When you sit down at your computer to craft a new blog post, you probably do it one of three different ways. Though some services such as Tumblr have added new ways to add new entries, most bloggers that write posts of any length do so via one of a few means.
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In some cases, choosing the way you write your post can be just as important as what you write about or the style with which you cover it. Inevitably, the tools one uses to create their writing seeps into their writing style.
For example, if you find it difficult to add images to a post, you’ll be less likely to include them. Likewise, if your software does a good job checking for spelling and grammar mistakes, you’ll likely have fewer errors.
So before you fire up your computer to write your next blog post, it’s worth while to think a moment about how you do it and if a change might be in order.
1. Word Processor
Though a traditional word processor might seem like an archaic way to write a blog post, there are many bloggers who write at least their first draft in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, Pages or some other traditional word processing application.
The reason for doing this is simple. Power and familiarity.
Word Processors bring a lot of features to the table including robust spell checking, that often includes a basic grammar checker, tools that can help make writing easier with long posts, such as macros, and a sense of familiarity that can be comforting for new bloggers.
They can be useful for those who are publishing a long-form piece, such as a novel, in blog format. The reason being that they can keep the entire work together and break off the bite-sized sections as needed. Likewise, many literary bloggers also write in word processors first to have their work print-ready if needed while taking it later into the blog
The biggest problem with word processors is getting the material into the blog itself. Though some, including later versions of Microsoft Word, offer integration with most major blogging platforms, it generally does not work very neatly. Though nearly all word processors can convert a document to HTML, which makes it usable in a blog post, the code tends to be unclean and flawed.
Typically, to get a document in a word processor to a blog post requires pasting it into a blog entry and then working with the formatting to get it to look right. It’s an ugly process that can defeat the time saved by writing in a word processor very easily.
2. Web-Based Blog Editor
Every major blogging platform has a built-in Web-based blog post editor and, through advanced scripting they have become very powerful.
Most now include an optional visual HTML editor, auto-saved drafts and, in modern Web browsers, basic spell checking. These interfaces make it easy to do basic tasks such as adding links and images while keeping the interface fairly simple. Even better, these interfaces work directly with with the blogging platform, ensuring that the formatting stays as true to the original as possible.
These Web-based editors are surprisingly powerful and easy to use. Best of all, they can be accessed anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. There’s no need to make sure your computer has a particular application installed, so long as you have a browser.
However, there are still a few drawbacks. First, your ability to edit posts when you’re offline is limited. Though WordPress, via Google Gears, can do some things offline, this once against goes back to needing specific software installed. Also, people who want to keep an offline copy of their work, for example to print and give out, may be frustrated.
The biggest issue, however, is that, despite how powerful they become, they still lag behind the power of standalone applications. You can’t for example, build a table easily using a built-in visual editor and many specific formats require editing the HTML. People who routinely do very complicated posts but aren’t very good with HTML are frequently frustrated by these editors.
Still, they are powerful enough for most blog posts, available anywhere and built into your blogging platform. There’s not a lot to hate, especially if you can add plugins to your blogging platform as they can help extend and improve your writing experience.
3. Blog Editors
Nearly every major blogging service allows their users to take advantage of an API that allows for external publishing of blog posts. This has given rise to a series of blog editing applications including Windows Live Writer, Marsedit and Blogo among others. These applications serve as something of a hybrid between word processors and the built-in interface.
They are more powerful and more robust than a Web interface, though not as much as most Word Processors. They format code better than a processor, but not as well as a built-in editor. They can work offline and also can allow a user to manipulate multiple blogs in one interface. However, once again, you have to have it installed on every machine you plan to write from to have a consistent experience.
In short, blog editors mitigate the drawbacks of either but don’t have as great of benefits. They do provide great features and many people swear by their blog editor, but generally these are best suited for either those who have many blogs do manage, do a lot of offline writing or are extremely uncomfortable with HTML.
Personally, I use my default Web-based editor for the most part. Though I have one site that requires me to edit in a word processor since I have to submit my posts in an RTF, I typically just favor logging in and editing it the old-fashioned way.
That being said, I have used blog editors extensively, in particular MarsEdit, and enjoyed them. However, as I added plugins to my WordPress installs, I found that I was doing more and more “cleaning up” in the Web-based editor anyway and, besides, I blog on many different machines and appreciated the consistency of having one editor.
Still, even if you do use a blog editor it is important to familiarize yourself with your Web-based one just in case you need it. Being comfortable editing your posts in the most basic way is handy if you find yourself at a different machine or if something goes wrong.
