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Are You Smart ‘Cuz You Talk Big?

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Question: Does having a large vocabulary make you smart?

My answer is no. Having a large vocabulary means you are most likely book-smart and you have strong long-term memorization skills.You can usually sound smart, at least superficially and briefly.

So while having a large vocabulary may get you in the door somewhere, it really means nothing unless you know how to use it. It is not likely (although I’m sure one of you will tell me that it’s been done) that one could make much of a living reciting extensive, unorganized lists of words.

Fact: Shakespeare’s vocabulary (based on his collected works) contained approximately 29,000 different words. The modern, college-educated, English-speaking American has a vocabulary of about 60,000. So, if the number of words you know directly reflects how intelligent you are, then most college graduates are smarter than Shakespeare, right? So where’s your Twelfth Night?

The problem here is that we only use a very small percentage of our available vocabularies. Even a feature journalist whose entire livelihood relies on colorful story-telling, uses perhaps 6,000 words on a regular basis. Pathetic, really.

When I want to remind myself that my vocabulary means nothing if I don’t use it, I play a little game with myself. I call it The Great Game. The Great Game has three steps:

  1. Designate a specific amount of time for which you will play the game.
  2. Carry around a pen and paper to keep track of your score
  3. Keep a tally of the number of times you use the word great (verbally or in writing).

An alternative to a real-time tally is to go through your blog archives and count past transgressions. If your count isn’t obscene, then congratulations. Mine sure was. Great is a colorless adjective and because of its overuse it has become nearly meaningless. How was your day? Great. Did you like my article? It was great. Great job on your homework! Ugh.

So once you have determined that you do, in fact, massively overuse the word “great,” what next? Try to stop using it so much when you speak and write. Invest in a decent thesaurus and use it. Once you’re in the habit of noticing one word, it will be easier to notice other non-descript words you might be overusing.

There is never anything wrong with increasing your vocabulary. Just make sure that, while you are doing that, you make a plan for actually using all those extra words. If you are learning words just to use them once or twice then you are wasting your time. Set up a plan to learn words that will be applicable to your everyday life.

A specialized vocabulary-building program might help, but I honestly don’t think its worth anyone’s money. When I Googled vocabulary, the second paid result said: “How To Improve Your Vocabulary: And Watch Your Carrer Skyrocket Not Another Tape Course…” I would love to see my “carrer” skyrocket. Nothing builds confidence in a vocabulary program than misspelling!

I am not saying that all vocabulary-building programs are crap. I’m not even saying that that particulary vocabulary-building program is crap. What I am saying is it is best to build your vocabulary organically. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • If you are are looking to skyrocket your “carrer,” then read books related to the field in which you work. And, as entertaining as it may be, I don’t mean the Owen Foote Series. Challenge yourself.
  • Subscribe to different types of magazines and a couple of different newspapers. Read the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker or The New York Times. In fact, read them all. My local paper, The Kitsap Sun, might be good for local news and story ideas, but it isn’t going to help me become a better writer.
  • Keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy when you write. If you find yourself using the same word several times in one article, crack that thesaurus and find something new.

Those are just three of many ways that you can beef up your vocabulary without spending a ton of money or time. If you just add a few steps to the things you would be doing anyway, you’ll find that your word list increases quite easily. The key to all of this is awareness. If you are aware of what you are saying, you can choose to use new and different words to say it.

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What Is the Most Powerful Key for Turning a Blog into a Business?

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Get comfortable with receiving money.

It IS that simple.

But I cannot lie; getting comfortable with receiving money is uncomfortable for most of us. I, like many bloggers, grew up with many money limiting beliefs in mind. I vibed from scarcity. I did not vibe from abundance. I saw folks in my life work hard at jobs to receive a minimum amount of money. I made many weird correlations between money and service. I figured you just worked hard, made enough money to survive and decided my life would progress along these lines.

Eventually, I woke up, owned these limiting beliefs and freed myself of these mind viruses to build my blog into a business.

Forget Practical Advice

Bloggers may advise you on practical tips for turning a blog into a business like:

  • build an email list
  • begin affiliate marketing
  • open consulting services
  • build passive income through courses and eBooks

None of these practical tips help you turn your blog into a business if you are allergic to money, or if you cling to many limiting beliefs and fears concerning money. Why? You follow advice to lose money if you fear losing money and ignore advice to make money if you fear losing money.

