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5 Blogging Activities Perfect for Summer

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For many blogs, summer is the slow season. People are on vacation, schools are out, dorms are empty and most sites see a noticeable drop in traffic until the cooler weather comes.

So what is a blogger to do with this time? Even if one’s site isn’t outright dead or quiet, it’s often much less active and that can create a case of summer blues, where bloggers feel as if they’re putting in the hours but not seeing the results they expected.

However, there’s good news. The slower months are an excellent time to do some very valuable work on your site. Some of it is to gear up for when things ramp up later, others exploit the reduction in competition to have a more immediate impact.

Here are five things you can use your summer doldrums for to make your site that much better.

1. Change/Improve Your Theme

Since traffic is less, you can relax a bit on your posting schedule, either removing a posting or two per week or shortening what you write daily, and put that time back into your site by improving your theme.

With the release of WordPress 3.0, there’s a lot of great ways you can upgrade your theme, not to mention new themes you can change to.

Simply put, more time and fewer visitors makes summer a great chance to make these changes and make sure they’re done right. It is certainly better to have some downtime or make a blunder now than in peak season in a few months.

2. Do Some Link Building

This means two things. First, reach out to other bloggers and see about swapping links when practical. Second, write some high-quality linkbait posts and push them out over social media channels in a bid to draw others to link to you.

During summer months, though there is fewer people online, there is also less competition for those eyeballs. This is an excellent chance to get some inbound links to help your SEO and build new roads to your site for when the masses return.

3. Get Social

Summer is a great time to either gets started or get more involved in social networking. Since people often continue to tweet, check Facebook and manage other social profiles even when away from a computer, largely because these activities are mobile-friendly, those activities don’t drop quite as much during the summer months.

Take advantage of this and start working on your Twitter following, make some new friends on Facebook and so forth. Get out there and grow your social media/social news presence.

It will not only help grow your audience for your posts in the summer, but help you accelerate growth after the slow season ends.

4. Try Out New Ideas

Got a new idea for a column but aren’t sure if it will take off? What about a new video series you’ve been wanting to try? Now is the perfect time to try it out. The people still at your site are, for the most part, your core audience. Now is the chance to try out new ideas on them without worrying about what newcomers will think.

Though it might seem risky trying out things your core readers, remember that they are the ones who are most likely to give you honest feedback and not knee-jerk reactions. Experimenting now lets you maximize the amount of feedback you get from dedicated readers while keeping the new voices to a minimum.

5. Upgrade Your Site or Move Hosts

Finally, if you need to upgrade to the latest version of your blogging platform, switch to another system or change hosts, now is your chance. A few days of site downtime or erratic behavior will matter less now than in a couple of months.

If you have any upgrades or updates that you’ve been putting off for fear of breaking your site, now is a good time to make your backup and give it a go, especially if you do it during the slower part of the day and week.

In short, you’re never going to find a time with a smaller audience, the risk is as low as possible.

Bottom Line

The summer months can be a depressing time for bloggers but they don’t have to be, it can be the most productive time of the year and represents a chance both to grow your site and prepare for busier times.

However, don’t forget to carve a little bit of rest and relaxation time in for yourself too. After all, pushing yourself too hard at any time can result in burn out and that can be more dangerous to your blog than just about anything else.

Use this time wisely but don’t get too caught up. Your site and your mind will thank you.

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Blogging

Are You Trying to Rank or Help People?

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Check the intent behind your blogging actions. What are your drivers? Some bloggers desperately want to rank, to place articles on page 1 of Google, to drive sweet, passive search engine traffic. Good luck with that. Nobody succeeds ranking until you give virtually all of your attention and energy to helping people with your blogging efforts. The rank comes after the generous help and that generous help often spans years of your life because developing page 1 Google skills is no joke. If it were easy, everybody would rank on page 1, right?

But you would be surprised by how many folks struggle blogging because the focus on rank over help dominates their minds. I never fell afflicted to this common limiting belief because I give scant attention to ranking on Google. Most of me could care less. I help people through my guest posts, blog posts, course and eBooks. My intent is to help people not to try to get traffic and money through manipulating things. Be honest about the big difference between the two because making this shift will improve your life tremendously, along with positioning you to experience increasing blogging success.

Focus heavily on people and little on things to discover the secret of blogging success. Bloggers succeed by generously helping human beings for sustained periods of time. Imagine some blogger who appears to be all over their blogging niche. Study this individual. Guaranteed, this bloggers generously helped people for years, hours daily, through multiple methods of helping people. Imagine guest posting, blogging, broadcasting live on Facebook and podcasting. See how the top bloggers always seem to be assisting people from a generous, genuine energy? Be that person. The tops never obsess over ranking because doing so attaches you to outcomes. Attach to outcomes. Feel fear. Attachment is fear. Any time you blog from a vibe of fear, you will struggle, fail and quit eventually. Top bloggers feel fears but release the energies versus panicking and bailing on generously helping readers. Everybody else panics, bails and tries to manipulate things to get traffic and money, failing horribly over the long haul.

Nobody gets ahead trying to manipulate things because money flows through humans mainly, then, through things which act as receiving channels. Imagine if I sell a copy of my blogging course. Generously helping human beings instills trust in the person who bought my course. Money flows from them to me through Selz, and my bank account, from their credit card or bank account. The things – Selz, bank accounts – are receiving channels, facilitating the sending and receiving of money, but generous service and trust put the financial transaction into action.