You always want to be prepared.
Do You Need to Respond to ALL Comments?
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One mistake holds back many bloggers who fail to scale. These folks obsess over responding to every single comment, every email, every message. Why? Pride. Obsession. Attachment to people. Fear of missing out on an opportunity. Fear of missing out on friendships.
Unfortunately, if you spend 14 hours daily responding to every single social request and chat and email and blog comment and message – even if it feels fun – you lose opportunities to scale through blog posts, guest posts, podcasts and doing interviews.
Please; if responding to virtually everything feels fun, do it. But 99% of bloggers BS themselves on this because they respond to EVERYONE from an energy of fear, pain, lack, resistance, force and hustle. Bad idea guys. Force negates. But, power attracts. Meaning if you are willing to use power, and love, and fun, to inject into your work, you quickly see: the cornerstone of massive scaling and persistent growth and freeing blogging success is writing, publishing and placing blog posts and guest posts.
Today, how do I have most fun growing my business, reaching more people, helping more people, and leveraging my blogging presence? Do I achieve these feats by spending 3 hours responding individually to every retweet, Like, blog comment, and so on, and so on? Nope. I spend those 3 hours effectively and efficiently by writing and publishing 3-6 blog posts and guest posts. Blog posts and guest posts scale. Blog posts and guest posts help me reach hundreds to thousands of targeted folks through each blog post and guest post.
Blog posts and guest posts never seem to be written by people who complain about having no time to blog post, and, guest post. Meanwhile, a hefty chunk of these humans spend 1, 2 or 3 hours responding to every Like on Facebook, from a strained, forced energy, fearing they miss out on traffic and bonds, not having fun doing it. But the wise move would be spending 10 minutes responding to comments on Facebook and maybe a few Likes, then, devoting 2-3 hours to writing and publishing blog posts and guest posts.
Think Scale Not Small Time
WAY too many bloggers play small, giving most of their attention and energy to building 1 to 1 bonds. Making friends is important but meeting new friends is even more important.
One lesson I learned from millionaire bloggers: scaling through blog posts and guest posts is the quickest way to reach more people, make more money and increase your blog traffic. Building 1 to 1 bonds by engaging commentors plays a role in succeeding online, but the top bloggers on earth are not running around, spending endless hours responding to Likes on Facebook.
Titans also build one to one bonds through engagement, but if you are not getting 1000 page views a day, something is wrong in the scaling department. Namely, you are playing it small, not thinking about scaling. Scale. Guest post. Post to your blog. Make this the focus of your day. Then, feel free to engage folks 1 to 1 in a limited time frame.
You need to let go responding to every single person all day long to genuinely scale, to reach an increasing number of folks and to do what matters most to your business.
People will buy your stuff without you engaging them. Guaranteed. Folks will find your blog, love your content and buy your course or eBooks. This is a simple, organic process that you muck up every time you believe you need to respond to and engage every single person who reaches out via all online channels.
Should You Aim for Blog Post Quality or Quantity?
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The human mind is silly. It thinks one or the other. It thinks you cannot have it all. You can have blog post quality and quantity but you need to make a clear decision on what you define to be a quality blog post.
Quality posts do not mean 2000 to 4000 word, pillar style masterpieces. A quality blog post answers the question you asked via title or delivers on the promise you made on the title.
I do understand how Google ranks 2000 word or longer, SEO-optimized posts requiring hours of work for even skilled bloggers to write, package and publish. But Google also ranks 600 words posts. 600 word posts are quality posts. Guess what? For the 30,000 bloggers out there asking the title question, I just wrote a quality blog post because they get a clear, concise, dead on answer.
Avoid Scarcity Thinking
Any time you FEAR posts are not quality because word length is 600 words, you think scarcity, or, not enough, or, not quality. But fear is not true. Fear is illusion. I can write 10, 600 word, quality posts today to make a massive impact and to help people IF I think abundance. But if I only believe I write quality, helpful posts in the 2000 word range, I stopped thinking abundance and began thinking scarcity. I chose fear over love and abundance. Naturally, all bloggers who think scarcity either struggle, fail and quit or work like beasts just to make end’s meet. Not good.
Go for quantity and quality. Some posts may span 800 or 1000 words but you can answer most questions and solve most problems in 600 words if you have immense clarity. Seth Godin answers most questions in 100 to 300 words. You have so much more to work with. So…work with it!
Think abundance. Blog abundance.
