We all go through phases when we feel low. Sometimes we know why, sometimes we can’t put a finger on it…
And yet the one thing we all know is that the sooner we beat the blues, the better for us.
And from personal experience, I can say that Social Media can help lift your spirits.. Here are a list of ways that Social Media has helped me
1) Read a blog that makes you laugh or inspires or makes you forget the blues. For e.g.: I check this blog Worth a Read, and always find something which is an instant mood lifter
2) Login to FaceBook and look at the photos of friends and family. Most people tend to upload only the good pictures, fun moments or interesting events. So you get to see the “good slice of others life”; and it usually changes your mood
3) Pinterest – You will always find something to laugh about or something which will amuse or interest you on Pinterest. Click here for one example
4) Twitter – Go through the tweets of random people or someone your know or someone really funny, and your mood will instantly change. For e.g.: Check this list of 25 Twitter Accounts to Make you Laugh. And at least one of them will cheer your spirits
Has Social Media helped you beat the blues? If yes, leave a comment to let me know HOW?
Over the past few weeks, Social Media (Blogs, FaceBook, Twitter) has been in the prime-time news. Some of it is good news, but several times its been not-so-good news. And primarily because someone tweeted something which upset / hurt / offended someone else, someone blogged an article without giving credit to whom it was due, a FaceBook update which did not go well with the general public opinion. And what followed was arguments, anger, negativity, criticism
As I reflect on some of these events, I honestly believe several of them could easily be avoided if basic Social Media Etiquette is followed. Probably basic life lessons you learned in KinderGarden, but somehow forgot along the journey to adulthood…
In this post, I am listing the Most Important Lessons of Social Media Etiquette – be it blogs, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.
Lesson 1: Be HONEST, Don’t LIE
Ever heard of “Honesty is the BEST POLICY“. Well it applies to Social Media as well. So be TRUE, Be HONEST and Don’t LIE. If you are not comfortable expressing your true opinion on a specific topic on Social Media, then Don’t Say anything. Be QUIET – which is OK. If you don’t know something, then its again OK to not say anything. But don’t LIE! The thing about lies is you get caught sometime somehow – Trust me on this!
Lesson 2: Give Credit where its DUE, Don’t STEAL
Again ever heard of “Don’t take things that don’t belong to you, and if you have to borrow then at least let the owner know!“. Well it applies to Social Media as well. So don’t STEAL others content on Social Media (blogs, Tweets, views, etc.) . If you do want to use / quote an article published by someone else, give a reference to the original content and acknowledge the author. (I’ve personally experienced cases of people publishing my blogs on their own blogs without any link or reference – And trust me! It feels awful. After all anyone who publishes content has put significant time, thought and effort into it. Just ask yourself how you would feel if someone walked into your house and walked out with your belongings – clothes, accessories, money, etc. Well its the same when you “STEAL” others content on Social Media). So make it a point to give credit where its DUE. Not only does it build your own credibility as someone who reads others content, but also acknowledges their efforts. And you also build your own social media networks by connecting to other authors – Trust me these relationships are worth more than stealing content and trying to pass it off as your own!
Lesson 3: Think before you WRITE
Anyone who wished you well always said “Think before you say or do anything.” Well it applies to Social Media as well. Before you write anything, think about the best way you can articulate your thoughts / views / opinions. Most of the Social Media errors happen because people don’t think before they write. If you are stressed, emotionally low / high, drunk, angry, upset, depressed… suggest you don’t write on Social Media till you feel more in control of your thoughts / emotions OR just write for yourself and don’t publish. Impulsive writing can sometimes bring out the best creativity in people, but it has to be when your thoughts / emotions are stable and balanced.
Lesson 4: Review before you PUBLISH
When you were in school, your parents and teachers always said “Check you answer sheet once before you turn it in“. Well it applies for Social Media as well. Before you publish anything (on Blog, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.) review it once with a calm mind. The reason being that many times we write things which we don’t really mean, we write things which can be (mis)interpreted in many different ways; and more importantly we are human and hence can possibly make errors. So do a self-review before you publish any content on Social Media.