Get comfortable receiving money. This is the best advice for turning your blog into a full time business.

Getting comfortable receiving money moves you into abundant, prospering actions. You become more generous. You become more prolific. You begin opening income streams without attaching to any one stream. You also build your friend network generously, promoting other bloggers and expecting nothing.

All prior steps lead to increased blogging income. All prior steps came about because you became comfortable receiving money.

Fear-Filled Bloggers

I speak to many bloggers who fear monetizing their blogs. Said bloggers fear readers used to free, selling-free content will head for the hills or complain the moment income streams enter the fray. You cannot turn a blog into a business unless you open blogging income streams.

Get comfortable with:

  • receiving money
  • releasing fear-filled bloggers who whine about you receiving money

Only broke, poverty conscious, unhappy, unclear or jealous bloggers have a problem with you turning your blog into a business. Have you ever complained about someone who works a job to receive money? Of course not; no sane person complains about another human who works a job to make money. We all have that right. Why then would a sane person complain about you receiving money for service rendered on your blog? Let go these unhappy, unclear, folks. Get comfortable receiving money. Build a business through your blog.

It Is Just Money

It is only money.

Money is just a neutral means of exchange. Add no emotional charge to a neutral means of exchange; no big deal.

I promote my premium offerings through virtually every piece of content I create. I am comfortable with receiving money. I am comfortable building a business through my blog. If I can help people and receive money – in a world where money is the prime means of exchange – I help people and receive money. I am comfortable with it.

Do not be shy. Be clear.

Avoid doing the affiliate walk of shame, begging and pleading for enough money to buy a stick of gum each time you disclose your affiliate offering.

Be clear. Share how you make money through the sale of something on your blog.

Check out my blog disclosure statement. Does that make your head explode? I basically say I make money through all images and links on my blog. I cover myself and feel comfortable with receiving money.

Get clear.

Build your blog into a business.

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eCommerce: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic, Sales and Revenue

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For most people blogging is used as a fun and easy way to share their lifestyle or write about their passion. But for some this hobby had become their profession.

Nowadays there are many options to make money with a blog – for example by getting paid for advertising products. Another way is to add your own eCommerce to the blog and sell the products that you are passionate about in your own web store. Creating an online shop can be the first step into your life as a digital nomad or simply being your own boss.

A few years ago, it was necessary to work with a professional developer to integrate an online store to your website. Especially for small manufacturers, this meant a huge investment before they could even start selling their products. Nowadays setting up a web store has become a lot easier and cheaper: Platforms like Shopify can easily be integrated in existing domains and therefore help makers and crafters to start their own eCommerce without professional help. Once you have set up your own Shopify store it is all about increasing the traffic. A bigger reach will eventually lead to a higher number of sales and more revenue.

So, let’s have a look at three simple steps to do so:

1 – Turn your small business into a smart business…

…by adding automation and product management to your website. When launching your business, it might be fine to keep track of the orders in an Excel spreadsheet at first. But since you expect your business to grow it will become one of the most important things to have a management platform in place that allows you to process orders and handle inventory professionally. Therefore, it can be handy to add a production planning and scheduling software as integration to your existing web store. An easy-to-use solution for Shopify-users is the Shopify inventory integration that adds products to your website, manages inventory or tracks shipments.

2 – Make your products sound and look good…

…by adding high-quality images and longer product descriptions to your page. Not only will this make your eCommerce look more professional, but it is also a great way to increase your traffic by reaching a higher rank in the search results. If you are not able to create these yourself, you can outsource writing or graphic design work to freelancers on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.

3 – Don’t stop blogging…

…or get it started if you haven’t done so yet. While it is exciting to start your own business it also takes a lot of time and energy to set everything up. Anyhow, this should not lead to giving up on your blog. Why? Because a growing eCommerce site and an active blog go hand in hand. And remember: The content of your blog should be interesting to your targeted audience and contain at least one thousand words in order to effectively rank in the search results. Here are some examples of the top eCommerce blogs for inspiration.  

