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How a Blog is like a Thanksgiving Dinner

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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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Blogging

Do You Get Lost in Blogging Busywork?

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My prime business intent going forward is to get my 124 ebooks in 1 billion places. That’s it. I will promote other opportunities of course and prosper through multiple channels but it is a billion with my 124. Hold me to that. Wait a second. You won’t have to hold me to that. I’m pretty good about being accountable to myself.

Anyway, it’s been fascinating to see moments of my mind attempting to pull me to blogging busy work. You know exactly what I mean. For me, my day is largely about promoting my ebooks through Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, guest posts, Live broadcasts on Facebook, my podcast, and videos on Twitter as well. Other than promoting a few other opportunities, I do not intend to do anything else. But of course my mind tries to pull me toward blogging busy work at times. How does my sidebar look? Is my sidebar converting enough? What about blog comments? Should I open comments on specific old blog posts? Each question indicates some type of busy work that is not genuinely important or business building for your blog. Of course, most bloggers spend a fair chunk of their days on busy work and wonder why they struggle and fail so horribly. If you spend most of your time doing what does not matter, you will fail. But if you spend most of your time doing what does matter, creating and connecting and opening multiple streams of income, you will succeed. Blogging is that simple.

But blogging is not comfortable at all because even though we intellectually know to avoid busy work, our fears pull us in towards the silly activities. Some bloggers spend weeks or months or even years doing stuff that ultimately does not matter. Why spend hours on your blog design when it’s the content you create and the connections you build that lead to your greatest blogging success? You have to be honest with yourself when it comes to blogging. Being straight with yourself makes the difference between success and failure.

I usually catch myself within seconds to minutes of being engaged in busy work that does not really make a difference. I scan my email in seconds. I am down to that number now. But I recall my struggling days when I would be in my email for 20 minutes or an hour or longer every day. I tried to read every word of every email. I tried to engage every silly sponsored post pitch. Huge mistakes. I wasted so much time on what didn’t matter. You know what matters? Creating helpful content and building genuine connections with human beings by helping other bloggers. Do these things and you position yourself to succeed. Add income streams and you position yourself to become a full-time blogger, just like I discuss in this eBook.

Blogging is simple but uncomfortable. Creating and connecting feels uncomfortable when your fear pulls you toward busy work. Ego is like that. The mind is like that. It makes a mountain out of a molehill by pulling you away from core, business building blogging activities towards stuff that waste your time. I have never looked at a heat map in my blogging life yet I’ve circled the globe for the past eight years as a professional blogger. Feel free to spend a few moments checking out heat maps but when moments become hours, you’re messing up. You’re too engaged in blogging busy work. Help people freely and generously. Trust in the process. Open multiple streams of income. Promote your core opportunity the most, like me promoting my 124 ebooks. Success will find you.

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Blogging

Do You Reject or Accept Opportunities for Growth?

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I just wrote and self published this ebook in a little over 24 hours:

7 Things that Inspired Me to Go from Scared Security Guard to Smiling Island Hopper

 not bad, eh? I asked my readers for ebook ideas.  I received answers. I wrote the ebook. I really hustled on this one. I’ve already generated a quick sale. How? I accept opportunities for growth immediately. Do you feel the same way? Or do you reject opportunities for blogging growth? Be honest with yourself. This is not a comfortable process for bloggers to follow because your ego may sting a little bit.

 Blogging struggle is borne of rejecting opportunities for growth. Blogging success is born of accepting opportunities for blogging growth immediately. I opened another income stream within 24 hours based on seizing an opportunity immediately. No hesitating. No hemming and hawing. No delaying. Other than sleeping for a handful of hours I did nothing else other than write the ebook, proofread the ebook, add photos and publish the sucker during that 24-hour stretch. Oh yeah. I also did some networking and content creating and yes, I promoted a handful of my 123 books. But I wrote ebook number 124 during that time frame too. Why? I love blogging. I love freedom. I love seizing opportunities for blogging growth.

 Emerson said all life is an experiment and the more experiments you make the better. This wise man knew the secret to success. Seize the moment and squeeze all you can out of the moment by accepting opportunities for blogging growth fast. If a reader nudges you to write an ebook, write the darn ebook. Do not delay. Unless you despise writing, and you probably don’t because you blog, write the ebook, help the reader and make money. If one reader has that issue than 50 million readers have that issue. We are all human beings with pretty similar problems when you break everything down.