Lesson 5: Be “GOOD”
The last point is “Be GOOD” on Social Media – To those you know, to those you don’t know.. To those with whom you agree, to those with whom you don’t agree. The fact is that the real world has its share of “Good and Bad” – Both as a part of our everyday lives, and as a part of the world in general. And there is also more negativity than positivity all around – Death, Terror, Loss, Lies, Infidelity, Anxiety, Fear, Uncertainty, Stress – They are all integral to our lives.
And so for many of us, Social Media is a welcome escape, a mini-dream-land. To connect with people who think like us, To connect with people we know, To connect with people we want to know, To connect with people who inspire us.
And the fact is that we all like to feel “GOOD”, especially on Social Media. And how do you feel GOOD? By reading GOOD stuff – Content which makes you smile, laugh, gives you hope, inspires you, motivates you, helps you learn, makes you happy, helps you grow.. And Do you think that you can achieve any of the above if you read / come across all “negative content” – which is demotivating, depressing, melancholy, continuous criticism, unwarranted judgment, etc. – Absolutely NOT! Again you can share a point of view which is radical / contrary to the popular belief, but you should know how to articulate it so that people appreciate your point-of-view; and it leaves them with food for thought, as opposed to anger or resentment or disbelief which sparks negativity.
And the best way you can share positivity is to be GOOD – in what you write… Be positive in what you write and share, Express Gratitude for the support you receive, and ignore what is better ignoring (It’s easier to ignore on social media)
And Goodness breeds Goodness… And before you know
Goodness is all around.. Thanks to you!
“What is a blog really like?” was the question asked.
And the answer which satisfied the audience was “A blog is really like a Movie…”
I was addressing a group of non-bloggers and I found it hard to explain what blogging really is. Suprisingly, the answer which satisfied them was one in which I explained how a blog is really like a movie… The reality is that there are several people in the world who don’t know what a blog is and why anyone in the world would spend their time and money in blogging
And to such an audience, the most effective and satisfactory response was this “Every blog that you publish is really like a Movie…”.. ..And in this blog post, I’ve tried to make my point on the co-relation between the Movie World and the Blogging World….
I am neither a Movie buff nor do I understand the nitty gritties of movie-making.. But I do have a high level understanding of movie making and of course, an in-depth understanding of creating a successful blog…
There are really 3 broad phases in making a movie / blog
Phase 1 – The Ideation Phase : In which you have an idea for your movie / blog
Phase 2 – The Creation Phase : In which you give form to your idea to create the end product (movie / blog)
Phase 3 – The Promotion Phase : In which you market your creation (movie / blog) to an audience
And then of course, is the Feedback phase in which the audience verdict is OUT – Good, Bad or Ugly!
Phase 1 – The Ideation Phase
This is probably the most critical phase in the journey of making a movie or a blog. Simply because you need to have an idea for your blog – In terms of the topics of focus for your blog and specifically in terms of the topic for every single blog post of yours! And if you get this RIGHT, your chances of success increase manifold!
Phase 2 – The Creation Phase
For easy of communication and comprehension, refer the comparison below:
|In the Movie World||In the Blogging World|
|Director||Blogger – In terms of making the idea come to life and ensuring that everything needed from the creative or technical side is taken care of|
|Producer||Blogger – In terms of the investments he / she does to create and maintain the blog (both the design elements and the content)|
|Story||This really translates to how the blogger is able to articulate his / her idea into words and the power of the message in the blog!|
|Actors (Hero / Heroine)||The words. Yes! The words you write on your blog are your final actors. You can make them perform the way you want based on your choice of words, your literary elegance and your presentation style|
|Editor||Again, the blogger itself if he /she does the editorial work or someone else you hire for your editorial efforts|
|Special Effects||This can be through pictures, music, podcasts, video blogs, infographics, etc. – You can choose your special effects based on your individual creativity, preference and context.The point to note is that there are several options available and you can decide based on the kind of investments you are willing to make (time and money), your target audience, your objective for the blog and the impact you want to create!|
|Guest Performances||Don’t we all like the appearance of a guest actor / star in a movie? Be it for a special song or just to make a point! Sure we do because it’s just so refreshing. So it is with guest blogs.As a blogger, you allow other guest bloggers to write for your blog to bring in diverse points-of-view to your audience. Also, not to mention the actual effort of creating the content (which becomes a challenge after a while) is the responsibility of the guest bloggerAlso, as a blogger you probably also write guest posts for other blogs because your able to enhance your brand and reach a wider audience with minimum time and efforts (as someone else is finally responsible and accountable) for the end product|
Phase 3 – The Promotion Phase
This is probably the most important phase as it determines the results that your efforts yield. Firstly, you need to be clear about who your target audience is. And then you need to define and execute a well-integrated marketing plan to promote your blogs. So for e.g: You need to send an e-mail about your blog or share it on FaceBook or ask some celebrity (online / offline) to share your blogs on Twitter, etc etc. While there are many channels, what’s impoartant is to decide on the key (say 3) channels you will leverage for your promotional activities…
And once you’re blog is released, all you can do is to hope that your readers will enjoy your blog.. you work of art.. or your BLOG-ART!
