Blogging is not that easy and you have to continuously keep coming up with new ideas to write about. There may be times when you may not have any ideas to write about which we bloggers term as bloggers block. If you are suffering from bloggers block you should read about the tips to get out of it.
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Coming back to the point ideas are not always easy to come by and having a steady source of information helps you to easily build up on newer ideas. Today we will look at the the top 5 ways to source content for your blog which will help you in keeping you creative juices flowing.
Many users tend to bookmark interesting sites and articles. You may find lots of new and interesting information that has been bookmarked by others. Bookmarking is also a never ending process and you will find lots and lots of resources from these sites. You can use these bookmarking sites to leverage information for your own blog.
Here is a simple way on keeping abreast of the latest news from Del.icio.us.
- Login to your Del.icio.us account.
- Go to the subscriptions page start adding tags that you want to gather information about. For example "utilities".
- Once you have finished adding tags that go to http://del.icio.us/subscriptions/(username) replace (username) with your username.
- At the bottom of the page check for the RSS button for the current page usually it is http://del.icio.us/rss/subscriptions/(username) replace (username) with your username.
- Add the RSS feed to your personal feed reader.
Once you have done that you can regularly check for resources in the RSS feeds, believe me you can get at least 5-10 ideas everyday from this source. You can also follow other bookmarking sites so that you are never short of ideas.
Here is a list of bookmarking sites you can use to gather information from
Social Networking Sites
Social networking is an extension to blogging and many users religiously use the social networking sites. Due to the high user penetration there are bound to be interesting ideas you can land up on.
Sites like Digg, Reddit, SlashDot and TechMeme provide you with a multitude of information and like bookmarking sites much of the information can be translated into new ideas.
Talking about gathering information you can always subscribe to the upcoming news section in the social networking sites. Many a times you will land up with a gem of an idea which you can blog about.
Here are few social bookmarking feeds you should have in your feed reader
Getting alerted about information is one of the best resources for gathering information. In this case you get regular emails about the information you are looking for. I generally subscribe to daily emails for certain keywords using Google Alerts. You can also use Live Alerts to get your regular does of information. Yahoo also provides you with a alerting service.
That said I prefer to use Google Alerts as it is the best and most relevant and best of all you do not need to have a account with Google to use their alerts. Here are the instructions to start using Google Alerts.
- Figure out the keywords you want to get alerted about.
- Select the type of alerts you want to receive.
- Select How Often you want to receive the alerts.
- If you are using a email id other than Gmail to receive alerts you will have to authenticate your email account to receive alerts.
If you want a detailed instruction on receiving Google Alerts you can head to my post on my blog to Get Alerts for your targeted keywords.
Press releases from major players definitely find their places into many blogs. The best way to get information about new and upcoming products is to subscribe to the official blogs from the top players in your niche.
I definitely get my post ideas from these press releases which help not only help me to keep in touch with new things that are happening but also allow me to use the services and post my opinions about them.
One thing that I kept for last is getting information from Top Bloggers in you niche. The reason is that many people do not take this source of information seriously. There is no hard and fast rule to say that you are replicating information.
If you find the information from top bloggers interesting you can definitely write a post in your own words about it. Every blog have their own readers and it is not necessary that what is written by a top blogger may eventually be read by your own readers.
I started experimenting on writing posts based on what top bloggers say in my niche and my readers definitely liked it. One thing though never copy or replicate their content, take inspiration from it and write in your own words.
To close it all I want to tell you that whichever source you pick always link back to the original article. I have seen many people replicating content but never linking back to the original source. The immediate action I take is to unsubcribe from such feeds. There is no real obligation in doing that but it is really a good practice to link back to original sources. Someone has spent time in writing an article and they deserve the link back. Imagine someone doing it to you :-).
I use various other sources to get information from and am always looking to add to it. I would love to hear about the sources you use to get your information from. Nothing better than learning from you. The comments form is below so start telling me about it. You can also use the same comment form to tell me your views about this article, brickbats and love all is welcome.
Why Does Blogging Seem Hard?
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The question of blogging questions.
Why does blogging seem hard?
Blogging in and of itself is not hard. Blogging is a concept. A blog is an inanimate object. It is neutral. It is not hard, tough or easy.
Human beings label their feelings with emotions. THIS is why blogging seems hard.
Doing the neutral activity of blogging feels scary, meaning you unearth and either resist or feel fears. Feeling the fears feels highly unpleasant. Especially if said fears feel deep, strong, and terrifying, depressing or anger-inducing.
But if you resist these deep fears, and refuse to feel them, and blog mainly from a dominant vibe of fear, you fully experience the feeling of blogging being super hard. Blogging is actually neutral but you refuse to feel deep fears that blogging has unearthed. You resisting fear leads to prolonged blogging failure, aka, not seeing much money and traffic, aka, blogging being really hard.
Real World Example
A few moments ago, I scanned one of my daily blogging income streams. I made a little less than I had been making for 1 of a billion reasons. 1 such reason may have been the internet crashing here last night. We experienced a few big, powerful thunderstorms.
Anyway, I noted the dollar amount being lower and felt fear arise in my body. Rather than resist the fear, I felt the anxiety, and my mind hurriedly racing ahead to next month’s paycheck, and then, after breathing deeply for a few moments and fully embracing the fear, I released it. I did not resist it. I felt it. The fear disappeared. I then blog from an abundant, relaxed, detached, generous energy, which helps me become more and more successful.
But the old me – and most bloggers – see a lesser dollar amount for daily earnings, feel an intense fear arise, panic, bury the fear versus feeling it, and run around like mad men and mad women with that DEEP FEAR DRIVING THEM, desperate and greedy, resisting the fear, being driven by fear, and of course, they do stupid stuff with a dominant fear energy guaranteeing their blogging failure. Then, these humans who refuse to face, embrace and feel fears, proclaim blogging to be hard. This is a lie. Blogging is neutral. But you refuse to face, embrace and release your fears, so blogging *feels* hard.
Feel fears when fears arise. Cry it out. Shout it out. Feel depressed or deflated. Do not resist fear. Then, after feeling fears, you will feel good, detached, relaxed and trusting. Feeling these dominant abundant energies, you will create, connect, trust, persist and blog from a relaxed, chill energy. Blogging from this calm, trusting, generous energy makes blogging easier and easier and easier. Money flows in easy. Traffic flows in easy.
Blogging went from hard to easy because you faced fears, felt fears, and progressively blogged from an abundant, generous, calm, detached vibe.
Tip for Feeling Fear
Engage in some energy management ritual that expands your awareness. I do deep yin yoga and power walk daily. Prayer and/or meditation may help. Breathing deeply helps. Do anything that expands your awareness so you can observe and feel fear versus resisting this destructive energy.
Some humans bury fear with busy-ness and jobs they hate. Other people turn to drugs or alcohol to bury fears. All of these folks are unhappy and depressed because you cannot feel good, abundant, relaxed and successful with oodles of fear buried deep inside of you.
Be with your fears. Be gentle with yourself. The blogger who feels and releases fear soon learns blogging gets easier and easier.
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?
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