The Power of Affirmations

In my ‘other job’ as a youth worker I try to encourage the young people to be the best that they can be.  I was pleased to hear Michelle Obama telling a group of school girls to ‘be the best that you can be’.  It is something we should work hard to instil in young people.  Too many times I hear adults in their lives putting them down, criticising, throwing negative comments their way.

One of the tools I use with these young people to encourage recognition of their greatness is positive statements.  At the end of every piece of work I do the young people are asked to feedback to each other what they feel another group member did really well during the session.  It helps them to feel great about their important contributions.  We then talk about how they implement that in their lives outside of the group.

I then ask each young person to consider one thing they feel they might like to improve or change in their lives and we use those requests as a basis for personal affirmations for each young person.  We take the issue and turn it into a positive statement they can repeat each day to help them to condition their mind to recognise the change.

It is really important to help them to understand how to identify those things that they can change and those things that they can’t.

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have access to.  Positive affirmations can help you to overcome blocks that you put in place in your life, they can help you to condition your mind to accept positive changes and they can bring about the happiness you so deserve in life.

Enjoy the journey.

Satisfy Your Regular Blog Readers

Blogging is a perfect way for people to share their thoughts with others.  When people blog, it means they keep an updated online journal or diary.  Weblog and blog are the same things.  Companies might also blog to help increase the amount of business on their web sites.  For many bloggers, increasing traffic to their blogs is not the only goal.  Most people that blog want to keep their visitors coming back for more.  Here are some key ways to keep visitors coming to your blog:

  • Update your blog:

The easiest way to keep visitors coming back to your blog is to update your blog on a regular basis.  Readers will stay loyal to blogs that are updated regularly.  Some blog writers even update several times a day.  Readers will tend to lose interest in your writing if they have to wait a long time for new material.

  • Be loyal to your readers and your readers will be loyal to your blog.

There are literally thousands of blogs available on the Internet.  Readers are more likely to comment and follow your blog if you respond to those comments.  If they come back and see no response they may think you are not reading what they have written in the comment section.  Always respond to blog comments.

  • Participate in web communities:

Participating in web communities or discussion forums and mentioning your blog whenever possible will help to improve your visitor numbers.  You can also be loyal to the blogs of other writers and ask them to visit your site.  Leave nice comments about their site and invite them to your site.  If you have mutual interests and the same type of readers, you can even share your blog links on your site.  This helps everyone.  Your reader will appreciate interesting reading while you benefit from readers from the other sites.

  • Understand who reads your blogs:

Another great way to keep blog readers coming back for more is to understand who reads your blog and write content that is directed towards them.  This does not mean that you have to write on only one particular subject, though.  If you are a stay at home mom and write about your life at home with the kids, your loyal readers may not appreciate it if you write about cutting edge topics that may be of no interest to them.

If you generally write humor, do not bog your readers down with sorrowful woes and tales.  Your readers will be interested in the things that attracted them to your site in the first place.  That is usually what you are more interested in writing about too.  You can gain a better understanding of your readers interests by including places for comments and encouraging your readers to leave comments.

  • Include keywords:

You can gain readership and help keep your current readers by including certain keywords in your blog.  If you have entered your blog on a search engine, these keywords that point to your blog will come up after a search.  This is a great way to get readers interested in your blog.  This is also a good way for companies to increase the traffic to their blog.

If you want to make your blog stand out against the thousands of other blogs, keep your readers interested and coming back for more by updating your writing, participate in online communities, understand your readers and include keywords.

What a Week That Was!

Now I know you will have heard that somewhere before and probably even said it at sometime!  My week has been productive, confusing, then a bit more productive, then changeable then a bit more productive!  I’m sure you can all sympathise.  I have spent a lot of time watching the forum, seeing fellow Masterclass students writing about their similar confusion and also their productiveness!

I have a product I was hoping to market via the Masterclass.  It’s the reason I joined in the first place.  It isn’t going to bring me the success that is talked about so freely.  I then moved my thoughts towards another topic that I felt confident about, did quite a lot of research and writing and realised this wasn’t the great break through I had hoped for either.