What do you think? Is there a similarity between the blogging and movie world? Leave a comment to let me know
Originally published @ http://arkarthick.com/2012/05/22/blogging-101-blog-is-like-movie/
I have always been fascinated by human behavior. More importantly, to understand what drives human behavior
In the real world, human behavior is reflected in:
* Why do you do what you do?
* Why do you say what you say?
* Why do you say things which you never intended to?
* Why do you not speak up when you are given an opportunity?
* Why do you sometimes do things which you never imagined you could / would ever do?
* Why do you sometimes not do things when you are given an opportunity even though you badly wanted to do it?
In the online world, human behavior translates into
* Do you even have a digital / social media presence?
* What digital / social media channels do you actively use? (Twitter, FaceBook, Pinterest, Blog, LinkedIn, etc.)
* What do you say about yourself? – The tone, content, messaging, articulations, expressions.
* How much do you share about yourself? – i.e. How personal do you get?
* What kind of social network have you built online? Is it an extension of your offline network?
* What kind of information do you share in your online network?
* How much time and effort do you invest in your online network?
If you take a minute to ponder more deeply about all these questions, you will realize that they are all examples of human behaviors and usually there are one / many drivers which govern human behavior!
During one random online browsing activity I can across a profound quote from Plato (Refer note on Plato below) which gave a compelling answer to this question “Human behavior flows from three main sources: DESIRE, EMOTION and KNOWLEDGE”.
The answer made me think more.. Are there only three main sources which drives human behavior?.. If yes and if everyone understood this, life would be a lot easier. But therein lies the problem – Not everyone knows this, appreciates this and not everyone understands this in entirety
And as I mulled more, I couldn’t agree more! At the basic level, Human behavior is indeed governed by
DESIRE – Desire for health, wellness, wealth, fame, power, knowledge, success, an ideal life, glory, name, love, happiness, information, peace of mind, fulfilling relationships, meaningful life, bliss, completeness, well balanced life, harmony, learning, new experiences, diverse friends, pursuit of hobbies, living different cultures, travel … to leave a legacy you’re proud of
EMOTION – Key Emotions which drive human behaviors are love, hatred, anger, hurt, sadness, grief, joy, bitterness, sorrow, jealousy, guilt, repentance, revenge or fear
KNOWLEDGE – About yourself, about others, about the past – your past and the past of the world, the present – your present and the present of the world, of one / more subjects of interest and expertise ranging from politics to economics to human anatomy to science to math to innovation to business to cooking to parenting to medicine to technology etc etc etc.
And then of course, there are combinations of the above which drive human behavior:
DESIRE and EMOTION
EMOTION and KNOWLEDGE
DESIRE and KNOWLEDGE
Lastly, DESIRE EMOTION and KNOWLEDGE
I think the most powerful combination is one in which human behavior is driven by DESIRE, EMOTION and KNOWLEDGE simply because it means that your behavior is driven by the compelling and compounding power of awareness and understanding of one / more subjects, focused thought, deep passion, power of intellect and the force of human emotions – which is a usually a recipe for deep profound and long lasting impact – provided the intent is right and positive!
I truly believe that understanding of human behavior is a very important dimension in life (personal / professional and online) – One which can immensely help everyone in their everyday life. What I’ve also realized is that anyone who has some degree of interest in human behavior is usually a very keen “observer” of human behavior. So in any given situation (if you pay attention) you will find one / two people being very “keen observers”. Many at time they are silent and make their observations, but if you take the trouble to talk to them – you will learn something about human behavior and more importantly about life!
