All Bloggers Don’t Blog for the Same Reason

It’s funny whenever I run into a blog whose owner feels bad for not posting for some months.

I think this stems from two kinds of emotions.

  1. Emotions that originate from the thoughts of a deep sense of obligation to one’s audience.
  2. Emotions that originate from the feelings of insecurity that arise due to competition with other blogs.

My thoughts
I’ll run from ground to the skies. So, let me start from the second point up.

I think competition is kinda dump

There is no need to monitor your competing blogs to the point of obsession.

In fact, there is a thin line between monitoring your competitors and confusing yourself.

Blogging, as every real life blogger knows, is not for the faint of arms. Your arms should always be on standby to write your next posts because inspiration is everywhere.

So, next time you feel insecure about the competition, remind yourself that they worked hard to get to where they are.

While you can get inspiration from them, don’t forget why you started blogging in the first place.

Your sense of obligation to your audience

That’s it.

When you get to the point this feeling envelopes you, you’ll become a blogging superstar.

Why? It is because on the competitive plane, it is hard to be original.

Contrary to the ‘street’ gist, your own creativity will spark into a burning fire that burns your words into your blog.

I’m talking here of burying yourself in your audience interests.

To round up…

Now you’re aware that all bloggers don’t blog for the same reason, I’m sure you’ll sit your ass down for a moment. Grab a mug of coffee and then think of why you started blogging.

Let those answers silently guide you into the blogging superstar that you were meant to be.

That’s it my dear friend.

~ PBW

PBW & Beyond Blog in 2015: Long form, Short form, All form

Writing is an art. Blogging is a science.

And if you think like a social scientist, you’ll realize the power in the use of words.

Words have influenced people for generations. Words have made people think. Words have made people meditate on the events that are good, bad and ugly.

It is not always a bad thing to express yourself using words. But using words to paint a picture in the minds of people requires a constant learning spirit. If you understand this, then you will be ready.

What will you be ready for?

You will be ready for my 2015 multi-style blogging on PBW & Beyond.

It’s about the writer’s art. It is his ability to take charge of his work. Using it to help his readers get better in different areas of their lives. It is about helping them experience joy and humour – although I’ll admit, humour is not easy for all creative people. But the most important thing of all is to make the blogging experience ALL about the readers.

And so…

I’m happy for the gift of life and the grace to use my words to help you. The reason is because YOU are important. You’re a VIP. If you weren’t, I won’t be blogging.

Consequently, in 2015, I’ll be trying out both long form and short form content.

How’bout you?

Do you use both long form and short form writing on your blog? Let’s hear your experience and preferred style in the comments.

7 Tips on How to Write an Informative Blog Post That Rocks

Have you ever wondered how to write the kind of blog posts that retain your blog readers?

One popular yet still very successful way to go about this is to write and publish informative blog posts.

And by informative blog posts, I mean the kind of blog posts that make your readers want to bookmark your post. I’m talking of that blog post that makes your reader want to follow you on your journey from the beginning to the last word of your post.

You can build such a community of loyal fans with your blog. Post writing is an essential part of this mix.

It is also possible to miss your way. Learning to write the hard way can be tough. You’ll make mistakes and waste resources if you don’t understand how to roll out your thoughts in a promising way.

I’ll say you should stop trying hard to figure out everything on your own.

At a glance, let’s take a look at informative blog post writing.

  1. Research before you write
  2. Write in a conversational tone
  3. Write the topics that you love
  4. Don’t be afraid to take a stand
  5. Embrace the genius in you
  6. Deliver Value
  7. Put writing perfection out of your mind and hit the publish button

These steps are moderately easy to accomplish. You just have to relax and enjoy the ride. Now, the details…

7 TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE AN INFORMATIVE BLOG POST

1. Research before you write

The first step to writing an informative blog post that rocks is to do your own research. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline. Just do your own research.

By research, I mean feed your mind before you think of writing. And the best way to go about this is to read the blogs of the top bloggers (also known as A-list bloggers) in your niche. Then take notes in your own interpretation of what you learn.

The reason is because the top bloggers in your niche are already ahead of you in terms of audience and influence. They spend most of their time reading the work of other top experts. Their aim is to get tips and tricks that will help them to fast track their way to more success (with fewer mistakes made while climbing that mountain).

And just like them, you too have to follow suit. It’s not a new thing. My way of understanding this approach is that you should first learn what successful people do. Next, do them. Then modify their approach to fit your workflow and lifestyle.