So I have moved on to my third attempt.  I feel this time I have found the area I should direct my energy towards.  It has been a hard task getting there.  I would not have done it without the help of fellow Masterclass students and their suggestions.  I also would not have found it without stumbling across a membership site that I signed up to last week.

It has been very helpful, enabling me to choose my first niche.   Finding something that is so very helpful so early on has been a big bonus for me.  Although it has been a heck of a week I feel I am now moving forward in the right direction.

Enjoy the journey.


Create A Popular Blog

Blogging can be an extremely interesting hobby to have.  While some bloggers couldn’t care less if their posts are read, others actively try to gain more readers.  Some advertisers are offering money for blogs that get high traffic amounts, so learning to blog in a better way can be an important task.  If you are interested in having a more popular blog check out these six helpful tips.

  • Use Informal Language

The most interesting blogs are not written using formal writing and language.  Frankly, the formal tone can be a little boring and web surfers don’t want to read through a bunch of “hoity-toity” text.  If you want your blog to be popular and a success overall, consider writing in a more casual tone.  Think of the writing as being a conversation you are having with your reader.  Write the way you talk, not the way you are supposed to talk.  Using humor and other personality characteristics in your writing will make people want to keep coming back to read your newest entries.

  • Don’t Overdo It

Keeping your blog posts short will help you retain any interested viewers.  People don’t want to spend massive amounts of time reading text on the web.  If they wanted to read a novel, they would do just that.  Try to stick to your point and keep it nice and short.  A blog post that is more than 500 words is just too much.  If you need to carry on with the topic, consider creating another post that finishes your point.  Although this is basically creating one long blog, the break in the text will be welcoming and readers will be less likely to get bored.

  • Never Advertise Improperly

Too often people use blogs as a space to advertise their services or their products.  This can be a cheap way to get your work out there.  It is noted however that blog readers can get annoyed quickly by advertisements on blogs.  If you must advertise on your blog, consider doing so in a more subtle manner.  Write a short post about your product and put a link to your website.  Don’t take up your entire blog space with the advertisement.  Although it may seem like a great idea, you will essentially be scaring people away from your blog altogether.

  • Check Your Spelling

Although the tone of your blog should be casual, you should still edit your work.  There is a way to be casual, without being sloppy.  You should always check your spelling before you submit your post.  If your posts are sloppy and full of misspelled words, people will think that you are not educated and probably won’t take anything you say seriously.  Some blogging software comes with spell a check feature, while some doesn’t.  If your blogging software does not come with any spell check feature, simply create your post in a word processing software and use the spell check there.  Then cut and paste your edited work into notepad, then into the blogging software text area.  This will allow you to post without spelling errors, which is highly recommended.

  • Be Versatile

If you want to reach the largest amount of people you do not need to advertise endlessly.  You simply must be versatile with your post topics.  Those blogs that cover only one type of thing may be popular with one specific targeted group of people.  That is fine, if it is what you want.  If you want to reach everyone however, you need to post on different topics.  Consider posting on current affairs, music, books, and other hot issues.  This will draw people in.  When you post about popular things in the news, it will draw people to your site when they do a search on the web.  Try to keep your topics within a them, however, just look for the individual niche within that theme.

  • Post Regularly

People who become fans of your blog will likely be looking for a new post every few days.  Some will only look once a week.  If you want to keep your blog fresh and interesting, you should post often.  Posting often is something that takes very little time, because your entries should stay short and sweet.  It is a way however to keep things new and exciting for your biggest fans.  They will be waiting for your new posts and will continue logging on as long as you provide them with new information.

Better Blog Topics Make Better Blogs

Blog topics are an important part of a successful blog.  Some bloggers simply write about whatever is on their mind, creating an online journal of sorts.  Successful bloggers know, however, that to have a great blog, you cannot always write about what you want to write about.  You must also keep the interests of your readers in mind when writing.  After all, if you want a successful blog you have to depend on the readers to show up often.  To keep your blog as fresh as possible, consider using these five ways to find winning ideas for your blog topics.