So do you have any views on what drives human behaviors – online / offline? Leave a comment to let me know…
About Plato : Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.
Plato was one of the most important Western philosophers, exerting influence on virtually every figure in philosophy after him. His dialogue The Republic was known as the first comprehensive work on political philosophy. Plato also had enormous contribution on ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. His student, Aristotle, was also an extremely influential philosopher and the tutor of Alexander the Great of Macedonia (Src: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/879.Plato )
I’ve been in the blogosphere for several years now. However, I’ve not really followed the Indian Social Media blogs till a few months back. And today as I look back, a few Indian Social Media blogs stand out and have become my personal favorites:
In this blog, I have listed the Indian Social Media Blogs I LOVE to read:
BlogWorks @ http://blogworks.in/blog/
BY Rajesh Lalwani
Digital Inspiration @ http://www.labnol.org/
BY Amit Aggarwal
ARKarthick.com – Awesomeness @ http://arkarthick.com/
BY A K Karthick
LightHouse Insights @ http://lighthouseinsights.in/
BY Prasant and Vinaya
Social Samosa @ http://www.socialsamosa.com/
BY Aditya and Ankita Gaba
Conversations on Conversations @ http://mayank.name/
BY Mayank Dhingra
Nischala’s Space, Thoughts and Expressions @ http://nischalamurthy.wordpress.com/ [Yes! That’s me and my blog.. which is really this BLOG! ]
BY Nischala Murthy Kaushik
BuzzFactory @ http://buzzfactory.net/blog
BY Neil Sequeira
What are your favorite Indian Social Media blogs? Leave a comment to let me know…
ABOUT DANNY INY
Co-Founder of Firepole Marketing | Blogger (who has guest posts everywhere on the internet that you can possibly guest post) | Author of multiple books, including Engagement from Scratch! | Marathon runner | Serial entrepreneur
Danny Iny’s success in the blogging and writing world is truly a benchmark to many bloggers across the globe. I have learnt from his posts, applied several of his suggestions, tips & tricks and look forward to reading more of his articles. And for those who know Danny personally will agree that he is one of the few people in the ONLINE WORLD who is always ready to help. For e.g.: He will reply to your mails promptly, He will genuinely make an effort to help, support, and encourage you. And I can say this with confidence as I did not know Danny Iny until just a few weeks back – But he still read my blog posts, commented on them, shared in his network, and has given me valuable suggestions for improvement.
How can the rendezvous with Danny Iny not be around blogging and writing?
Nischala: Firstly, congratulations on all the blogging and writing success so far. You seem to present everywhere I go in the online world, you are quoted in most articles that I read… You’re a celebrity! And you managed to release your book “Engagement from Scratch” which has co-authors like Guy Kawasaki (Co-Founder of Alltop and Former Chief Evangelist at Apple), Brain Clark (of CopyBlogger), etc. and you managed to get MARRIED in the middle of all this, or should I say you managed to achieve all this while getting MARRIED .. So how do you feel?
Danny: It feels great, thank you! I don’t see myself as a celebrity, but I’m flattered. I think it all boils down to personal productivity. And what is really important is to be aware and understand of what brings out the best productivity in you. Like in my case, I always carry a pen and pad to write down what all needs to be done – as part of my professional and personal life. And these thoughts can occur at any time of the day / night and in the midst of anything else that I may be doing. So I note it down immediately.
I then put up these sticky notes all over my desk / work place. And let me tell you that I am a little OCD when it comes to completing all the things that I need to do. So essentially, I want to action them as soon as possible, so that I have fewer things left to do.
Most fundamentally, all productivity tips and trick and tools aid you to basically answer only ONE question – “What I should do next?”. And if you are clear in your head about this, you will be productive and seem to get things moving.
My best advice to anyone who wants to get things done is just this – GET IT DONE! Spending endless amounts of time of thinking, planning and getting advice will NOT help – You have to do what you have to do! And do it now!
Nischala: That’s interesting! To be honest, not an answer I expected to hear. But then, so true and very relevant! On the same lines, anything else you do to boost your personal productivity?
Danny: The other most important attribution to my personal productivity is that I PAY ATTENTION. This is very undervalued and underrepresented by most people. To be productive, you have to pay attention to your own experience.
