Why We Must Celebrate Success If We Want To Climb Life’s Mount Everest

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Too often in life, we achieve a major goal and then let it slip by us as if nothing happened. Just last week, this happened to me, and I’m sure we have all experienced something similar.

The metaphor I often use to describe life is that it’s like climbing Mount Everest. There are some flat parts, steep parts, very dangerous parts, blizzards, sunshine, and strength needed to conquer the world’s biggest mountain. Your success is very similar to this metaphor of climbing Mount Everest.

 

The epic speech that wowed everyone

This topic is very relevant to me right now because I just completed my very first Toastmasters speech that was not impromptu. I’d purposely chosen the morning session starting at 7:30am because I thought that it would be a typical day when most didn’t attend.

Unfortunately for me, I was wrong. There were record numbers, and all of the seasoned, professional, well-known speakers were in attendance. There was no hiding or pretending that this speech was a practice run for the real thing, which is what I had convinced myself of beforehand.

Dealing With Nerves - Public SpeakingBefore I had to get up, I suddenly felt a wave of nerves come over me, and I had no idea why.

My palms felt sweaty; my legs began to shake to the point where I wasn’t sure if I could even stand up. The story I was about to share in my speech was a compressed version of my life. I made the decision early on to be as bold and as vulnerable as I could be.

After all, if I didn’t nail this, then I knew that there was a strong chance I might give up and not try again. About sixty seconds into the speech I reached the part where I had to act out an intense action. At this point, all the nerves went away and everything I rehearsed came naturally.

The focus of the speech was to deliver value and inspire people to believe that anything is possible.

While delivering the speech I had a few times where I lost my place but mostly, I was in a state of flow, and it just poured out of me. I looked people in the eye and let the passion for my craft be known to everyone listening.

It’s important when you are going through a big moment in your life not to hold back, and forget about the consequences.

keep-calm-and-let-s-celebrate-1At the end, I didn’t think I did that well and gave myself a pass mark. The feedback from the audience and the evaluators was far better than I could have expected. They told me that I was speaking at a very advanced level, and they could clearly visualise everything I was saying.

The only real improvement was that they wanted to hear more, and they wanted more detail. The one word that was used consistently to describe the speech was “inspiring.” I’m no expert, and I wing most things, so I was very happy with the result.

There’s one thing I’ve left out though; I didn’t celebrate the success. Not even for one single moment.

 

Why you should celebrate your success

The purpose of me sharing this story all about overcoming fear and doing a speech in front of strangers is to show you an example of success that went unnoticed. It’s so easy when we conquer our fear or achieve a goal to forget about the significance of the event.

Public speaking is one of the highest ranked fears people face and it’s avoided like the plague. Yet, I had conquered what most could never do and achieved the equivalent of an A+. I should have been very proud and spent some time to reflect.

Instead, I went straight to the next goal on my list and gave the conquering of this fear no attention. If you think about your success’s, you’ll probably find times when you have done something similar.

Mind AnchorIt’s not okay to block out your success and not spend time celebrating the achievement of a goal. Celebrating success gives you a permanent anchor to look back on the next time you face a challenge that makes you fearful. An anchor in your mind can only be formed if you take the time to celebrate and look back on what you’ve just accomplished.

I’d even go a step further and say that you should keep a list on your mobile phone of all of your big successes. This gives you the opportunity, in case you forget, to get back into the state you felt when you achieved a certain goal.

For this concept to work, you need to, first of all, create that state, and that can be done by celebrating your success and linking positive feelings to what you’ve achieved. We forget to celebrate success because we somehow think that we need to go back and keep on achieving.

“Achievement without fulfillment will make you feel lost and empty inside”

Plenty of people have achieved what many of us could only dream of yet they still commit suicide because they haven’t taken out any of the positivity that could have been extracted from their success’s.

You’re not a robot; you’re a human being full of emotions and skills to give the world. Act like it and don’t forget when you’ve smashed your goal and achieved a result that was far surpassed anything you could have expected.

After the celebration of your success, I then recommend you practice gratitude and link it to your success. What this does is further engrain your achievement deep inside your body so that you can’t forget it easily.

 

What do you do after the celebration?

The story could end here, and you could just celebrate your success, extract all the benefit to be used in your life, and then move on. There’s one last step though that we have forgotten. Once you achieve your goal, you then need to share the lessons and the journey with others.

If only you benefit, then that’s a start. If everyone can benefit and people in other countries can be inspired by what you do, then that’s the level we need to all play at. Remember what I always say; it’s not about you, it’s about what you have to give and what you can do to add value to people’s lives.

Don’t tell me you don’t have any value to give because you do.

“The value you have to offer lies in the roots of your success’s” – Tim Denning

It’s for this reason that I put together this post so that more people can be inspired to go and do their first speech and share their message to inspire others. Imagine a world where we all shared our success to inspire others. Our problems would be greatly reduced, and we would live on a completely different planet to the one we occupy now.

It all starts with you. You can be the catalyst for change, and you can create a movement. Celebrate your success and then extract the value and give it to anyone who can benefit from it. That is all.

How do you celebrate your success? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Focus on Consistency, Not on How Fast You’ll Get There

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It’s a problem that plagues not only the Internet marketing industry, but it is within this niche that we find it particularly prevalent. I suppose this only makes sense, given the general appeal of making money online. People from the outside looking in have a certain preconceived notion of what it means to a professional blogger or Internet marketer. They think it comes easily. They think it comes quickly.

