On ‘building your dream blog’.

Whether you’re using your blog as a platform for which to vent out the current frustrations of daily life, or, you imagine it a platform for people to come to and learn about the newest and greatest trends of the moment… whatever your reason for blogging, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to take the time to learn.

Learn about the website you’ve chosen to use for your blog. Learn about blogging trends. Learn how to create your best blog. Learn about analytics. Learn about search engine optimization. Learn about how best to phrase the thoughts in your mind so they make the most sense to someone who isn’t you. There’s so much to learn when it comes to blogging. This is an activity that, in my opinion, you should never stop trying to learn more about.

With so many blogs out there, often times it can be really easy to ask yourself ‘is there even room for me’? Yes. There is always room for you. Learning will allow you to better yourself and your blog. If you’ve been wondering about things to read or learn, here are a few tips that I have found very helpful to myself over the past couple of months (since I started my blog in January):

  1. Write for yourself first. This is integral when it comes to writing a successful blog. And, it also happens to be the step that will make you most happy. Trying to write what you think people want to read/see/hear will leave you unsatisfied and confused as to why you’re not achieving the growth you desire. Writing about what you want will help you to find an audience who loves and/or understands exactly what you do and how you feel.
  2. Be consistent. Consistency is one of the most important tools a blogger can use to their favour. Remind yourself that it’s much easier to lose traffic than it is to build it up, so, if you’re blogging, ensure you’re consistently blogging.
  3. Choose a simple layout. Think of it this way: if you’ve ever been to a website and thought that it was cluttered, not user friendly and had an ugly layout, remember that everyone has different opinions. What you like isn’t necessarily what anyone else likes. So, if you’re hoping to create a platform for which to appeal to the most amount of people possible, chose a simple design. Something that is simple is user friendly and far more likely to appeal to more eyes than a specific, more complicated design.
  4. Use catchy headlines. A catchy headline is the perfect amount of click-bait needed to get someone to read your article/post/entry, without actually lying to them about the content within it. (This is much easier to do if you write your blog post first and then choose your headline) The rules for creating a catchy headline are to keep it simple, powerful, useful and bold.
  5. Don’t cheat. I cannot stress this enough. In this day and age, it’s sooooooo damn easy to just talk to one of those ‘growth hacking’ firms that can provide you ‘x’ amount of followers for just a one time fee of $45.99. Please believe me when I say this… a small amount of real followers who follow you because they genuinely love your content and, hopefully you, are infinitely more valuable than any amount of followers that you could purchase.
  6. Give away your knowledge. If you’re a subject matter expert on a certain area, tell people. Give them the information that you have to give. Teach them things! People love to learn, and if someone wants to read, allow them the opportunity. Don’t hold in the good stuff for fear of giving away the ‘secret sauce’. The secret sauce is that blogging is free, and if you have the opportunity to teach someone something – teach them. If you’re a doctor, teach people about health and wellness and how to avoid illness. If you’re a librarian, teach people about books and the options that libraries can provide. Whatever you consider yourself a subject matter expert on, why not share that information and allow us to all be informed?
  7. Stay true to yourself. People don’t care to follow a site as much as they care to follow a person.
  8. Don’t demand attention. Earn it. Hopefully this is pretty self-explanatory. No one has to read your page. It’s not a requirement in anyone’s day. What can you do to make them want to read your page? Because you’re certainly not going to succeed if you try to force them to read it.
  9. Pick a side. If you’re wrong, don’t be afraid to admit to it. Your opinions are your own for a reason, so don’t be wishy-washy when you’re talking. Share your opinions, and be open to the opinions you get in return.
  10. Love the readers you already have. It can be really easy to get so focused on growth that you ignore the people who are already reading your blog. If you’ve got people who are reading your posts, time after time, let them know you’re appreciative of them. If you intend on growing your audience organically, show as much kindness to your readers as they are showing to you.
  11. Use proper tags. Tags are what allow your posts to be searchable, both on wordpress and on google. If you’re aiming to be searchable, having the proper tags associated with your posts can help immensely in drawing people to your page to read your posts. If you write a post about Anxiety, tag the post ‘Anxiety’, don’t tag the post ‘Follow me’.
  12. Give it time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I think the most important thing you can do for yourself when blogging is to do it for yourself, first. Feed your soul. Let out your thoughts, sadness or desires. Make yourself happy. If you chase this as your passion, that passion will resonate. Do it for the right reasons.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

Things that you should do E-V-E-R-Y SINGLE DAY

These things, they may seem rather straight forward, but, sometimes it’s just nice to see things in writing to remind myself. I know that I need a reminder every day. I also find this list is filled with things that are really easy to overlook/talk yourself out of doing.