My point is that if you really need to grow your knowledge base, you have to learn from them – of course. They do write professionally informative blogs.

It’s true that every great leader was once a follower. You have to learn from the A-list bloggers so that you can leverage on their own experiences. It is also a good idea to read other blogs so that you will know the current best practices and the best way to implement them in your online business.

2. Write in a conversational tone

With the increasing number of algorithm changes in search engines like Google, the blogs that show up in the top five results have one thing in common – their authors write their blogs in a conversational tone.

The best way for you to write in a conversational tone is to write in the informal language of your blog reader. I’m talking here of using slangs that your typical blog fan loves. Ignore the office tone. Simplify your words if need be. Scrap off the academic mannerism and write for your audience.

You have to picture them reading your post individually. This means that you will have to know the kind of person who you’re expecting to read your blog post. You can’t write for everyone. You’re writing for just a few of the awesome people who are interested in what you have to say about your niche topics.

At the beginning of my blogging journey, I really found it hard to converse in my writing. It was so different from what I learnt in school. The thing with blogging is that it’s okay for you to use the apostrophe [’] mark to shorten words. Examples of this shortening include: do NOT can be “don’t”; is NOT can be “isn’t”. I’m not advising you to apply the shortening in all your blog sentences. Just use your discretion to craft out a moderate work that you’ll be proud of.

3. Write the topics that you love

If you have to write the topics you love, then you have to write the topics that you know.

You can go about this by infusing your personal experiences into your writing. Explain your topics using metaphors that your audience can relate to. It doesn’t matter whether it’s grandma’s recipe or dad’s truck; just use something in your past to connect your topic to your reader’s mind.

Write on as many topics that you think makes your heart leap for joy. But don’t overdo it.

As you go along your path to blogging success, start eliminating many topics that come to your mind until you’re left with two or three of the topics that spark your creative genius. Focus on these topics. Make sure each of them delivers to you a minimum of eighty percent return on effort. Research them and write helpful, informative blog posts that help your audience solve their own problems. They’ll definitely come back again for more. And guess what? That’s loyalty at work.

4. Don’t be afraid to take a stand

Taking a stand can be tough for many personal and professional reasons. But the reality is that you cannot hang on the fence.

Life is never interesting for those who hang on the fence.

As a matter of fact, those who hang on the fence concerning sensitive issues lose real friends and loyal associates. They always, always get lonely and sad at the end of the day. They live in glass houses that are not protected. Their hanging on the fence decisions have a way of coming back to hunt them in their sleep. And nothing beats a good night’s sleep with peace of mind.

My question now is “do you have a revolutionary idea that goes against the industry norm?”

My Advice: suggest it.

Take your time to do your homework. Then write about it. And publish it on your blog.

It may go a hundred and eighty degrees contrary to public opinion but you know what?! As long as you’re sure your opinion is filled with abundant life – and not necessarily to gain temporary PR, stick to it to the end.

There will always be a miracle door that will open for you to help as many people as humanly possible – and to get blessed in return for doing so.

Let me add this…

You never know who might be watching you closely.

In future, you’ll be surprised to discover the number of industry gatekeepers who subscribed to your blog – and are still very loyal readers. They may not comment in the comment section, but they’ll always stay alert for your blog updates.

Who knows?! You might even be given the unorthodox title of Thought Leader.

5. Embrace the genius in you

Being a genius opens doors of opportunities for you to spread new ideas and concepts with your writing.

Building a platform takes time. There’s no question about this. And there’s also no need to rush this. You just have to be consistent and diligent in your quest and journey.

Today, I encourage many beginner bloggers (and struggling bloggers) to learn from my mistakes. Don’t shut down your blog without careful consideration. You can suspend it for a while if you think you’ve reach your peak of ‘here and there’. Allow it. Then go refresh your mindset before you come back to continue.

As far as I’m concerned, you still have a lot to offer your audience. You just have to discover the goldmine of practical knowledge and insight that is already within your mind’s vault.

The reality is that blogging is not for those weak in professional discipline. It really does take a good amount of courage and useful ideas for you to pull it off.

So, as you go along with your blogging activities, keep track of the topics that interest you. Then decide on the one that you’ll want to be known for. This might take a long time but it’s worth the dusting and discovery.

Don’t rush to focus on any topic. I did this and one of the consequences of this is that I struggled to update my failed blogs. I didn’t even realize this early enough. My heart wasn’t in those topics. I later killed those domains. I was burnt out and unhappy. I lost money on those websites and related projects I was working on. I also did lose money on my business cards and other personal branding materials. And what wastage in valuable time that was. It was really an experience filled with lots of struggle based on a ‘hit and loss’ blogging strategy.