And that’s why you’ll find the world wide web bursting at its virtual seams with people claiming they can tell you how to “get rich quick” on the Internet. Follow this simple formula and you’ll be rolling around in millions of dollars, jetsetting your way to exotic locales and driving fancy sports cars in no time. No experience needed! You can do this in your pajamas.

So Easy Your Grandma Could Do It?

And that’s a problem, because for every successful person that you see online, you’re only seeing the proverbial tip of the iceberg. You don’t see the years of work, experience and dedication that went into building that empire. You don’t see how many times they failed or come up short. You only see the riches and you expect it to come to you instantly. Save for a few rare exceptions, it just doesn’t work that way. It takes time.

In the context of launching a blog, building an audience, and developing a brand, it’s very unlikely that you’ll skyrocket to the top of the blogosphere overnight. You can’t expect to start a blog and suddenly become the next Darren Rowse, Neil Patel or John Chow in a matter of days.

slow-and-steady

But what is the one critical factor that unifies all successful bloggers and blogs? Consistency. The old tale of the tortoise and the hare taught us that slow and steady wins the race. Now, when it comes to the Internet, moving slowly probably isn’t in your best interest, but the “steady” part of that equation certainly does.

A Schedule You Can Count On

Something that I’ve witnessed more times than I care to count is when a new blogger gets started with a giant dose of enthusiasm. He’s really excited about getting into this space and fires off several great posts with unique ideas that are well thought-out and are supported by visually-appealing images.

Then, he logs into his Google Analytics account and sees that no one is reading his posts. He looks at his Twitter profile and sees that he has no followers. He logs into his Amazon Associates, Google AdSense and Clickbank accounts to see that he hasn’t earned a dime. He gets disheartened. He loses interest. He stops writing posts, partly because he’s run out of ideas and partly because he’s lost his enthusiastic motivation. Not long thereafter, he throws in the towel and quits.

As you can imagine, you don’t want to be that guy.

That guy decided to approach blogging as if it were a sprint. He thought he could fire on all cylinders right away and skyrocket his way to the top. It doesn’t work that way. It takes time.

The Same Steps Every Day

Rather than focus all your attention on how quickly you can ascend the ranks and how soon you can quit your day job to live solely off your online earnings, focus instead on being as consistent as possible with your blogging. Dedicate yourself to posting at least once a week, if not far more often than that.

To date, over 6,000 blog posts have been published on John Chow dot Com (several hundred of which are written by me). Do you think that John decided to publish 15 posts in one day only to leave his blog dormant for a week? No. He made sure that readers had fresh content to read and enjoy every day. The content schedule is consistent and predictable.

When you stick to a schedule, you develop a habit and a routine. This doesn’t mean that you actually have to write a new post every day; it’s much more efficient to write your posts in batches and timestamp them. And with that positive habit, you build up your compound efforts and put yourself in a far better position to succeed, not just today but in the long term.

Maintain that enthusiasm and passion. You don’t want to lose interest too soon.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

How to Grow Your Audience by Getting PR For Your Blog

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Andreea Ayers founded LaunchGrowJoy.com in 2011 after selling a successful t-shirt business, and realised she had plenty to share in terms of selling products successfully online. Her blog focuses on her experience with ecommerce and selling online, moving into PR and teaching product entrepreneurs how to get their products featured in print media and on influential blogs.

Andreea has some tried-and-true strategies for building a buzz around your blog or business through media promotion, both traditional and online. She walks the talk, with her blog being featured in more than 500 media outlets since she started five years ago.

I asked her what her non-negotiables are when it comes to seeking publicity as a solo blogger or entrepreneur.

What do you think bloggers should know about getting PR for their site?

As far as getting PR for your blog, bloggers should keep in mind that often times if they want publicity they have to go out and seek it. It does happen that a publication will reach out to you to feature you (as was the case with my recent feature in Entrepreneur magazine), but it’s more effective for bloggers to make a list of publications and websites that they want to be featured in and reach out to those directly with something of value.

How do you think they could go about it?

After they make their list of, let’s say, 20 media outlets they want to be featured in, they should reach out and provide value, rather than reach out and “pitch” their expertise or blog. Here’s an example of what I did to get media attention when I launched a Pinterest course a few years ago. I created an infographic with 100+ Pinterest board ideas and I reached out to different types of blogs to see if they would be interested in using my infographic as a resource for their blog and to share with their readers. I included the infographic and in my pitch I mentioned that Pinterest is growing in popularity and many of their readers are probably still learning how to use Pinterest, but coming up with Pinterest board ideas is what holds a lot of people back from using it for business. If they shared my infographic with 100+ Pinterest board ideas, they can help remove some of the blocks that their readers might have about using Pinterest for their business. Many bloggers said YES to this, which was a great way for me to get publicity for my Pinterest course. 
 
If I had reached out and said something along the lines of “I’m a Pinterest expert and would love to be featured on your blog” I can guarantee that the response would have been a lot different. 
 
When you reach out to media outlets it’s important to “provide value” rather than “pitch your blog.” And the most important thing to remember is that if you don’t hear back from your initial outreach efforts, it’s important to follow up a few times (after a week and after a month). Most of my success with publicity has come as a result of following up!

