to everyone. Lately, all the rainy, gray days have been sucking all the fun out of writing. But I know that others in the country have snow and ice (and no power!), so I’m not complaining too much.

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Just Do it!

One of the best quotes I ever heard was about applying the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair if you want to get something done. That’s generally been my approach, too. By the way, you might like my previous post Content Creation: What Are the Best Habits for Writing?

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Write Something, Even if It’s Bad

My dad used to always say “Do something, even if it’s wrong!” Sometimes thinking back on that advice, I smile, but other times it does seem to help to overcome paralysis. In my family, we didn’t often suffer from paralysis through analysis, but we did have to go back and fix some bad mistakes. Then again, as my friend Adam Fout said, “you can’t edit a blank page.” Go and read his excellent writing. Maybe you’ll be inspired to write something good.

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Turn off the Critical Part of Your Brain

One problem with writing or any creative venture is that your critical sense gets more refined as you move through life. That is, you like good writing and if you don’t do any writing yourself, the gap between what you know is good writing and your own writing grows. It’s difficult to turn off that critical sense. What if what you write isn’t good? What if no one reads it? The what-ifs grow and become louder, so it’s important to turn off that absurd little critic that prevents you from writing.

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Read More

If you’re paying attention while you’re reading, you’ll see some writing that you really like. And even if you read bad writing, you’ll discover what not to do. Sometimes, what not to do is as important as learning what to do. Right now, I’m rereading the Harry Potter books. The stories within the larger story really pull you along. I love stories that paint a picture as the Harry Potter books do. And the movies are good, too. Most of the time, I’d say that the book is better than the movie. This time, I’d say that the Harry Potter films are pretty good, too!

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Join a Writers Group

There are lots of meetups, and if you don’t see one you like, you can start your own! It’s pretty easy to do. You don’t even have to make it an official meetup. You could just ask a few friends to join you at a cafe to do some writing.

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Look over Your Old Writing

If you’re lacking inspiration, look at some of your own writing. What worked? What didn’t? Can you rework an old headline and make it into something more fun, more exciting, more interesting? Sure you can!

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Start with a Good Headline

Speaking of headlines, many people might argue that the headline is the most important part of what you write. If you’ve never considered your headline before, you might like this article What Happens When You Write 25 Headlines Before Choosing One? Yes, that was a fun one to write.

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What’s Your Secret?

How do you overcome writer’s block? Or do you have a secret at all?

 

How to Come Up With A Years Worth Of Blog Content

 

How to Come Up With A Years Worth Of Blog Content

How to Come Up With A Years Worth Of Blog Content

You’ve probably heard of those people who have their entire year planned out. They seem so on top of their game, don’t they? It’s not such a difficult thing to do (maybe a bit more difficult if you publish daily, like friend Randy Clark does–check out his Randy’s blog posts). You, too, can be prepared to write at the drop of a hat. For this exercise, I’ll be giving you some real-world examples that you can perhaps translate to your own industry.

idea board photoBrainstorm

Get out a big sheet of paper or a bunch of sticky notes, and write down everything you can think of as fast as you can. Or you could have a friend help you to write while you dictate. You could also use a tape recorder and then later transcribe your ideas. The idea is to get into the creative flow and not stop yourself. You might need a few minutes to get warmed up, but when you do–look out for the onslaught of ideas! Here are some other ways to get topics for your blog: Blogging Beginner? How to Get Ahead of the Game.

city map photoMind Mapping

Mind mapping is where you take an idea and then take all the ideas that are roughly related to that idea. One idea leads you to the next and the next. It’s fun and it’s especially good if you are a visual learner. If you’re the type who likes to use software, here are some software programs you might check out: 11 of the Best Mind Mapping Software to Brainstorm Better Ideas. A few of them are even free!