The interesting part is that I later discovered that there were many resources online that I wasn’t taking advantage of. The summary of this mistake was that I stopped learning. As a way to correct that mistake, I’ve since taken on a personal and professional mantra of “Continuous Learning.”

6. Deliver Value

How you go about this is very important.

First determine why people come to read your blog. The more you understand it, the easier it would be for you to discover the kind of value you should give to your readers.

Giving value means you have to understand the needs of your ideal visitor.

  • Who is my ideal visitor?
  • Which kinds of problems affect my ideal visitor?
  • How can I best provide the answers to my ideal visitor?
  • Which kind of blog posts will turn my ideal visitor into a subscribed blog reader?
  • What kind of blog titles will attract my blog readers?

Questions like these get you thinking on your blog’s value. It’s the start to creating a buyer persona for your blog that rocks. This kind of approach will guide you to write out informative blog posts that rock.

Next thing you should do is know your ideal visitor.

Your ideal visitors and current blog readers have needs. Don’t be anxious about finding out what those needs are. These needs are directly linked to their struggles and frustrations. If your blog can be the go to resource hub for them, you’ve done something worth doing.

Just ask them, you might be surprised at the answers you get. When you do find them, use your blog posts to craft out the kind of informative blog posts that’ll encourage them to stay subscribed to your blog.

7. Put writing perfection out of your mind and hit the publish button

You’ve written your blog post.

You’ve read it and corrected all the typos and structure issues.

Don’t behave like me in my early days of blogging – stop stopping to publish your blog posts.

As much as I understand that you can’t publish everything you write daily, I still encourage you to release that blog post into the world.

Yes! It’s your baby – your brain child.

Yes! It could also be your current masterpiece. Still, I don’t think your current masterpiece will improve into a better one if you don’t hit the publish button.

Publishing your writing takes courage. It tells your readers that you’re there for them. You’re still alive and intellectually sound enough to do the mental and writing work that needs to be done.

Be brave. Hit. That. Publish. BUTTON.

Over to you…

There is no one set of procedures that is considered the best way to write. The ‘all size fits all’ style of blogging is just a writing myth. It is your responsibility to follow through with what you learn. And then use the knowledge gained from actually applying these tips to define your own writing process.

You can write an informative blog post that rocks. Stop wasting time.

Tell us your experience on writing an informative blog post. Was it tough a challenge? Did it really take time? Before you head off to write your next post, let’s talk about it in the comments.

Don’t Know What Else To Do About Writers’ Block? Try These 3 Tips

I had been trying to write a first draft post since the early hours of today. But the more I tried, the more I felt stuck.

I really refused to call it writer’s block because like Seth Godin, I am a firm believer that no one has talker’s block.
This means that since I have something to say, then I have something to write about.

As a matter of fact, I could even choose to write about writer’s block. It’s really a wonderful idea about blocking the thoughts that block your performance. And the best part about blocking such thoughts is that I’m exploring new ways to get to that point where I write creatively on autopilot. I’m not the only one who does certain things on autopilot. You do too.

If you have ever practiced doing something until you stopped putting in extra energy to get it right, then you did that thing on autopilot. Top athletes do. Top thinkers do. And most artists do.

You just get to the point in your life’s journey where you can easily come up with answers to your craft within seconds.

Your brain just seems to know how to figure out a way in a lot less time than the average joe will take. That’s being on autopilot.

How I began this post

In my mind, I envisioned myself writing out this post.

To even go further, I went ahead and made some artwork sketches of what my post format will look like. I didn’t use a pencil. I used a pen. I used a pen because it won’t be easy to erase the sketch marks.

It’s not something I do every time before I begin to write. That’s like a writing ritual. I understand that most of the bestselling authors in history had their own writing rituals; but not me – at least for now.

Maybe in future, I’ll have one. But for now, I’m still on the journey of discovering, loving and being patient with the developing writer that is emerging from within me.

And as for the sketch, it had a beginning, the middle points and a paragraph for conclusion.

All these little actions sent messages to my subconscious mind to let them know that I was ready to physically write a blog post.

The whole idea is that writers’ block can be overcome.

Writer’s block can be blocked.
Use these tips to defeat that article opponent.

Stop focusing on the block. Focus on your reward.

When you focus your mind on writer’s block, you’ll find yourself struggling to come up with something reasonable. I know this from firsthand experience.