Let me narrate a short story that I like – A seeker travels long to meet a ZEN master and when he meets him, he asks the master to write some words of wisdom. The Master writes something and hands it over to the seeker. The only word written was ATTENTION.
The seeker is disappointed with this, and says to the master “Look I walked for 3 days to get here. And all that you say to me is one word. Please share more wisdom”
The Zen master takes the paper back, adds something and hands it back to the seeker. It now read as ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!
So the point is this, we can be doing stuff with varying levels of effectiveness. The minute you start paying attention, your effectiveness and efficiency increases.
Incidentally, March 2012 has been the Productivity Month at Firepole Marketing. We realized that productivity is important for individuals and businesses, hence do check out the special feature on our blog
Nischala: Thanks for sharing. I will check this. So, am guessing you apply all these for your blogging as well
Danny: Absolutely! I’ve been writing for a long time and over time, I have identified the process that works for me. And I follow this strictly – The trick is to identify and follow the right process which works for you. So in my case, I can easily write a guest post of 1000 – 1200 words in 1 hour. And how I managed to do this is that I paid attention to what brought out my best blogs and iteratively improvised this to eliminate the non-value adding activities.
Nischala: That’s good to hear. Look forward to reading more of your posts. I also see that you are making a genuine effort to help new / upcoming writers / bloggers through free webinars, consultations, newsletters, etc. – What’s the motivation to provide everything free?
Danny: See there are 2 aspects here. One is that I definitely want to help others based on my own personal experiences. Second is that giving anything for free has to be strategic and conscious decision. So, while I may be providing free services, the relationship mind-share and connections I am building here with readers and a larger global audience are going to be critical, important and very relevant in the long term.
I think a lot of people believe that there is dichotomy here– Of really doing the smart thing or the right thing. But in my view, if you have a broad enough perspective – The smart & right thing are usually the same.
Nischala: OK. Coming to smart things, I personally loved the infographic from your post – 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content when You Don’t Have a Clue. To be honest, I apply many of these in my blogs; & also it has given me a few more blog post ideas. Also, everywhere I see infographics are becoming popular. What’s your view on the future of infographics? Why do you think they are becoming popular? Do you recommend them for any blogger?
Danny: Well! It depends a lot on what you want to achieve with your infographics or for that matter even your blogs. What your goals and objectives?
My view is that Infographics are taking off because they are cool, fun to look at and interesting. Not to mention that there is a definite value in presenting information in a pictorial way. And a lot of the reason for the uptake is probably due to the growing popularity of Pinterest. Some of this interest may be hype and a passing fad .
Nischala: OK. That’s interesting.. Moving to books and writing – Congrats on your latest book Engagement from Scratch!. I’ve just started reading that book and have found it to have really valuable content – But the thought which continues to linger is that you’re giving it free… With so much of content available free online through blogs, etc. – Do you see a change in pricing model of books where books will be given away for free?
Danny: Fact of the matter is that as good as the book is, it really is a collaborative effort from all the co-authors and I am grateful to all of them to contribute here. I wrote only a fraction of it. Again like I mentioned before, while I am giving the book for free, the value here is that I am forging strong relationships with readers. And that to me is the WIN – WIN
Nischala: That’s good to hear. So again its a conscious and strategic choice. Coming to the book itself, how long did it take you to write this book, especially since you have so many co-authors?
Danny: This book from conception to the publication took about 6 months. In hindsight, I think it was too short and I probably made it a lot harder for myself than I needed to. Also, since there were so many co-authors, I had to find an arrangement that works for everyone. Since I had existing relationships with Guy kawasaki & Brian Clark, they were happy to contribute. And I am fortunate here. Once I had people like Guy and Brian on-board, it was easy to get other contributors. That point is the pitch changed completely when I sent the request to others. I mean, who would not be keen on co-authoring a book with Guy Kawasaki?
Nischala: That’s cool! Congrats again and I guess we’ll see more books from you in the future. So coming back to blogging – What’s your view on the future of blogging? Is it here to stay?
Danny: I think it is – in some capacities Yes! More importantly, I really think it depends of what is your aim for blogging?
Is blogging an effective tool for content marketing? Yes it is! It just depends on what the goals are.
The point is that companies used to have print newsletters for publishing content. This is not affordable anymore, and will not be a viable model in the future.