Stop trying to rank before all else because dealing with things solely – SEO and Google – moves you out of the realm of reality, into thing-ality. Bloggers who succeed keep helping folks generously and keep promoting themselves, realizing the things are just tools humans use to connect with each other, to help each other and to prosper each other. Focus on helping humans, not trying to rank on page 1 of Google, to uncover the secret to successful blogging….and to uncover the secret of ranking on page 1 of Google.

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Why Blogging Jealousy Is a Damaging Emotion

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I spent today enjoying lunch and a hike through the forest with my wife. But like the past goodness knows how many years, I will work 6-8 hours daily….or more. I put in an hour or so this morning. Now I get to work a bit before 5 PM. People love my travel photos. Folks often tell me how jealous they feel, envying our life. We are so lucky! We are blessed. We are aligned. All that jazz. But the same folks NEVER feel jealous or envious of the fact that I worked 6 hours daily for the past goodness known how many years of my life. I tell folks about my workload sometimes; most look at me like I have 3 heads, people proclaiming themselves lazy and definitely, believing I can have this workload because working long and persistently is not for them.

Before you envy my movie-worthy life, envy my movie-worthy workload. Before you jealously bust my chops about my photos in Fiji and Bali, be just as envious and flat out jealous of the 20,000 hours I have blogged over the past decade of my life. You cannot have the sweet fruit unless you patiently water the seed and allow for it to thrive, during growing season. Likewise, you cannot have blogging success unless you patiently, persistently and generously work, to succeed.

Jealousy and Damage

Most bloggers never realize the intense jealousy that damages their blogging campaign. Why does jealousy hurt you and your blog? Delusion, that’s why. Take my Fiji or New Zealand or Costa Rica pictures. Most people who see the pictures envy my life because most folks CHOOSE to work a 9-5 job and CHOOSE not to travel. In the same breath, after expressing intense jealousy at me living a cool life of travel, I advise the person to begin blogging, to engineer a similar life for self and family. In an instant, most bloggers complain about having no time, no time, and no drive to design such a life of fun and freedom. Why? Being jealous of bloggers immediately places you in a “they have it, but I cannot have it,” type victim, non-empowered, weakling energy. If you believe only I can live this life, and envy me, and you foolishly believe you cannot life this life, you make endless excuses to cling to your belief system. Said excuses guarantee your unhappiness and comfort.

If you envy my life of travel, envy the 6 to 10 hours or more I have worked every single day of my life over the years. Do you envy working 8 hours every Saturday and Sunday? Are you SOOOO jealous that I will work 6-7 or more hours today, after being out of the house for about 6 hours, hustling into the evening? Nope. I did not think so. Few human beings envy someone who works generously, diligently and persistently because most people hate doing the very thing that sets them free. Why? Doing the thing that sets you free forces you outside of your comfort zone, to face deep, pulsating fears. Facing these fears seems highly unpleasant. Nobody enjoys facing fears, but you need to face fears in order to grow, to succeed, and to live a life of movie-worthy levels, you being the object of blogger envy.

Stop being jealous. Get to work, admire industrious bloggers who live their dreams, and you too will live your dreams.

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Blogging

How to Ride out Traffic Swings

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Traffic swings occur for every single blogger who ever blogged.

Literally, nobody is immune from seeing traffic stats swing high, low, back, medium and all over, in between. How do you ride out these swings? Blog for the love of blogging and see traffic as an extra, a bonus, or some add on to your blogging campaign. Make the blogging work, the reward. See all else as extra, or a bonus, and you become totally chill in response to inevitable traffic swings. Way too many bloggers become obsessed with traffic stats. Even more make the foolish mistake of obsessing over traffic stats on a daily basis. Guys; this is nuts. How can you focus on daily traffic swings when you know all good, lasting things take time, energy and a willingness to have a vision? Relax. Slow down. Calm down. Trust in yourself. Trust in the blogging process. Good things take time and generous service.

Imagine if Jeff Bezos panicked over day to day traffic and sales numbers on founding Amazon over 2 decades ago? Imagine how doing so would have crippled his campaign? Everybody experiences swings – usually, wild swings – as a newbie entrepreneur and blogger because no growth is perfectly linear. Over time, with generous effort and a blanket trusting in the blogging process, you traffic increases month over month. But day to day analysis is a silly way to assess how you are doing. How in the heck can you honestly make a blanket assessment of your blog over a 24 hour period? It’s only 24 hours! We measure success in thousands and tens of thousands of hours…..not 24 hours. Come back down to earth. Get your head out of the clouds. Nothing of meaning, of lasting value, unfolds in 24 hours. Please be gentle with yourself and be even more gentle with your silly mind because the mind wants fast results but your heart knows; successful blogging is a long term gig.

Check Stats Infrequently

Do you have an absolute blast checking stats? If so, check stats monthly. Allow momentum to gain by generously helping people daily, over a monthly period. Observe your traffic stats to iron out any kinks and to not be swayed by the day to day fluctuations leveling most bloggers, creating a roller coaster wave of emotions in mind. I barely check metrics because if I love what I do, trust in the process and trust myself, the more generous service I put into blogging, the more blogging generously serves me. Simple equation here. Why in the heck would I assess my success based on 24 hour increments? Blogging success hinges on thousands of hours of generous service, not 24 hour blogs of work, right?

Pump your breaks guys. Get uber busy helping your readers by creating as much quality content as humanly possible. Be generous. Focus heavily on giving, not getting, to allow your daily stat checking obsession to dissolve just a wee bit. Blogging become uncomfortable here and there but does get easier and easier the more often you give freely of your time and talents. The challenge is not to panic when you resist checking stats for a few weeks as most folks go bonkers mad, ready to explode, once they try to detach from frequent stat checking.

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