The solution: Think of the outcome of your writing. What are you going to benefit from writing what you write?

Your reward may not be monetary. It might be the satisfaction of proving a contrary opinion wrong.

It might also be the sense of fulfillment that comes from achieving a set goal – example, you achieved a particular word count you intended to achieve. Your reward might even have something to do with hitting the publish button.

Whatever it is, just start by focusing on the reward of your writing. It really does something to your brain. It tells your brain that your article is possible.
It can be achieved with both mental and physical efforts.

It releases the right emotions that stir your body to excitement. It gets you to the place where you want to write.
It positions you to come up with the appropriate words for your audience.

Stop feeling anxious. Start feeling good about your writing.

When you feel anxiety whenever you think of writing, you might be scared of what people will say in the comment section. In this case, you’re not consciously (or subconsciously) sure of how you’ll handle criticism if it comes.

The solution: Get excited about your work. Your work is yours. Your work is your brain child. No one would love your writing better than you do. No one will appreciate your writing better than you. No one will better understand your passion for writing the topics that interest you better than you.

Express gratitude for your ability to say something using the written word.
It’s a skill that millions of people don’t have. And for many who do have writing skills, they do nothing with that ability.

But you; you take action. You don’t mind giving it to the world. You understand that true art is never finished. You do your best. And you never stop improving your craft.

As for the critics to your writing, I encourage you to realize that many of them have never written a five hundred word essay.

Many of them are just talkers and not doers.

But you; you’re different.

You understand that writing is a lot like life – it is a journey.

You just have to take action everyday.

You write everyday. You might not publish what you write. But you make sure you do write something.

Pound that keyboard away, and don’t let any form of internal pressure or unhealthy criticism stop you from crafting out your message.

In essence, feel good about your writing.

Stop killing your interest in your topic. I mean it.

When you think of your topic as ‘boring’, you’ll gradually lose interest in your topic. It doesn’t matter if your writing is about dogs, cats, computer software, website coding, cars, robotics or whatever you decide – just fill in the blank.

The Solution: Love your topic. And this applies to all your crafts. The more you love your craft, the more you’ll want to do it. The more you’ll want to do it, the more you look for new ways to do it better and quicker.

One of the signs that show that you’re really interested in your topic is that you’ll be healthyily invested in it emotionally. I’m talking of you starting out as an unpaid advocate of that particular field of writing.

I talking of being so passionate that you won’t mind showing up – even if you weren’t paid to do it.

Compensation is great. A big payoff day tastes even better but it won’t be enough a motivation to make you abandon your writing.

You can’t just fake your passion. Actually no one does.

Situations always have a way of showing up to reveal those who are passionate about what they do. And those who just look for something to do because they feel that there’s nothing else to do.

If you’re not sure about what to write, research it.

The reality is that no one knows it all. But everyone has an equal opportunity to learn the things that they’re passionate about. And as for you, innovative search engine technologies from companies like Google and Yahoo have even made online research easier than before. They’re offering many tools for you to learn what you want online and offline.

If learning by research is not your thing then you may have to ask for help from a friend or colleague. You can even hire a professional to help you out. Hiring may eat into your purse but if the person is really skilled in this area, you’ll be glad you paid for it.

You can also use the search button on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to search for writing groups and experts using specific writing keywords.

All I’m saying is…

Writing doesn’t have to be intimidating.

Don’t mind the blank screen because it is what it is – a blank sheet.

On a blank sheet, you have the opportunity to sketch, to erase, to draw, to describe, to flow, to stop, to think visually, to accept yourself for who you are.

All in all, a blank screen gives you the opportunity to express the power of life that is within you.

So, here’s a recap…

  • Stop focusing on the block.
  • Stop feeling anxious.
  • Stop killing your interest in your topic.

Over to you

Have you ever panicked when you stirred at the blank screen? How did you beat writers’ block on that faithful day?

See you in the comments.

3 Inspiration Tips for the “Unfeeling” Blogger

It’s very easy to start a blog and wonder off.

The tech industry isn’t waiting for anyone anymore, more innovative platforms are being coded out each year.

The confusion is on…

Newbies are stuck. Many people are finding it hard to stick to a schedule – not because they don’t want to. But because of the competing platforms and tools that need their eyeballs and loyal patronage. And the interesting part is that you and I are among the potential customers in these tech markets.

The reality is that…

As a blogger (or writer), it can sometimes be a struggle to do what you do best.

Instead of getting stuck, feeling you’re tired of blogging (or writing), use these 3 tips to keep on pulling down the clog.