So, blogging is less about technology infrastructure. It is more about content publishing and hence in that context, YES! It will be BIG for a long time. Serves a good purpose and does it well…
Nischala: With so many bloggers and blogs, what’s your advice to any blogger?
Danny: I think it’s important to be clear on what you are trying to accomplish, and what your goals are. You need to have an integrated strategy to achieve your goals, and your blog is one of those channels. Most importantly, as a blogger you should focus on the quality of your relationship with your target audience. And to use the right social media channels to achieve your objective.
See in my personal case, I am not active on Google+ or Facebook. Again, Twitter in my view is a broadcasting channel and I find that you probably have the shallowest connections on Twitter. And to be honest, we at Firepole Marketing are doing just fine by focusing our efforts just on our blogs and on e-mail. The point is that the level of intensity is critical. We are interested in the more engaged user, and we’ve found that e-mail is the best way for us to do that.
Nischala: OK. Anything else that you’d like to share as a part of this Rendezvous on what has worked at Firepole Marketing with respect to your Social Media strategy?
Danny: I think the important take-away there is no single answer for what works for every business. Social Media is a complex and diverse area. And rather than looking for prescriptive type of information on what you should and should not do, I think what is key is to test the waters. What I call “Hypothesis testing” in which we set an objective for ourselves and go about working on it. At the end, we either prove or disprove the hypothesis… Take the learnings, and move on! So it is important to be open, experiment, learn, pay attention, grow and enjoy along the way!
Nischala: Thanks Danny for this rendezvous. I have learnt from this rendezvous and hope that readers would echo the sentiment.
Danny: My pleasure! Have a great day!!
How did you like this Rendezvous? Leave a comment to let us know…
I have published 321 blog posts in 321 days in the Blogosphere — these include all that I have written on my public blogs, my private blogs, corporate blogs, as a guest blogger and on several community blogs. In terms of averages, that’s almost 1 blog per day.
In terms of size, they varied from ones which had a few paragraphs to the ones which were so long that I converted them to a series. In terms of quality again, they range from good, great, excellent to outstanding! In terms of the hats I have worn, they span across the whole range: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, White and Black. In terms of literary style, they range from prose to poetry. In terms of impact on readers, there were those which did not elicit any reaction and response; and those which actually brought tears because they were so touching, moving, personal or special.
In my own assessment, this is a significant achievement given that I have 2 full time jobs — one at Wipro and one as a mother; not to mention all the other roles and responsibilities that I shoulder being a part of this cosmic world! And the reality is that blogging does take time and effort. But then again, I do love blogging… so I always manage to make or find the time to blog.
The Holy Grail is to understand the process of blogging and deconstruct the same. In this post, I will articulate how I have successfully done this.
1. Keep a log of blog topics
The reality is that topics to blog about can occur at any time of the day or night and when you are in the midst of any activity. And if you don’t capture the topic in that moment, it is lost in the myriad of other things. When a blog topic occurs to you, make it a point to capture it. It can be on a piece of paper, on a notepad, on a document, as a message/memo, on your mobile — whatever! The key is to log it.
One of the challenges that many bloggers face is that they run out of ideas or topics to blog about when they actually get down to blogging. If you have such a ready-to-use log of blog topics, you will never really run out of blogs. In my personal example, as of this date I have about 90 topics that I can write about anytime in the future. And I am certain that these topics will keep me busy for a couple of months!
2. Think about blog content every opportunity you get
Once you have decided on the topic for your blog, be sure to think about the blog content at every opportunity that you get. Ask yourself basic questions like Why? How? When? Where? Why? For Whom? And the response to these questions will form the content of your blog.
It can be when you are taking a walk, when you are cooking, when you are at a traffic signal, when you are waiting, when you are idle, when you are browsing and waiting for that page to open up… just a few moments that you get can be spent constructively to refine your thoughts. If you are clear in your mind about what you want to articulate in your blog, the actual writing process takes very little time.
3. Always keep handy a place to scribble your thoughts
Again, this could be on a piece of paper, on a notepad, on a document, as a message / memo on your mobile — whatever! The key is to note down the points as you refine your thoughts. Be sure to keep your writings in a place where you won’t lose them! Again, this habit significantly reduces your actually blogging time as a lot of the back-end work is complete.