Do you think traditional media is still useful – particularly from a blogger point of view?

Yes, definitely! Being featured in traditional media builds credibility for your blog, in addition to helping you get additional traffic and sales (if you are selling something through your blog). Traditional media is still widely consumed, whether it’s listening to the radio on your way to work, watching a TV show to unwind or reading a magazine at the doctor’s office. People get their information from many sources, so why not expand your reach and be everywhere!

Where do you think bloggers should “be seen” in order to grow their audience?

Bloggers should be seen where their readers spend their time, which is different for every blogger. This can include other websites, podcasts, and traditional media. I’ve had a lot of success promoting my blog (and increasing my sales) by being featured on other podcasts and on other websites. However, it’s very important to “be seen” where your audience is. For example, if you blog about entrepreneurship, you should try to get featured on podcasts or other blogs about entrepreneurship. If your blog is about wedding photography, you should try to get featured on bridal or wedding blogs. With publicity, being in front of the right audience is more important than being featured in as many media outlets as possible.
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How do you think bloggers should approach PR companies to be considered for marketing campaigns?

I think any time bloggers approach ANYONE, it should be from a standpoint of providing something of value. When you’re reaching out to anyone make sure to keep your emails short, provide value and ask for what you’d like. 

What do you think brands are looking for when it comes to working with bloggers?

When it comes to working with bloggers, brands are looking for:
  • a blog audience that is engaged and relevant to them
  • sufficient traffic to justify their expenses (especially if they have to send out product samples)
  • a good amount of social media followers on at least one social media channel. In addition to followers, they are also looking for frequent posting and an engaged audience
  • mentions on the blog of other brands that are similar or complementary to theirs
  • trustworthy bloggers who share their honest opinions about the brands that they feature

What are some other ways do you think bloggers can position themselves for more visibility (and therefore more traffic)?

I think that bloggers should be proactive about publicity and cross promotions with other bloggers/companies whose readers are similar to theirs. When I look back at most of my “success stories”, they came as a result of me reaching out to the person who I wanted to connect with, not the other way around. Bloggers should also consider speaking at relevant industry events to build even more credibility for their blog and get in front of audiences in-person. Meeting someone in person or seeing them speak at an event can help to build credibility and a loyal following quickly.

What are the non-negotiables do you think bloggers should have on their sites for you to take them seriously as an authority?

They should have really great content and great branding that makes them stand out from other similar bloggers. They should also have a social media presence (one or two social media channels is great – they don’t have to be EVERYWHERE), a few relevant press mentions (whether it’s in traditional or online media) and a really great, inspiring story!

Do you have any templates or guidelines for pitches that bloggers could reference?

Here’s the formula that I use to reach out:

1st Paragraph – say hi and let them know that you are either familiar with their work (a past article, their blog, etc.) and love it and/or the specific reason why you are reaching out.

2nd Paragraph – Let them know 2-3 ways you can add value to their readers (answer the question – WHY will their readers love what you have to offer and how will it benefit them).

3rd Paragraph – Let them know 1-2 facts about you/your blog (answer the question – WHAT your blog/expertise is). You can also share one sentence about YOU/Your story here.

4th Paragraph – Thank them for their time and let them know what you’d like them to do next.

The most important thing is to keep your email short, to the point and provide value.

What would your tips be for bloggers who want to be PR-friendly?

Here are a few things every blogger needs to be PR friendly:
  • have a great ABOUT page that shares your story, what inspires you, why you started your blog, etc.
  • have media-ready images of you
  • have an easy to use contact page so they can reach out to you directly if they want to feature you. A contact form is nice, but make sure to provide your email address as well in case your contact form isn’t working properly (this happened to me when a TV producer reached out to feature me on a TV show!)
  • think about SEO and what the media might search for when looking for your expertise and optimize a few pages on your website for those keywords. I’ve had many media outlets find me while searching for “Pinterest expert” because I optimized my website for those particular keywords.

What do you think? Have you seen a good return when you’ve reached out to others to help grow your audience?

The post How to Grow Your Audience by Getting PR For Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Messy People Have More Creative And Productive Minds, Science Says

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Many of us follow the ideology that seemingly chaotic or unorganized individuals do not perform well. Thus, we are encouraged to keep our workplace or desk organized, with an expectation of delivering better results. However, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge an unmanaged desk or workplace when it comes to creativity or productivity.

In fact, there are various studies and claims that those with messier desks can often be more productive, more creative, and more inspired than others. In this article, we will cover a number of points that support this controversial concept.

They Have Mastered The Art Of Prioritization

Messy people may appear careless or unorganized but they are often masters in the art of prioritization. They often place the most important things first while lesser aspects are temporarily left behind.

While it may appear beneficial to keep everything perfectly organized, for messy people it’s merely a hindrance when dealing with the task at hand.

Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman, authors of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder, summarize this notion perfectly:

“Mess isn’t necessarily the absence of order. A messy desk can be a highly effective prioritizing and accessing system.

On a messy desk, the more important, urgent work tends to stay close by and near the top of the clutter, while the safely ignorable stuff tends to get buried to the bottom or near the back, which makes perfect sense.”

They Can Find Inspiration In The “Chaos”

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Mark Twain was great creative mind known for his messy but highly productive workspaces. His desk was always piled with books, papers, and a seeming lack of organization. For him and many others, a cluttered desk can become a source of divine inspiration.