  • Do Your Research

Smart bloggers know that each day there are popular search terms listed on large search sites.  Bloggers can use these search terms to help them get more traffic to their blogs.  Each day a blogger can look at these popular search terms and create posts using them.  If the blogger is lucky, they will increase their traffic due to more people looking for that term.  By researching the topics that are hot with readers each day, bloggers can create things specifically for the readers.  Doing research may take a little time and you might never be writing about what you want to write about, but you will likely have more traffic than ever.

  • Ask Around

If you have been blogging for a while you might have begun to hit low points where you really have no more topic ideas left.  Some writers call this “writer’s block” while others just see it as a small hurdle to be surpassed.  When you have come to this difficult point, the best thing to do is ask around.  Talk to interesting people you know.  You can ask them what topics they find most interesting at the time.  If you would rather be a little more subtle, simply bounce a few topics off of them to see which ones they respond strongly to.  Use the topics that they respond strongly to in order to gather ideas for posts.

  • Use the News

The news is a great place to gather topic information for your blog.  News teams research and investigate for hours to write their topics with interest.  By using similar topics, you can skip all of the hard research work and still be a success.  Never use their ideas exactly, just take them and use them to develop your own.  For instance, if there is a major political issue going on in the news, consider creating a post about what you think about it.  You don’t have to use the news story, just the topic idea along with your own words.  Or you can quote directly making sure you attribute the quotation to the source you got it from.

  • Follow the Lead of Others

When you are looking for great blog topics, consider visiting popular blogs to see what they are talking about.  Don’t steal their ideas, but use the visit to stir up great ideas of your own.  Sometimes when you see others working at their highest potential it can spark new potential in yourself.  You can see which topics get the best response for their blog and decide if you could get the same response with a similar topic.

  • Sleep On It

If all else fails and you are still trying to come up with a list of interesting blog topics, consider this interesting strategy.  Go to sleep each night with a clear head.  In the morning, before you even open your eyes, target the first thing on your mind.  Write it down immediately so you don’t forget it.  Then use these things to develop interesting blog topics.  You might be shocked at how inspiring your first thoughts can be.  They are so interesting because they are not clouded with any outside reality.  They are simple and clear thoughts that can be used successfully on a blog.

These five ways to find winning blog topics are proven to be among the best.  Your blog topic is one of the most important aspects of your blog.  Be sure that you pay attention to which topics get the best response on your blog so you will know which ones are most effective.  Use all or some of these tips to help you get on your way to better blog topics right away!

Building A Good Reputation

Wow!  I have just had the best week ever!  A couple of weeks ago I started to sell oil lamp glassware on e.bay.  Sales started slowly but this last week sales have suddenly shot up!  I have gone from a few boxes to post to a car full at a time.  Slightly problematic with the closure of a lot of local post offices but I have found one where I can park outside, which is fortuitous.  At the same time as selling well I am obviously getting a stack of positive feedback as a seller.  In the past I have only been a buyer, my sales attempts have failed miserably.  Clearly this increased traffic has helped with income but the most important thing has been the positive comments made about my activity as a seller.  In addition to the positive feedback I have been receiving questions and requests regarding oil lamp glassware.  You may wonder why I am telling you this.  Well, it is all about building a good reputation, a reputation that encourages people to ask for a little bit more from you.  You can build that reputation in any field you choose to research significantly.  When you are seen as an authority people will come to you, and ultimately buy from you.  Not only have I sold well with the standard products I offer on e.bay but I have had requests for specific items I can source.  Being able to deliver a good service also builds a good reputation.

Back your products up with a good service and you will always get positive feedback.

You Need To Be Tough To Be A Blogger!

There are times when a blogger, like any other writer, will ‘lose the muse.’  Every idea that comes to mind seems either trite or dull or, worse still, no ideas come to mind.  What can you do?  Here are five tactics that just might clear away the cobwebs and allow you to find an inspiring idea for another great post:

  • Start with the news!

Open up your favorite news page or open a newspaper and see what catches your attention.  What are the politicians up to today?  Any pending legislation that worries you or flat out scares you?  Or perhaps someone is running for office or proposing a law that you may want to publicly support.