4. When you get a chance, write and update the post
Any chance or time that you get to update your post, don’t miss it. This could be in the form of a Word document, Notepad, or in your Blog Drafts. In reality, blog posts are evolving pieces of creative work. Hence, you will not get it right the first time every time.
Over a period of time, you will add on to your blog content and before you know, there will be enough quality and quantity for you to publish. And yes! There are some posts which you will probably complete in 10 minutes and some which take eons. That is just the law of averages at work. So don’t fret!
5. When your creative juices flow, just blog
There are times when you experience moments in which you are able to blog to perfection. The right words just seem to ooze out so naturally, so effortlessly, so beautifully and so rapidly. And in these moments you actually lose track of time and the world around you; and tend to deliver your best blogs. When you experience such a moment and your creative juices flow, just leave everything else (Yes! They can all wait!) and blog. You will be amazed at what you are able to create in those few minutes. Many times, you almost wonder if it was you who wrote that piece!
Once you have compiled about 90% of your content, spend time proofreading what you have written. Edit, re-edit… re-edit… until you are personally satisfied! If you can outsource the proofreading task to a friend or family, then great! You just saved yourself more time! Of course, be sure to take the final look at your blog and certify with your stamp of approval. Ultimately, it is your name that will be associated with the blog post.
7. Finalize where you will publish your post
Once you have all your content ready, it’s time to publish. Do note that all the points mentioned above are off line activities. They don’t really need you to be online. Of course, when you think it’s right to publish, go for it.
Spend some time to think about the target audience you want your blog to reach. Research about various forums available to publish your post. Based on your own assessment, finalize on the forum where you will publish your blog
8. Publish at the right time
By virtue of understanding the pulse of your readers, you should be able to gauge what times of the day and what days of the week you generally get the maximum readership. Try to publish your posts at these times.
9. Set targets
Another useful mantra is to set a specific blogging targets for yourself. For example: I will write 2 posts and publish 1 post this week. What targets ensure is that you have a blogging plan and set aside some time on a periodic basis for blogging. This mandates some form of self-discipline.
The reality is that there are two sides of the brain – The right creative brain and the left logical brain. Blogging is a form of an individual’s creative expression. So a blogger typically, tends to use more of the right brain. Of course, you do also use your left brain also; albeit this is limited. Setting targets ensures that the left brain is further utilized. After all, balance in employing both sides of your brain is the key to ensure that your gray cells are constantly nurtured.
10. Monitor your targets
Once you have set targets, assess and monitor your progress. This may lead to a review and modification of your targets, to set higher targets or being more disciplined in your blogging efforts.
11. Read and respond to comments
Do set aside some time to read and respond to comments of readers. Reader engagement through comments has the potential to establish reader loyalty, not to mention the additional fringe benefit of possibly getting new ideas for your next blog!!!
12. Enjoy the process… enjoy blogging
Lastly and most importantly, just keep at blogging and enjoy blogging.
This has worked for me. Will it work for you? Please leave a comment and…
Published @ http://12most.com/2011/12/07/12-mesmerizing-mantras-publish-321-blogs-321-days/ (7 Dec 2011). Republished with permission, courtesy of 12 Most
For a long time in my journey as a blogger, I used to publish posts on my blogs as soon as I finished them. As a consequence, there were times when I published 30 posts in a week, and there were times when I did not publish a single post for several weeks.
As I observed fellow bloggers, studied their blogs and analyzed the blogging patters of some really successful blogs, I realized that many bloggers published regularly at a specific frequency – Like one post every day OR a Guest Post every Wednesday, etc. Some were even punctual about the times like 8 AM or 7 PM. And most importantly, this information was published on their blogs. So as a reader I knew when I could find an update on their blogs. At times, there were deviations to this schedule – but this was always communicated to the readers through the blog itself.
I wondered how they were able to maintain and plan their blogging schedule so well.. And that’s when I learnt of a blogger’s Editorial Calendar
So what’s an Editorial Calendar for a Blogger?
Essentially, it is a calendar in which you as a blogger identify the frequency, dates and topics on which you will blog about for a specified duration – can be month, quarter or year.
The Editorial Calendar should have:
1) Topic of the post
2) Date on which you will publish a post
3) Date by which you should have the draft ready – including any links, images, videos, podcasts, etc.