A study conducted by a Kathleen Vohs from the University of Minnesota at Carlson School of Management suggests that a cluttered environment helps in increasing creativity. She said:

“The creative people feel free from the limitations in messy and disorderly environments. It helps them to break the traditions and produce new insights. On the opposite side, orderly environments which resemble safe and conventional zones encourage more routine and safe work practices.”

They Are Often Braver And Faster Decision Makers

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Mark Zuckerberg is a particularly big dreamer and a fast mover, also known for his slightly chaotic and less-than-conventional workspaces.

Haltiwanger clears another misconception about messier individuals. He reports they are faster decision makers and can better deal with stressful situations. When they are facing tense situations, they are more likely to step up rather than go for the backdoor strategy.

This is due to the fact they are less concerned with micro details as they focus on the larger picture before making informed decisions. They have even been shown to be more adventurous and fast moving than organized people.

They Have Proved To Be Highly Innovative Thinkers

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“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” — Albert Einstein

Did you know that the famous scientific genius Albert Einstein was actually quite messy a messy person? His desk was always full of seemingly disorganized papers, articles, and scrawls, yet no one could dare challenge him in the field of science. While he managed things in his own seemingly messy way, he was always able to find everything he needed.

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Steve Jobs would most certainly be considered a creative genius, revolutionizing the mobile technology industry from a messy desk!

They Devote Time And Energy More Carefully

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Messy people naturally save precious time and mental energy by ignoring clutter-related issues. These people understand the cost of opportunity and don’t get caught up in routine distractions that can absorb clean freaks. Sometimes, workspace tidying can even become a form of procrastination!

For those fully focused on achieving goals or striving to reach a target, keeping a workspace tidy is often the last thing on the priority list. Like many famous painters, Francis Bacon‘s workplace may have resembled a chaotic messy, but he was merely channeling all his creative energy into making great paintings.

The post Messy People Have More Creative And Productive Minds, Science Says appeared first on Lifehack.

3 Practical Ways to Leave Your Legacy When You’re Gone

Posted from http://addicted2success.com/life/3-practical-ways-to-leave-your-legacy-when-youre-gone/

Do you wish you could live forever, enjoy your life without a thought of dying? You can live a hundred years and more, fresh and sound – but, of course, in a different way – by being unforgettable.

By taking certain actions while we’re still alive, death would mean nothing other than two doors from which you pass through one and come out of the other. Your body won’t be physically available, though, everywhere your traces are found. You live in the hearts of people. How do you achieve that?

Below are the 3 practical ways you can leave your legacy when you’re gone:

1. Give more than you receive

Affecting the lives of people around you is a sure way to be unforgettable. When you make people happy by being responsible and responsive to them and their needs, you’re creating a timeless life for yourself.

Rather than turn on your heels anytime a friend asks a favour of you, why not show at least you care, even if you cannot render that assistant at that moment. Sometimes, only a little smile is worth more than gold you give as gifts. And you don’t have to be rich or influential to make an impact, you just have to develop a sense of giving. Often times, we give out what we value most to people not knowing that we’ve received manifolds in return.

Life is give and take. When you stretch a hand of goodness to others, tens of thousands of such hands will stretch towards you too. Even if you don’t live to receive it, your family one day will. To make an impact is indeed to live.

“When you love people and have the desire to make a profound, positive impact on the world, then will you have accomplished the meaning to live.” – Sasha Azevedo

2. Write a book

Books, the most powerful tool for positive change, can make you eternal. As you still read Shakespeare and Donne and Keats, even though they are long gone, so will you forever remain fresh and alive on the lips of people whom your ideas through books have impacted.

So, would you like to live forever? Write a book. Memories can fade away, but memories of authors remain indelible in the minds of their readers. Having your name imprinted on a book as the author can make you live longer than your time.

In classrooms, at intellectual workshops and in many places you could never have been to, your name is being pronounced, your ideas being discussed and your impact being felt by people who never met you but learned about you through your book. That’s the power of writing.

3. Teach what you know

No, I don’t mean you should be a professional teacher to do this. The truth is, believe it or not, you’re a teacher. It’s just that we don’t know that somehow somewhere people are watching our steps. They’re following our examples. We just might not realise it, but it’s happening.

For instance, has anyone ever opened up to you about how you inspired him or her? Told you of how following your steps has helped them achieve something? If that happens to you, congrats! You’re on your way to becoming timeless. This is because even when you are no more, people remember you for good things.

Let’s now take a look at the real deal – teaching people what you know. Ask teachers to tell you the amazing things about teaching, and you’d probably hear something like, you receive just as much as (or even more than) you give. And that is the plain truth. When we teach others what we know, we do not only help them grow, we’ve also helped boost our own confidence and printed our names in their hearts.

In the end, what matters isn’t why we lived, what matters most is how we lived. But between living and leaving this wonderful world, a thin line exists – impact. Impact lives now as you live, so that when you eventually leave, rest assured that your memories live on.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

How are you trying to impact the world? Leave your thoughts below!

PB149: Series of Blog Posts vs Long Blog Posts – Which is Better?

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The Pros and Cons of Long Posts

Today, we have a question from Emma Cameron

“Hi Darren, I love your podcast!

I found your 7 day intensive blogging series very helpful, and it led me to write a post I might never have gotten around to otherwise. In answering my most frequently asked question, which is ‘What is Art Therapy’? This has turned into an incredibly long post which covers things which are not easily found elsewhere online.

