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How a Blog is like a Thanksgiving Dinner




In America, today is Thanksgiving, a national holiday during which families cook a traditional dinner of turkey and a few other dishes, like cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and dressing (or stuffing). But did you know your blog is like a Thanksgiving dinner? It’s true!

The turkey is the main focus, but variety matters

The focus of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. It’s the main event. But without the rest of the dishes, even the most perfectly roasted bird would make for a dull dinner. To give a greater context and variety, you need the mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and your aunt’s weird Jell-O salad (nobody’s quite sure what’s in it).

On your blog, there needs to be a main focus, but also a variety of supporting topics. You can’t leave the main subject alone for too long, and you can’t place too much emphasis on the side dishes. Many of us have a niche for our blog, but there are plenty of subjects that are related to that niche. Write your longer, more thorough posts on the main subject and your shorter posts on the “side” subjects.

Preparation is everything

The key to a successful Thanksgiving dinner is preparation. The menu has to be planned, the shopping list has to be written, and everything has to be done in the right order so that the dinner’s ready on time and everything’s just right.

Likewise, you need to plan your blog. Only through planning can you accomplish certain kinds of blog content, such as video posts, series of posts, and promotions. You need to plan general goals for your blog, as well, such as monetization efforts and networking/social media strategies.

You’ve got to please the guests

I certainly do love to cook, but a big part of what I enjoy about it so much is the enjoyment that other people get from the meal. I love to hear people say what they enjoyed about it. While I create a menu that I will enjoy, I also create a menu that I hope everyone else will love, too.

Blogging is exactly like cooking a Thanksgiving dinner in this respect: it works best if you blog about something you like, but you want your audience to like it, too. You want to get feedback in the form of blog comments, trackbacks, and votes from social media submissions.

Follow best practices for best results

You don’t want your turkey to be undercooked or dried up and tough. You can avoid these problems and have the best possible Thanksgiving dinner by following the collected best advice from others who have come before you and cooked many Thanksgiving dinners over the years. When there’s some history behind an activity that allows us to see what techniques work best over time, we call these techniques best practices. One best practice for a perfect turkey is to soak the bird in brine solution prior to roasting.

For blogging, there are best practices we know work well to help us have the best blog possible. For example:

  • Create core content that is the best in its class, sometimes referred to as pillar or flagship content
  • Have a unique and well-designed blog theme or template
  • Network with other bloggers
  • Add pictures to your posts to grab attention and stand out
  • Link out to other blogs and sites
  • Create the most compelling and original content you can

Make the most of leftovers

One thing that’s true about big Thanksgiving dinners is that there is a lot of food left when it’s over. You can make turkey sandwiches for a week, or you can get creative with the leftovers and use them to make stir fry, a soup, or even a pizza.

On your blog, you want to make the most of your previous posts. You can serve up these “leftovers” in a variety of creative and tasty ways. The most common and easiest way to do this is to simply link to your previous posts from relevant anchor text in new posts. But occasionally, you want to create new posts that call attention to your older posts. The more creativity you can work into these, the better.

Traditions with a twist are big hits

Everybody loves the traditions that give a sense of meaning and nostalgia for good times in the past. But tradition followed blindly has the opposite effect: it becomes boring and meaningless, just “going through the motions.” Instead of just doing the usual same turkey the same way, why not create a twist on the tradition? What about a turkey with a pomegranite molasses and black pepper glaze, or something even more different? (One year we had a Mexican Thanksgiving dinner with no turkey!)

On your blog, putting a twist on the usual kind of posts creates much fresher content that really gets attention in a way the same-old same-old just can’t do, anymore. Many bloggers have a speed-link type of post, where they have a list of links they feel are worth your attention. Many of these posts are the same as any other of its kind. For a twist, I decided to sample an enticing or provocative quote from another blogger’s post, and use their name as the link back to the post. These Overheard in the Blogosphere posts have become one of the most popular things I do on my blog.

So these are some ways in which a blog is like a Thanksgiving dinner!

Happy Thanksgiving, America!


Michael Martine has been involved in web design and internet marketing since the late 90's. He is a blog coach and consultant at Remarkablogger. He lives in beautiful Vermont, U.S.A., with his wife, step-daughter, and grandchild.

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Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?



Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.

The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.

Birds of a feather flock together.

You have heard that one, right?

I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:

  • grow
  • thrive
  • face your fears
  • serve humanity
  • be a bright light for people to follow
  • live your deepest, wildest dreams

Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.

Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.

Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.

Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.

Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.

Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.

Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.

Who Do You Hang With?

Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.

For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.

Surround yourself only with bloggers who:

  • have posture
  • have authority
  • charge top dollar
  • profit freely
  • prosper freely
  • exude confidence
  • have a highly developed prosperity consciousness

You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.

But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.

Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.

Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.

Nothing personal.

Just your blogging success at stake.



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Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?



My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.

All of our power resides in the moment.

None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.

Time is illusion.

Only Now is real.

Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.

This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.

How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?

I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.

Bruce Lee and Blogging

Alonzo Pichardo and I often chatted about being patient, persistent and present during the Online Success Chats Podcast.

Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.

Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.

Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.

The Flavor of the Month

Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.

While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.

Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.

Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.

Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.

Success Finds Specialists

I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.

Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.

Sweet, right?

Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.

I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.

Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.

Do one thing. Do it well.


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What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?



Drive traffic to other blogs.

Give what you want.

Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.

I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.

I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.

I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.

The more you give, the more you get.

The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.

I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.

My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:

  • link to me on their blogs
  • retweet my posts
  • share my posts on Facebook
  • share my posts on LinkedIn
  • send my blog posts to their email list

That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.

Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.

How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs

I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.

I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.

Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.

You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends

Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.

But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.

As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:

  • when you sleep
  • when you travel
  • when you spend time offline with family and friends

Sounds sweet, right?

Give freely.

Drive traffic to your blog easily.

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