…and that is it!

You are now almost ready to start your own eCommerce! In addition to following these three steps, it is always good to keep an eye on your ecommerce competitors. Do not steal their idea but have a look at what is working for them and aim to go beyond that. As long as you focus on your product, the content of your site and a growing search ranking you will successfully manage to increase your traffic, the sales and the revenue of your business.

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Should You Answer that Blogging Question Again?

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“Ryan, how do I increase blog traffic?”

 

“Ryan, how do I make money blogging?”

 

If I had a dime for every blogger who asked me each question I’d have quite a few dimes. Toss in all the times I observe bloggers asking each question via Quora and various Facebook Groups and you have as many dimes as grains of sand in the Sahara Desert.

 

I know what you are thinking; should you answer the same question for the 2nd time, 10th time or 100th time? Confusing. One part of you wishes to be generous. Another part of you fears missing an opportunity to help someone who can be a potential client or customer. Another part of you feels annoyed at being asked the question again. Another part of you feels annoyed at embracing and releasing the guilt of ignoring the question.

 

Should you answer these common blogging questions again and again?

 

No.

 

Of course not.

 

Answering the same, common question more than 1 or 2 times is:

 

  • foolish
  • an inefficient use of your time
  • ineffective
  • amateur hour stuff

 

Here’s what I do to:

 

  • answer questions quickly and easily
  • open myself up to more potential blogging business through possible clients and customers
  • be calm, cool, collected and at peace despite being asked the same question many times

 

Are you ready?

 

Write a blog post!

 

Or write and self-publish an eBook.

 

DUH!

 

If someone asks me how to drive more traffic to my blog I send them this link:

 

4 Blog Traffic Driving Fundamentals

 

Or I send ’em a link from any one of my myriad blog traffic driving posts on Blogging From Paradise.

 

If someone asks about specific income streams for making money through their blogs I send them a link to my eBook:

 

15 Ways to Make Money Blogging

 

Or if someone asks how to make money through guest posting I send them this link from my guest post on the blog of the awesome Enstine Muki:

 

How to Write a Guest Post that Grows Your Business

 

What an easy, simple, efficient, effective way to:

 

  • answer a common question many times
  • answer a common question in 1-2 seconds
  • drive traffic to my blog
  • increase my blogging profits
  • help people, and be helped by people through their prospering of me
  • avoid anger
  • avoid annoyance
  • avoid judging people who have no idea how to blog

 

Fools complain about new bloggers asking the same, old questions. Why does a new blogger ask a question? They have no idea how to blog! Duh. Why anger at their ignorance? Why get annoyed that you need to answer the question again? Write a blog post answering the question. Send the blog post to anybody who asks the question. Seize opportunities to help people and to drive traffic and profits to your blog.

 

Email Mistake

 

Do you own Gmail? I do not. Since I do not own Gmail it’d be foolish for me to answer questions via Gmail when I can be answering the same question on my self-hosted blog. I own Blogging From Paradise. I own that online real estate. Answer questions on your owned cyber real estate. Brand you. Grow your business. Increase your traffic. Keep the ball in your court. Have posture.

 

Leverage

 

If I spend 10 minutes answering a question for 1 human I am a fool when I could spend 45 minutes answering the question for 100, or 10,000 or 1,000,000 humans, by writing a helpful blog post answering the question and sending the blog post link to all future folks who ask the question. Plus; when the post goes live, I answer common questions passively, said common questions no doubt in the minds of thousands of bloggers out there.

 

Leverage. Write a blog post. Do not help one person. Help 10,000 people. Save your time and energy. Make more money.

Matthew Loomis at Build Your Own Blog is a smart guy. Peep his home page. He lays out clear, concise steps for building your blog via his sidebar. You just know how many people asked him the common, pressing, basic blogging questions that he skillfully answered through those clear steps.

 

He leveraged his knowledge. He answered common questions BEFORE people asked him common blogging questions. Smart! Help a ton of folks quickly and easily. Drive blog traffic. Increase blogging profits. Lower your bounce rate. Improve the amount of time people spend on your blog.

 

Write a blog post. Send the blog post link to anybody who asks the common blogging question.

 

Think abundantly.

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