I have a question for you: is it better to leave it as a single, very long, authoritative and useful evergreen post, or should I split it up into several shorter posts?

Which of those would be better for getting my website seen by more people, ranking higher in Google etc?”

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In Today’s Episode the Pros and Cons of Long Posts

  • Writing a long post – Pros
    • Readers get all of the information on one post
    • It can increase reader satisfaction
    • They can be quite comprehensive and authoritative
    • Long posts get shared a lot
    • Long posts can rank well in Google – possibly because of increased links or a ranking preference
  • Writing a long post – Cons
    • Long form content takes a lot of effort to research and write
    • Unless you are an amazing writer, some of the readers may not get all the way through it
    • Can be draining to the author when it comes to ideas for the long run
  • Series of posts – Pros
    • More posts to sustain you over time
    • SEO advantage – the more focused your posts are there can be SEO advantages – A series of posts all linked to each other may rank for smaller key phrases
    • Interconnected posts can help with SEO – Internal links
    • A series can build momentum and give your readers a sense of anticipation
    • A series may help build subscriber count
    • Can help build more page views – good for stats
    • A series may motivate a blogger to write more
    • Can be used like a free course for your readers
  • Series of posts – Cons
    • Some readers will prefer to get it all at once
    • Can sidetrack your whole blog for a bit

Another option is maybe you can do both. Run a series, then compose all of it into a particular piece of content. This content can be used for an optin form or even sold as a PDF version.

Further Resources on the Pros and Cons of Long Posts



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This week, I received a great email, a lovely email from Emma, one of our listeners of the podcast who asked me this question.

She wrote, “Hi Darren, I love your podcast! I found your seven day intensive blogging series very helpful, and it led me to write a post I might never have gotten around to otherwise. In answering my most frequently asked question, which is ‘What is Art Therapy?’ this has turned into an incredibly long post which covers things which are not easily found elsewhere online.

I have a question for you: is it better to leave it as a single, very long, authoritative and useful evergreen post, or should I split it up into several shorter posts? Which of these would be better for getting my website seen by more people, ranking higher in Google?”

Great question Emma, and thanks for listening. I really do love that you enjoyed the Blogging Groove Challenge. I had a lot of very positive feedback and still can see in the Facebook group a lot of people still working through those seven challenges. This is a great question and I do have some thoughts on the topic and it’s one that I think bloggers should really ponder because there’s many times where it probably does make sense to write a long post and there’s some times where a series makes more sense too.

I want to give you some thoughts on how to make that decision. Before I get into that, for the next few weeks we’re going to go back to a weekly show. We usually publish two podcasts episodes for week but while our ProBlogger event is on and it is going to be on in a week and a half from this episode goes live.

I just want to scale things back a little bit for a couple of reasons. Firstly for those of you who are coming along to the event or who are buying the virtual ticket, I don’t want you to be too overwhelmed with the sound of my voice. But also for my own sanity and my team’s sanity, just want to scale things back a little bit while we do focus on getting that event up and running. The episodes will come out on a weekly basis for the next couple of weeks.

Hopefully this will also give those of you who are still working through the Blogging Groove Challenge an opportunity to catch up a little bit and take a breath. We did do seven episodes in seven days starting back in Episode 137. This gives you a chance to really catch up on that.

The last thing I’ll say speaking of the ProBlogger event, if you’d love to come along to the live event here in Australia on the Gold Coast, there still are a few tickets left for live attendees but you need to be quick and head over to probloggerevents.com. There’s an opportunity there to buy a live ticket. Those of you who want to join us at the virtual ticket, head over to problogger.net/virtualticket. You can get access to all 50 recordings and slides at the training sessions at the event, and you also get access to a Facebook group that we’ve got going for virtual ticket holders and live ticket holders and you also get access to all the recordings from last year’s event as well.

Now, I want to tackle Emma’s question about long form content versus a series of shorter posts. The question of writing long posts versus breaking up posts into short posts and publishing them as a series is one that I do get fairly regularly. I know it’s something that a lot of bloggers invest a lot of time into writing a long post like Emma has. Often look at it and think this could be a whole month’s worth of content, this could be a lot of content that I could really break down. The temptation is many times to break it into a series.

Sometimes, it actually is better for your readers if you do that and sometimes it’s better if it’s a long form piece of content. There’s no right or wrong answer on this one but there are certain situations where I think either one is probably the preferable thing to do. I want to give you some pros and cons of long posts and pros and cons of series of posts. Hopefully as I work through these, the answer will become clearer for you and for others who are asking this particular question.

On one hand, we’ve got the option of writing a long post. The good things about long post, the beauty of this is really that your readers get all of their information on a topic in one uninterrupted post that they don’t need to keep coming back to over time and they don’t need to be clicking from one page to another to get all the information.

I guess you really do need to keep in mind your readers on two fronts here. Firstly, you’ve got those who are reading your latests posts. Those of you who are coming to your blog, they don’t want to have to wait sometimes for the next three weeks to get all the information if you’re going to split it up. Also, those who are coming to your blog in a couple of months time and are finding your old content. Sometimes, it gets a little bit annoying clicking from link to link to link as well. The beauty of having that one post, that one long post, is that it can increase reader satisfaction and really make it easier for them to get all of your great information in one place. That’s purely from the reader’s perspective.