 How quickly do you reject opportunities for growth because you fear something or someone?  My most lucrative freelance writing client basically had to beg me to work for him. I so deeply feared I would not be worth the money he was paying me and I also feared his criticism, even though he was such a nice, warm, genuine dude. After he would not accept me saying no, I accepted the job and made a pretty penny over the course of our relationship. I learned my lesson. Now I gobble up opportunities for growth so quickly it’ll make your head spin.

 I could go to bed right now to take a quick nap. I just worked for the long stretch to write the e-book and release it. But I gobble up this opportunity to write a guest post. Again guys, I accept opportunities for growth and grow like a stinking blogging weed.

 Do not ignore opportunities because you fear seizing blogging opportunities because ignorance leads to struggle, failure and quitting. Seize the moment. Seize opportunities for blogging growth. Write the guest post. Broadcast live on Facebook. Upload a video to Twitter. Write the ebook. Convert it to audiobook. Create a course. How do you think I retired to a life of island hopping? I did not sit on the sidelines folks, waiting and waiting and waiting for opportunities. I seized opportunities for growth quickly and more opportunities flowed my way. Opportunities seized, multiply fast. Opportunities rejected disappear immediately.

Seize the blogging moment! 

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Blogging

No Blogger Can Force Clients Customers or Readers to Learn and Succeed

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Sometimes you just need to get right to the point with blog post titles. This is one such title and blog post. After answering questions for readers recently I made a realization. Honestly, I’ve had this realization in mind for many years. I guess I never chose to write about it. But today I will cover the topic. You cannot force a reader, client or customer to learn and succeed. This is just not possible. You cannot will someone to see what they are not prepared to see or do what they are not prepared to do.

Sometimes, coaches struggle horribly because they base their success or failure on the success or failure of clients. This is lunacy. You can show a horse the way but you cannot force the horse to drink, right? Ditto for human beings. You can coach someone but you cannot force them to do what you advised them to do. That is 100% in their hands. In truth, the best blogging coaches, ebook writers and consultants are at peace with doing their best job and leaving it at that.

I regularly answer questions for free, offering experience, helpful advice for new or struggling bloggers. Said newer struggling bloggers return within a few seconds with more questions, trying to find a different way to succeed, trying to find the quick shortcuts that lead to guaranteed failure. I release these people. Although I have compassion for fear-filled new and struggling bloggers, it is not my job to convince them of my 30000 hours of blogging experience. Either they’re smart and listen, humbling themselves and their ego. Or they make the foolish decision of trusting their fears over my 30000 hours of blogging experience. Either way, I have nothing to do with their outcomes. They choose to listen or to ignore me. I’m cool with that.

Alonzo Pichardo and I spoke about this at length on his podcast; listening to pros and trusting their experience over your fears and lack of experience.

Be clear with the fact that most humans live predominately from fear so until they change their programming through a personal decision they will ignore good advice and follow bad advice. Self-fulfilling prophecy. In the same regard, you can trigger emotions in someone that allows them to follow your successful advice. Someone may open up and learn from you if it’s their time to open up. Totally their personal decision that has nothing to do with you. This is why I never get full of myself. I understand everybody’s life is their choice. I can show the way. You choose to follow or ignore. Nothing to do with me.

Stop wasting your energy trying to convince, manipulate or flat-out force clients and customers to do what you advise them to do. Offer your advice. Detach. Some folks will follow your advice and succeed with their blogs. Other folks will ignore your advice and continue to fail. You did what you could but now it’s up to them to use your knowledge and experience for their benefit. Keep helping people. Keep meeting new people. Don’t get attached to clients or customers. Offer tips and leave it at that. Every human being is fully accountable for themselves. You are a blogger, not a babysitter. You inspire but you’re not a savior. You can try but you can’t force people to do anything. Be at peace with this truth and you will become more successful than you ever dreamed. Most bloggers never succeed wildly because they never scale, being heavily attached to a few clients or customers. Highly successful, happy, free bloggers keep meeting and helping new people and allowing those people to find their own way. I am responsible for no one but myself. This is how I’ve lived the life of my dreams.

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Do you want to live a movie-worthy life of travel like me?

Buy my eBook:

Law of Attraction Series: How I Manifested a 4 Year Trip through the Tropics

PS…the featured image is me in New Zealand and the hut above is where me and my wife lived deep in the jungles of Costa Rica.

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