Some celebrity is sure to be in trouble again; have anything to say about that?  Maybe you have an idea about who should be dating or marrying who.  Who died?  A nice memorial post for a nice person may be in order.

What happened “On This Date” in past years?  Some past events are worth researching and writing about.  Are you into sports?

Many bloggers or blog readers are sports fans and they might be interested in your take on the playoffs or the players.  Don’t forget to check the editorial page and the letters to the editor — do you agree with the opinions?  Tell the world why or why not.

  • Read some blogs!

Start surfing your favorite blogs.  What are they talking about?  You might have a different perspective on the latest hot topic that might just be interesting to your fellow bloggers or a perspective that might make them mad (BTW, never worry about making bloggers mad — most of them love having something to gripe about).

If you can’t find anything that inspires you in your favorite blog, surf through some of those blogs that always make you mad; the ones that seem to promote everything that goes against your lifestyle.  Anger is always a good blog motivator but don’t get so angry you get irrational.  Comment on some blog posts and then expand your comments into a post on your blog.

Also try logging onto Blog Explosion, Blog Clicker or one of the many other blog traffic generator programs — there are lots of ideas out there that are worth writing about from either a for or against perspective.

  • What have you been watching or reading?

Have you read any good (or bad) books lately?  Write about your latest read — recommend it, blast it or even write an abstract for your blog (but don’t give away ending).  How about movies, the great ones or the pitiful losers might be worth some good or bad words — you could make movie or book reviews regular features of your blog.

The same goes for television shows.  Start a series that follows your favorite TV show, there might be quite a few fans of the same show that will be interested in your take and appreciate your summary of episodes they missed.  If there is a book, movie or TV show that you thought was great there is sure to be a reviewer who panned it.  Find the bad review and write a post countering the reviewer’s opinions.

  • What have you been doing?

Your work place, your co-workers, you bosses, your home and your family members are all fair game for your blog — keep it short and amusing and you’ll have a great post.  Once you introduce a particularly interesting person to your readers you may want to do some sequels.  When was your last travel vacation — write a travelog about where you’ve been or do some research on some places you’d love to go to and write about them.

  • Do you have a special skill?

If you can make something that is unique or something that is common but made special because of what you know, there may be people interested in knowing how to do it.  Give away tips on cooking, sewing, cleaning, fix-it projects, pet care, child care, beauty secrets, personal care or organizing tips.  Make it a regular feature on you blog.  If you have a digital camera find an interesting subject, take some pictures and then write something based on the subject.  If you found it interesting or comical or sad it’s likely to interest someone else.

Is Anybody Out There?

Something I do in my spare time is I run the local Spiritualists Group.  Most people do not realise that Spiritualism is on the Governments list of recognised religions.  We don’t play with ouija boards or hold seances in dark rooms, although there are groups who do those things too.  We are a church group who meet regularly, we pray, we sing hymns, we have a reading and an address, all very much the same as any other church you may walk into.  We have a crucifx on our altar, we have flowers and candles, we believe in God and Jesus.  So what is different about our religion?  Well, we also believe that there are greater forces working for our good, that once we leave our bodies here on earth we ascend to a higher plain and that we who are still here are able to communicate with the people who have passed on before us.  During our meetings we always have a spiritualist medium in attendance who is able to pass on messages to those present.  Sometimes these messages are from people who are known to the receiver, sometimes not, but the messages are always relevant and are uncannily accurate.  Even non believers who come to ‘test’ the mediums ability are left astounded by the knowledge the medium has of their personal circumstances.  They go away with a completely different attitude to us and what we do.  Of course there are charlatans out there, people who are good at picking up on a persons mood or body language and through a series of clever questions can pretend to be getting very clear messages.  If you go to a spiritualist church or meeting you will be able to judge for yourself how authentic the mediums are, but please don’t judge before you’ve been and had a look.  You may not want to go, and that is fine, but we should never make a judgement about something we have not tried as our views are based on prejudice and bias, not personal experience, and that is very unfair.