The other good thing about long posts is that as you’ve mentioned in your question, Emma, there’s a sense that they can be quite comprehensive and authoritative. This gives you, the writer, some satisfaction that you’ve written something really helpful and it’s really impressive for a reader to come to a post that may be 2,000, 3,000, or 5,000 words long. There’s something very meaty about that. This can build credibility, can build authority, and it can also help to get your post shared a lot.

What I found with a lot of our long posts, they do get shared a lot. I suspect that’s because people feel good about sharing something that’s very meaty and comprehensive. People notice the effort that you’ve gone to that is above and beyond to give them lots of good information. That’s another advantage of having a long post.

I’ve also noticed some of our longer posts tend to rank really well in Google. You’ve asked about Google in your question. The reason that they’re raking well in Google may be that they get shared a lot more and they get linked to a lot more than some of our shorter posts. People are impressed by them but I have heard some SEO experts argue that longer posts can rank better than shorter ones as well.

Certainly, there seems to be in my mind, in my experience, once you get past 500 or 600 words, Google does tend to take notice of the post as well. That’s not to say it has to be super long to get to that stage.

There could be an argument there that longer posts will rank better as well but I have also seen some of our really short posts rank pretty well as well. I don’t want to just say long is the only way to go if you want to rank.

A couple of good reason there to write a long form piece of content. One, it gives your readers a sense of satisfaction. It will impress your readers as long as the content is good and can help build some authority and credibility. It can increase your shares and it can also help you as a result of those shares and links as well as the length to rank a little bit better in Google.

On the negative side of long posts, there are definition some things that you’ll want to consider. Firstly, this probably doesn’t really apply to Emma because she’s already written the post, but a long form piece of content can take a lot of effort to research and write, take a lot of time.

I find some of my longer pieces have taken me several days and a lot of real effort and a lot of real intense effort to get them done and a lot of discipline as well. I remember writing one post that was over 7,000 words long and I knew from the start that it was going to take a long time to write it. I found motivating myself to write that piece of content a real effort, I’m not the most disciplined person in the world.

That’s not to say that just because there’s a lot of work involved it’s a bad thing. Good things do take work. If you are someone who struggles with motivation and struggles with getting things done, they maybe there’s an argument for a shorter post. As I’ve said, in Emma’s case she’s already written it, so well done.

Another challenge with long posts is that unless you’re an amazingly gifted and engaging writer, some of your readers probably won’t get through to the end of your post. A long form piece of content may not have as much impact for that reason on your readers. The reality is some people scan content online, some people don’t have much time, some people are on a mobile device where they may not feel like they really want to keep swiping and swiping and swiping. Some people get distracted halfway along an article. In terms of having an impact upon your readers, there might be an argument there for breaking things down into bite sized pieces so that readers can consume it in separate instances rather than expecting them to sit and wade through a long piece. That might be a factor.

Some types of content will perhaps be a little more boring, a little more dry. You might want to break them down in some way. I’ve seen some studies talk about how people reading content online respond better to short, sharp pieces of content. Having said that, I’ve also seen some long pieces that have big impact upon people as well because they are written in a good way. There’s pros and cons there.

Another problem with a long, comprehensive post is that they can actually drain you as the author of ideas that could sustain your blog for a longer period of time. Let me give you an example, I talked to one blogger recently who published his very first post on his blog. It was a mega post, it was 9,000 words long and it was everything he knew about his topic of his blog, about the whole niche. The post was amazing, 9,000 words of really useful, actionable content.

He published it and then he sat down to start brainstorming ideas for future posts and he felt like he already wrote everything he knew. He had nothing left to write. Every time he would start to write a new post, he would say I already talked about that, I already gave all my tips on that in that first post. Sometimes, a long post can be impressive to your readers but it can drain you of all your ideas as well.

This particular blogger wished he had written 20 to 30 shorter posts over his first month or so that contained exactly the same information as the big one. He realized he could’ve broken it down and had a whole month’s worth of content as well.

There’s some pros and cons there of long form content. As I said, there’s no right or wrong answer. On the flip side, let’s look at the series of posts. Again, there’s some pros and cons. Some of the advantages of writing a series of posts gives you more posts to sustain you over time as my blogging friend found out in the example that I just gave, to be able to break that post down that you’ve written into maybe three or four posts might give you a couple of week’s worth of content which gives you a bit of a break from writing or enables you to prepare some other content or do something else on your blog as well. That’s an advantage potentially of having a series.

On a search engine optimization perspective, I think there is an advantage of series of posts sometimes as well. The more focused your posts are, that can have some advantages with SEO. Instead of having one long post that might be quite broad and overarching in its topic, it might rank really well for that overarching phrase that you’re using but it may not be able to rank for some of the more focused keywords in your niche. A series of posts might allow you to rank for a lot of keywords over time.

For example if I was on my photography blog to write a mega post on how to take a well exposed photo, that post might contain ten subtopics within it. It might contain information on shutter speed and aperture and ISO, seven or eight other topics. That pots might rank quite well for something like How to Take a Well Exposed Photo but it’s not going to ever rank for shutter speed or ISO or aperture. A series of posts that over time I roll out and they all link to each other might give the same information to my readers but I might be able to rank for all of those smaller key phrases.