4) Date by which the post should be reviewed by you / someone else (if applicable)
Where should you draw up your Editorial Calendar?
I recommend Microsoft Excel, but you can use whatever tool you like. You need to set reminders (Email alert, SMS, Calendar reminder, etc.) for yourself so that you are able to work as per your plan.
Should you share this with your readers?
Well that’s your choice. In my view, the single most important reason to publish your calendar is that you are making a public commitment to yourself, your blog and your readers [It’s like the difference between dating someone and putting on the wedding ring ]. And then you plan and work to honor the commitment. It does not really matter why you are blogging (for fun or money or whatever!) – You will definitely benefit from drawing up your own editorial calendar because it brings focus and discipline to your blogging efforts
Many bloggers do expose key information especially with respect to Dates and Topics on their blog. For e.g.: I personally liked the way Margie Clayman has launched a new series in 2012 called An Alphabet of Marketing Myths . In this series, Margie will be posting for 26 weeks every Monday on topics which she has listed on her blog – I loved her creativity on the choice of topics. On a separate note, if you have any interest in Social Media & Marketing, I recommend a visit to Margie’s blog - You will learn or laugh or go back wiser
My Mantras for a Bloggers Editorial Calendar
1) When I draw up my editorial calendar, I look to see if there are any specific global events / holidays / celebrations / festivals which can be the central theme / topics for my posts. For e.g: In Feb, there’s Valentine’s Day. In March, there’s Women’s Day. In May, there’s Mother’s Day.
2) I usually plan my Editorial Calendar on a monthly basis. Since I run several blogs of my own, what I really decide is how many posts I will publish on each of my blogs every week. This is especially important for me since I also feature as a guest blogger on several blogs of global repute and I am able to sign-up for about 2 -4 guest posts / month – That way I am able to blog about a range of topics and reach a diverse reader base
3) One of the key benefits of having an editorial calendar is that it helps me zero-in on the blog topics well in advance and gives me a sense of the time I would need to set-aside for blogging. Also, if I need to do some research, I know what I should read or learn about. If I need to have discussions with others, I can plan and schedule them accordingly
4) It is advisable to review your editorial calendar once a week – to take stock of the progress you are making towards achieving your targets & if any course-correction is required with respect to the blog content or dates
Ending Words of Wisdom
- It’s advisable and valuable for any blogger to compile an Editorial Calendar
- My Mantra’s for Blogging
Additional Suggested Readings on a Blogger’s Editorial Calendar
What’s an Editorial Calendar?
How to Build a Blog Editorial Calendar Even If You Don’t Know Where to Start
Why Creating an Editorial Calendar Should Be a Priority
How to develop your editorial calendar?
With the proliferation of social media, there’s a lot of focus on content.. And as a result, there have evolved and emerged many different roles associated with content.. While some of these are typically performed by individuals, some can be performed by tools and some by a combination of individuals and tools. In the long term, it will be interesting to see how these many different roles will morph into potential business opportunities for both individuals and enterprises…
In this blog, I have attempted to list and identify the various roles in the content life cycle.. While many of these terminologies are more relevant for the context of social media, they can be easily mapped to offline content as well…
It is important to note that while many of these roles are usually clubbed and performed by a single individual, I am also increasingly observing cases where there are different individuals tasked with very specific roles. Of course, each of the roles requires different skills and have different criteria for measurement of success….
Content Ideator – Those who generate ideas on what topics content should be about
Content Creator – Those who create the content from their own ideas / content ideators
Content Editor – Those who edit the content – Focus is usually on quality of content, accuracy, validity, basic English & Grammar checks and of course, presentation
Content Approver – Those who approve the content before it is published
Content Curator – Those who organize, review and add insights to content prior to publication
Content Publisher – Those who publish the content through one / many channels and on one / many forums
Content Consumer – Those who read the content – and hopefully benefit from it in one or many ways
Content Aggregator – Those who collate and aggregate content on a specific subject and with a specific objective
Content Analyzer – Those who analyze the content to identify trends and patterns
Content Critics – Those who review and critique on content in one / many forums
Content Advisor – Those who advise on what sort of content should be created and published in various forums
Pause and Reflect…
What role(s) do you play currently?
What role(s) do you want to play??
What additional role(s) can be defined???