Better Blogging For Greater Success

Too often bloggers complain that after a great start, a year later their blog is as dead as can be.  This is a common problem that almost always revolves around a small list of common mistakes made by the blogger.  A blogger can sit back and expect the blog to do all of the work for him or her, which is a terrible way to approach blogging.

A successful blogger would tell you that great blogging takes a certain amount of dedication and hard effort to make it work.  You have to put effort into a blog to sustain it, especially after the first month or so of completing the design.  Many people work so hard during the initial design phase that they get lazy after it is complete.  To avoid this happening to your blog, check out these five common mistakes that can bury a blog.

  • Infrequent Updates

One of the biggest mistakes a blogger can make is to “forget” about posting.  The most successful blogs are updated with new posts on a regular basis.  Some larger blogs are constantly being updated.  You should try to create new posts as often as possible, and get into a rhythm.

Try to take a few moments a day to create interesting posts or content.  If you are writing short and concise posts like you should be, this should not be that challenging.  This way you will have a backlog of posts you can pop onto the site if something happens in the future and you cannot get to post for a while.  It will help your consistency.

  • Too Much Advertising

Most bloggers today do want to make some money from their blog.  This is a trend that can get out of control quickly however.  If you are interested in adding ads to your blog, do so with caution.  There is nothing wrong with a few appropriately places ads that offer viewers links to places that correlate with your blog’s content.  However, adding a massive amount of advertisements on your blog is a mistake.

If you have a bunch of flashy ads on your blog, your content will get lost in the melee.  Therefore, you should always limit your ads to three or less per page.  Make sure you place them in appropriate places that let your content shine through.  Don’t allow enormous ads to fill up your pages either.  They will simply annoy readers.  Be smart about including advertising on your blog!

  • Unprofessional Look

Looks do matter when it comes to your blog.  The more professional and crisp your blog looks, the more your readers will take you seriously.  If you are interested in boosting traffic to your blog you should try a more serious layout or presentation.  If you can afford to hire a professional, you should.  If you choose to do it yourself however, you must make sure the end product is good.  If you have a sloppy blog that looks “homemade” you will not have a great response from your visitors. Try different layouts and approaches to see which ones get you the most traffic.

  • Graphics Overload

Pictures can add a ton to your blog and draw in more readers.  However, when done excessively, much like ads, pictures can drive people away.  The main reason too many pictures can ruin a blog is because there are many web surfers who still use slow internet connections.  When they try to load your page, it will take an excessively long time to do so.  This is likely to drive them away.

  • Inappropriate Content

Everyone knows that the web is a place where you can freely express yourself.  However, if you want your blog to survive, you might want to think about that freedom of expression.  Although you should always say what you feel, try to do so in an appropriate manner on your blog.  There are ways to say anything that is on your mind, without using profanity or any offensive language.  If you want your blog to be successful, you should not be inappropriate with your content.

A Useful Tool For All Those Passwords

The one thing I have discovered in my internet experiences is never use the same username/password for everything!  Many years ago when I was very very new to the world wide web I used one word as a password for everything.  Very easy to remember.  I mean, why use loads of different words and then have the problem of forgetting them all the time?  All was fine for several years, until key loggers hacked into my ebay account.  Of course, the result was that they also accessed my e.mail account and my paypal account.  They diverted all my e.mails somewhere else.  Their intention was to list unsavoury items and e.bay soon discovered an unusual pattern on my account and froze it.  The first I new about it was a telephone call from e.bay that alerted me to the problem.  It took ages to sort out, ages to get my e.bay account back and working properly again, and I lost all those e.mails that had been diverted, many of them may have been personal.  Luckily I did not lose any money, I was very poor at the time so my paypal account was virtually dormant!

Now you can use mozilla firefox to automatically enter your username and password.  I am constantly asked if I want the information to be remembered.  This is very useful but I like to have a back up.  What would happen if my laptop was stolen?  I would need the information to be stored somewhere else so I could still access my various accounts and saved webpages.

A great tool I have found and used successfully is Roboform.  It is a very comprehensive tool that will suit your needs, no matter what stage you are at with your Internet Marketing career.