I guess here it really depends on what you want to rank for. If you want to rank for a really broad term, then a long megapost might be your best bet. If you are more interested in ranking for ten more focused terms, then a series might be better as well. A series of posts, there being more pieces of content, creates more ways into your site. Again, there’s some advantages and disadvantages there in terms of an SEO perspective.

Other advantages of a series of posts, lots of interconnected posts can, some people argue, help with search engine optimization. Search engines tend to like links, they tend to like websites that are interlinked, lots of internal inks from one page to another can help Google to rank your site.

One of the things I love about a series is that it can build momentum on your blog. Regular posts that build from one day to the next give your readers a sense of anticipation. They show your readers that you’re putting some thought, you’re taking them on a journey. Sometimes, readers can really respond very well to that. They feel like this blogger is really taking me on a journey, they’re really being thoughtful with the content that they’ve got.

A series of posts can build anticipation in your readers as well and that can actually help you to get more subscribers as well. If someone comes across your first post in a series and it promises that tomorrow you’re going to write a second post, that builds anticipation and that might give them a reason to subscribe. One of the things that I do suggest if you have a series is always at the end of the post mention that there’s another one coming and then give people an option to subscribe so they can get notified when that particular post goes live.

Series are great for building momentum, they’re also really good if you’re interested in getting more page views in your site. This is particularly relevant if you monetize your blog using an ad network like Adsense. It’s a CPM advertising where you get paid every time someone views the ad. This can be good for your stats and for earnings if you do monetize in that way.

A series of posts can also motivate a blogger to write more. I talked before about how long form piece of content can be really draining to write and can take a lot of time and energy. If you struggle to write something of that size and to motivate your self, a series of posts might help you to break it down into more bite sized chunks. The idea for me of writing a massive long post that’s 9,000 words is not the most attractive thing, that doesn’t turn me on. I know I can sit down right now and write a thousand words on something, or 500 words on something. Breaking it down can help you to be motivated to write.

One last thing I will say about a series of posts is that it can actually almost be used like a free course for your readers. This sense of building anticipation and building momentum with your readers can be really great. I’ve seen it work very well. For example if you announce you’re going to tackle a big topic over the month of September which is coming up, something that’s going to be valuable to your readers, offer to email them every time a post in that series goes live. It could be a really great way of building your email list and giving your readers a sense that they’re on an event.

A good example of this is the challenge that we just did in this podcast, Seven Days to Get Your Blogging Groove Back. That was something I didn’t have an email list to associate with but by putting that on, it created this event for people to join and for people to get excited about. It’s hard to exactly explain why it works but it gives people a sense of belonging to something and they are participating in something. The idea of an event really can bring a blog to life.

I’ve seen this happen many times with series of posts. 31 Days to Build a Better Blog started as a series of blog posts that we did over a month. It showed me just how powerful it was to create events on your blog that people can join into. Sometimes, a series, particularly if a series is a participatory type things like the Blogging Groove Challenge, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, it wasn’t just about teaching people, it was about getting people to do something. A series that has some sort of action associated with it can be very powerful.

Let’s lastly think about the downside of doing series. For me, the main downside of a series of posts is that some of your readers will simply prefer to get it all at once. It can be frustrating to have to wait for the next post in the series or to click from one post to another post to another post. All it takes is for one of those links from one post or the other to be missing or to be broken and then the person can’t find the end of the series. That can be a negative experience and very frustrating for ur readers.

I know for a fact that I prefer to get all my information in one go in most cases. I don’t want to have to wait for the whole story. This becomes particularly frustrating when you get very bits with your content, when you do a series just for the sake of building more page views. We’ve all been to those sites which make you click the next button 40 times to get to the end of the piece of content and they break it down into such minute bits that it gets really frustrating.

Another negative of a series is that it can actually side track your whole blog a little bit. If you have a blog which has normal content, every week you might have the same type of post and then suddenly you want to do a month long series that just looks at one aspect of your blog? For people who aren’t interested in what you’re doing in the series, that can actually be very frustrating. They don’t want that thing that you’ve gone off on a tangent, they just want what you normally do. A series can actually stop momentum for people who aren’t engaging in the series itself.

I found this when I did 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, there was some of my readers who didn’t want to participate in that series. But for the whole month, that’s all I did. They were like where’s the rest of the stuff that you do? That was lots of short posts and they’re all activities that people can do, some people wanted longer form tutorials. You’ve got to think about do you cater for those readers as well, do you write extra content in there, how do you bring everyone along on the journey? You want to really think about how long your series is, is it going to be every post that you do, are you going to give something else for other people as well?

How do you make the choice I guess is the last question. I’ve talked about the pros and cons of series and long form, there is no right or wrong choice here. Either one can work, I personally have had really success with both options.

In my early days, I think I probably use series of posts more than I do these days. I really enjoyed writing in that way. I found it easier to write a series of short posts than one longer one. I felt that they created momentum, I found particularly when there was interactive components to them like 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and then Blogging Groove Challenge that people really responded well. I would put down some of the growth of my blogs to the fact that I did do those types of challenges and series of content.

I also think there’s an advantage if you are tackling a big topic and you want your readers to be able to really digest the topic and do something with it. Sometimes, breaking it down can be good as well. Teaching someone something that’s very complicated and you want them to take their time in digesting that, sometimes it might be better to do that in a series of posts as well.