I have referenced Gary Vee many times recently and his 2000 video interviews on YouTube. Before he landed world famous speaking gig he had a pure abundance mindset, doing videos left and right, offering quality insights on a high quantity of channels. Blogging fools would try desperately to land an interview on a TV show, pitching, fearing, worrying, striving, and wasting months of time, thinking scarcity. Gary thought abundance, seized every opportunity through interview requests from some entrepreneurs who registered zero views per video, gained massive exposure organically, and, the dude became famous through his abundance mindset.
He thought quality and quantity. He did not hold back.
I am beginning to gain massive exposure through the 5-10 guest posts and blog posts published under my name daily. I do not turn down a microphone. I also know the easiest way to become well known is to focus heavily on quantity and quality, to share the wealth.
Many bloggers would obsess over a quality post being 2000 words, SEO-optimized and all that jazz, spending 4 hours to write said post on blogging tips. Meanwhile, I just wrote and published 8 quality, 600 word posts during those hours. I am being seen helping people in 8 spots. While you are on the sidelines. Even if that SEO’ed out, 2000 word post gains massive traffic over the long term, via Google, I am gaining even more massive traffic, being in 8-10 places daily via my posts and guest posts.
Think exponential increase. Imagine my 10 guest posts building up over 365 days. That is 3,650 guest posts, 3,650 spots where I am spotted online. That is a lotta spots!
See why it pays to think quality and quantity?
How to Leave Your Blogging Struggles Behind
Exit your comfort zone on a daily basis.
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Leave blogging struggles behind.
I love blogging. Blogging feels fun, freeing and quite easy to me. But sometimes, on this journey, my feelings change a bit. Sometimes, blogging feels uncomfortable and I nudge into resistance. Fear rears its head. Mental blocks arise. Sometimes I fear running out of time or perhaps I fear wasting my time. In these moments, I have 2 choices: remain in my fear-filled comfort zone or leave my comfort zone.
I left most of my blogging struggles behind because I choose to leave my comfort zone on a regular basis. Traffic, profits, and all manner of sweet blogging success greet bloggers who feel their fears, leave their comfort zones and do the blogging task, anyway.
What Is Blogging Struggle?
Blogging struggle is doing things or not doing things based on fear. Fear drives you. You blog from a fear-based, scared energy. You avoid traffic and profit and success boosting activities because you fear the opportunities. Example; you struggle horribly to make money and drive blog traffic. I advise to begin generous, relaxed, enjoyable guest posting, to help you increase traffic and profits and success. The split second you THINK about guest posting, you feel a range of emotions, from excitement, to happiness, then, from terror, to anxiety, to a general fear of wasting your time.
If 2 people visit your blog daily and you see zero blogging profits now, and you say “no” to guest posting because of some fears, you will likely struggle horribly, because you avoided guest posting to stay in your comfort zone of fear.
Traffic and profits sit on the other side of fear, outside of your comfort zone. No way around that one. We all pay a fear tuition doing freeing, success-promoting, uncomfortable things. I remember when Zac invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Fear invaded my mind. Would he reject my posts? How about if he hated my posts? What if I wasted my time? Would I be able to follow all the rules? Would he criticize me? Of course Zac is the nicest, kindest, friendliest iconic blogger on earth. He REALLY is, guys. He is an exceptional human being. But fear is irrational, distorting the truths of love, harmony and abundance.
I had to feel all those scary, intense fears, and keep blogging anyway, to write and publish my first few guest posts here. 800 plus guest posts later, I am still going strong. Why? I left my comfort zone those first few times and instantly began leaving blogging struggles behind.
Exit your comfort zone every single day. Do something that scares you. Do something that tests your limits. Publish a 4 paragraph long comment on a top blog, even if you fear:
- nobody is listening
- nobody is reading comments
- nobody will click through to your blog
- you are wasting your time
- the comment won’t get published
This happened to me recently. I spent 15 minutes writing a 9 paragraph comment on Pro Blogger. But Disqus suffered some connection problems and prevented me from publishing the comment. I feared I wasted 15 minutes. But after feeling and releasing the emotion, I let it go, moved on, and devoted 10 minutes to writing and publishing the comment later in the day, when Disqus was working.
Struggles happen if you choose to blog mainly from fear.
Success happens when you nudge into these fears, toward your blogging fun, taking inspired but uncomfortable action on a daily basis.
Go for it!
Exit your comfort zone.
Leave your blogging struggles behind…for good.
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