  1. Drink water. There are integral benefits to your body when you fill it with lots of water each and every day. Feel a headache coming on? Drink some water. Feeling thirsty and tired? Drink some water. Bored? Drink some water. It’s not a be all to end all cure, but it sure does help in a lot of ways.
  2. Wash your face. Your face is your first impression – get yourself a gentle cleanser, one without fragrance, and make sure that you’re washing it. Get rid of the dirt and impurities that might be hiding in your skin after a long day of it being filled with pollutants. Guy or girl, your skin will thank you for it.
  3. Watch the news. Read the news. Listen to the news. And I mean the news, not a facebook or twitter update. I believe that it’s highly important for EVERYONE to be informed of what is happening in the world. You might not think that things half a world away will have an affect on you, but when Saudi oil prices rise or goods from China are more heavily taxed, these things will make a difference in all our lives. Really, I could go on and on about this one – but I’ll just leave it with – keep yourself in the know so that you don’t look like a fool if you don’t.
  4. Be active. Whatever this looks like for you and your body and your lifestyle, do it. Stretch, go for a ten minute walk, go to the gym, do some yoga, do whatever it is that you can to get your body moving and your endorphins running. Endorphins trigger positivity… and who doesn’t want to be more positive?
  5. Stay organized and clean. There is truth to the statement ‘healthy space, healthy mind’. Walking into a dirty house, bedroom or bathroom can fill you with anxiety. Don’t allow yourself those triggers. Keep your home organized and clean.
  6. Wear sunscreen… EVEN ON CLOUDY DAYS. UVA and UVB rays can penetrate you anywhere and everywhere. Protect your skin from being leathery and wrinkly when you get old, and protect yourself from the very real reality that is skin cancer. That’s not meant as a scare tactic. It’s just something that’s true. It’s so easy to put on sunscreen, so why not?
  7. Eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, nutritionally speaking. It sets your metabolism for the rest of the day and it either makes, or breaks (if you don’t eat it) your energy that you can put forth during the day. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast and notice the difference in makes in how you operate the rest of the day.
  8. Face your fears. Insecurities are something that can very easily eat away at you if you let them. But, if you go out and go after your fears each day, even if it’s in a small way, they’re not going to feel so big the next day. I think Lululemon penned the saying originally, but ‘do one thing a day that scares you’.
  9. Ask yourself “Do I really need this?” In this day and age, it’s really easy to purchase things that you don’t need but feel the desire to buy because of a whim. If you have a hard time keeping a budget, or even if you don’t, don’t be someone who collects thing just to collect them. If it’s going to take up space and clutter your life, you don’t need to bring it home from the store.
  10. Remember who you are. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like being yourself isn’t good enough. If you’ve got a sense of humour, if you’ve got a bubbly personality, let those shine through. Let the world see who you are and don’t ever shy away from that. The best people in this world show exactly who they are. Don’t ever be afraid of that.

Habits of the highly successful.

  1. Wake up early. Whether it’s Michelle Obama, Oprah, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, or whoever you want to look up, each and every one of them seems to share one thing in common – they like to start their days while the rest of us are still sound asleep. Perhaps all of that extra time and productivity is something we should all consider.
  2. Take full responsibility for your life. Even though you can’t always control what happens to you, you can always control how you respond to those events. Choosing to respond in a positive way will lead you down a more positive path for your future.
  3. Be continuously learning. Successful people are all aware that in order to maintain their success they must continue to learn and grow with the world around them. Many successful people, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, all speak of reading every day as a means of continuous learning. And why not? Reading is one of the easiest ways to learn.
  4. Know your priorities. Furthermore, do the most important tasks first. If you always know what your priorities are, you’re never going to waste time questioning what comes next. It’s also better to be effective on the right task than efficient with a smaller, less meaningful task.
  5. Make health and exercise two of your priorities. Research has suggested that a healthy diet and exercising every day can lead to higher levels of productivity and less time felt being sluggish and lagged down by your environment.
  6. Have discipline and self-control. Successful people know what they want in life and they’re not going to get distracted along the way by a fear of missing out on what could be happening around them.
  7. Leave your ego behind. Successful people check their ego at the door to ensure that the success of their goals is achieved over any pride that might occur in discussion. What they desire is far more important than their pride.
  8. Embrace failure. Successful people take their failures and learn from them. They don’t make the same mistakes once because they turn their failures into growth.
  9. Show up. Even when you don’t want to, show up. Successful people will show up, they will woo, they will talk and take names and network and will always take the opportunity for the experience.
  10. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. To be successful you must be far more focused on yourself then on anyone else in this world. If you truly want something. If you truly dream of an empire, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. What you’re building isn’t what they’ve built or what they’ve done. Go your own way, be your own person and don’t compare yourself to anyone.