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Ask Friends

Ask your friends what they’d like to read about. Ask on social media. Call them up or text them. Write down everything they say. You might be surprised. Sometimes your friends may have bad ideas. You can turn those around by doing the opposite of what they say! Just say thank you and move on.sleep photo

Look at Old Posts

What posts have worked for you? What has not worked for you? Are there any old posts that you could rework? Can you rewrite something taking a different approach? For instance, here’s a post of mine that I really liked: For Better Social Media Results, Focus on Engagement. So if I were to follow up on that theme, I could maybe have five different posts, as follows:

  1. How you can engage with people different from yourself?
  2. The many types of engagement there are
  3. Engagement using simple emojis
  4. Engagement for the high-tech crowd
  5. Social media engagement for startups

You get the idea. That’s already five different posts, which if you post once a week is over one month’s worth of posts.

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What is Your Audience Like? What Are Their Pain Points?

If your audience never has time, you could talk about time management. My audience is extremely busy, and that’s why I often write about time management. So I could write these posts for my audience:

  • Time Management for the Startup Crowd
  • Time Management When You Have No Time
  • Timeless Time Management
  • Stop Staring at the Clock
  • Getting More Time for All Those Critical Things You Never Have Time to Do

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Ask Yourself Before Going to Sleep

This is one I’ve been using a lot lately. I ask myself what to write about before going to sleep. By the morning, I have an answer. Make sure you have a way to record your ideas before they slip away.

Lots of people think using a notebook and pen is the best way to get your dreams recorded. But you can also use your phone and maybe record them as you speak.

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How Do You Come up with Ideas?

And are you staying ahead of your blog posts? Leave me a comment! Thank you.

 

Outsourcing Your Blogging Might Be the Best Thing You Do

Outsourcing Your Blogging Might Be the Best Thing You Do

Outsourcing Your Blogging Might Be the Best Thing You Do

You’ve heard it over and over: having a blog and blogging regularly helps your site on Google. There are many benefits to blogging on your website, as outlined by this Forbes article: The Top 10 Benefits of Blogging On Your Website.

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What Counts as Blogging?

Have you done anything about blogging? No. Well, unless you count thinking about it right before falling asleep. Or scribbling it in the steam on the bathroom wall while you take a shower. Do those count as blogging, though? Probably not. Unless someone’s figured out a way to make steam-writing into a blog post, that is. Here are a few reasons you might want to outsource your blogging.

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Play to Your Strengths

Unless one of your strengths is writing, why not have someone else do it for you? Maybe your strength is sales, and you love making sales calls. Why not do that? Or maybe you’re an inventor. Or maybe you run a start-up with 20 people to manage. Even if you do enjoy writing, blogging might never make it to the top of your to-do list.

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Do You Know All the Nuances?

Blogging isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things to know before you get started. For instance, do you have the patience to create 25 headlines before choosing one? If not, you might want to read What Happens When You Write 25 Headlines Before Choosing One?

Your Sanity is Worth Something

If you’re simply fretting, and no blogging is actually getting done, why not consider outsourcing it? That way, at the end of the day, you’ll rest easier. If you want to worry about something, you can worry about something else. Not about whether the blogging is being done. Let someone else do that regularly.

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Focus on Your Business

You’re probably already focused on your business. But to outsource your blogging means you won’t have the idea of blogging hanging over your head. You know those few minutes right before you fall asleep? You can think about something productive, or something relaxing instead. Maybe relaxing isn’t something you do regularly when you’re running a company, but it could be.

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Save Your Time

Unless your business is so complex that absolutely no one can understand it and therefore write about it, using a professional blogger can save you time. This is related to “Focus on Your Business.”

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How About Doing a Combination?

By that I mean have someone start the blog for you and then you insert your own personality and edit a bit at the end? That works for some people. If you’re looking to create a relationship with your readers, this might be the best way to go. By the way, if you still insist on blogging for yourself, you might like this article: Blogging Beginner? How to Get Ahead of the Game.

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Hire a Professional

Why not hire someone with experience? I’m not talking about me, necessarily. Well, ok, I actually am. Why not consider hiring me? Please and thank you!

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