I would really encourage you to think about a series of posts. I think from time to time, maybe a few times a year, a series can be really the feature of your year. Personally, I try and do two or three series of posts every year. They worked really well. I wouldn’t want every post I do on my blog to be a part of a series, I think there’s real value in sprinkling in some longer form content as well, or as your readers could end up getting a bit annoyed with you. You’re always leaving them hanging and waiting for the next thing. Definitely do a bit of both.

The last thing I would say is that maybe you could do both with this piece of content that you’ve written, Emma. Maybe you don’t have to choose just one or the other. One of the approaches that I’ve experimented with a number of times is running a series of posts and then combining all the parts of that series into one other piece of content. You might do a series of five posts on this particular topic, run it over a week or two weeks, let your readers really digest that. At the end of that time, say for those of you who want the whole thing that you can print or that you can share with someone else, here’s a PDF version of it and actually give them the whole lot as a second piece of content.

You might even make that a part of an opt in. You might say if you want the whole lot for printing or for sharing or for referring to later, just shoot me your email address and I will send you a copy of that.

The other thing you might like to do is sell that long piece of content. This is what I did with 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. 31 blog posts that were combined together into a PDF, I added a little bit more content to it in that first version and then I offered it for sale. I was really skeptical that anyone would want that but it turns out that many thousands of our readers did want that long form piece of content that they can work through time and time again. I think the reason for that was partly that it was long form, partly that I organized that long series of posts into one easily digestible piece of content, and also it was a very interactive series as well. That might be one thing to consider that actually turned out to be my most profitable ebook on ProBlogger. Well worth considering and an option to really do both of what you’re asking as well, Emma.

I hope that’s been helpful for you.

If you enjoyed the ProBlogger podcast, I would love it if you would head over to iTunes and give us a rating and a review. I look forward to chatting with you next week. Thanks!

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The post PB149: Series of Blog Posts vs Long Blog Posts – Which is Better? appeared first on ProBlogger Podcast.

Why It’s Totally Fine If Your Son Doesn’t Play Sports Or Your Daughter Doesn’t Dance

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/pXSCmmOQups/why-its-totally-fine-if-your-son-doesnt-play-sports-or-your-daughter-doesnt-dance

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Despite living in an age of enlightenment and innovation, as a society, we continue to be bound by rigid social conventions and gender stereotypes. Much of this is a generational issue, as gender roles were more clearly defined throughout the ages while both men and women had social expectations that they needed to fulfill.

There is also a distinctly human element to this, and one that influences the decisions that we make on a daily basis. As a blogger, I am all too familiar with this issue as I often find myself torn between creating content that I am passionate about or crafting articles that have a greater chance of driving content and driving traffic. This is part of a wider, everyday struggle, as we strive to realise our own unique ambitions while also coping with the gender and social constraints that are placed on us.

Why children do not need to conform to gender stereotypes

This is particularly debilitating for children, and as parents, it is crucial that we do not continue the stereotypical views and expectations that shaped our own childhoods. While it may be natural to believe that your son should develop an interest in sports or that you daughter should be passionate about fashion or design, it does not necessarily mean that you should worry if they choose entirely different or unique paths in life.

On a fundamental level, the desire to see children adhere to such gender roles is actually borne out of fear and misconception. We mistakenly believe that if our son becomes involved in sport, for example, he will find the process of social integration easier and become an accepted part of society. If not, we fear that he is likely to become something of a social outcast, unable to form bonds or adapt to fulfill the expectations that society has of him. As a result, surely he will struggle to succeed in life and develop the attributes required to adhere to the typical, masculine stereotype?

When you consider the longevity of certain gender stereotypes and social conventions, however, the decision of your children to pursue alternative paths in life should be viewed in a different light. After all, it takes a certain amount of courage, independent thought and mental strength for a boy to fly in the face of conformity and eschew sport for so-called feminine past-times. Ironically, courage and mental strength are some of the qualities that you would expect a stereotypical man to possess. In this respect, children can still uphold positive gender roles without having to conform to illogical and outdated conventions.

The pitfalls of gender stereotyping and what parents can do

While there may be perfectly logical reasons why gender stereotyping should be avoided, however, it can be hard for parents to challenge the conventions that have been ingrained in them. It is therefore important to determine some of the pitfalls of gender stereotyping, and how parents can take steps to refrain from this.

For both men and women, oppression caused by gender stereotyping can stifle individual expression and creativity, which in turn can prevent children from developing their unique skills and pursuing a career that they can truly excel in. As a parent, it is therefore crucial that you support and encourage your children to pursue their passions, regardless of how you perceive them or of the regard that they are held in by society.

From a male perspective, choosing to impose gender stereotypes can impede emotional growth. This can also lead to low self-esteem and confidence issues in later life, particularly if your son grows up to become a house-husband or other similar roles. You must always focus on the emotional well-being of your son, and understand that the restrictions that you place on him in childhood can have a debilitating impact on adult life.

The last word

As we can see, the gender stereotypes that continue to exist in modern society can have a debilitating impact on our children. It is our duty as parents to understand the reasons why these preconceived gender roles exist and the irrational fears that underpin them, before taking proactive steps to ensuring that our children are encouraged to pursue their own, unique ambitions in life.

The post Why It’s Totally Fine If Your Son Doesn’t Play Sports Or Your Daughter Doesn’t Dance appeared first on Lifehack.