1. Embrace your limitation.

Being a blogger means that there will always be time when you have to choose between your blog and alternative items on your to-do-list. Understanding your limitation will help you trim down your to-do-list to fit your blogging schedule.

2. Search for productivity tools and use the ones that fit your lifestyle.

Blogging can be stressful. If you attempt to do it in a haphazard way, such methodology would leave you hanging without much to show. As a good blogger, you have to find and make use of tools that can help you be more productive. Examples of such tools are reminders, spreadsheets, editorial calendars, break time alarms, calculators, web based estimators etc.

Note: Hey! Google is here for you. And the interesting part is that it is FREE for you to use.

3. Never forget why you started blogging in the first place.

You had a reason to start your blog. Write it out. Paste it somewhere where you’ll always see it.

It’s very easy to wander off. Don’t let it out of your head. Always, keep in your heart that one no b.s. reason you started your blog. When times are tough, you’ll find yourself still moving forward to achieve your blogging goals.

Let’s talk about your blogging workflow and challenges in the comments.

What blogging topic are you still trying to wrap your head around? Which productivity tools do you use? Which ones do you recommend?

Let’s help each other learn more – especially the newbie bloggers and writers.

You’re also free to include not more than two links to useful resources or your own blogging products in your comment. And, hey, spammers and sploggers are not welcomed to participate.

Now, let’s begin the chat.

~ PBW

The Writers’ Attitude

Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.

Who said that? Napoleon Hill said it.

Why? You may ask.

I guess that it’s because he came to the realization that everything happens for a reason.

Nothing just happens on Earth

In this universe of ours, we are always in a state of motion (at least the laws of Physics have told us so).

Whenever we chase our dreams or choose to take a particular action, we will be faced with tough choices if all we want to do is something worthwhile.

As for writing…

A Writer’s Path to Greatness is Tough

Yes you heard me right.

A writer’s path to greatness is tough.

But the good part about his (or her) journey is in the process of transformation.

  • The writer must learn to be disciplined and to discipline himself.
  • The writer must learn to evaluate his strengths and weakness.
  • The writer must learn how to leverage on the strengths of other experts in a healthy way.
  • The writer must be a learner for life.
  • The writer must create time to read in this noisy world.
  • The writer must create time to meditate alone.
  • The writer must learn how to resist the urge of wasting excess hours roaming the net in the name of research.

Tis’ a good thing.

To sum it all up, every challenge serves the writer. Now that’s an attitude that betters all writers.

~ PBW

Write. Write. Write.

It doesn’t matter if you’re hurt – just write.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not in the mood – just write.

All writers write.

They don’t wait for the sun to be positioned in the best place for them to do so. They don’t wait for the rain or snow to drop on its usual weight.

Writers don’t give a damn about the weather

They know that this is what they do.

In fact, a number of them think of writing as what they were born to do. And the best way to do so is to begin to do what the do – without minding the critics and the nay sayers.

Call it ambition or destiny.

Be yourself. Express yourself.

Just write. Write. WRITE.

~ PBW

This ONE THING SEPARATES Wannabes FROM “THE I AMs”

ACTION. That’s it.

That’s what separates the wannabes from the I AMs.

Okay, I’ll be straight with you. The words may be hard but it’s to help you grow.

No much ranting. Just hard-on heart to heart words from me.

You see…there is a difference between those who want to be a professional in a particular career and those who have become the professionals in that same professional field.

Who are the wannabes?

Wannabes are those of you who are still dreaming.

They are also those of you who are waiting to gather all the facts to confirm your fears about the possibilities of failure.

My words of encouragement for you are “start with what you currently have.”

Who are the “I Ams”?

Well, the “I Ams” are those are understand the power in the following words:

BE-DO-HAVE

Let me break it down…

i). BE

The “I AMs” recognize the fact that we are first human beings before we are human doings.

This means that true success starts from inside out – and not the reverse.

ii). DO

Successful people take action. They get stuff done. Not just stuff; but stuff that matters.

They are doers.

They manage their time because they are doers. They plan. They initiate. They manage.

You too have to be a doer. Be inspired to take action.

iii). HAVE

After being and doing, your end result will be that you have what you desired at the beginning of your journey.

I’ll say that this is based on the principle of planting and harvesting.

You have to plant your intention and actions towards reaping your harvest of your professional rewards.

There you have it!

The one thing that separates wannabes from “THE I AMs” is Action.

So, take action today!

TINY WINS

Have you ever done something and got a tiny win?

A tiny win is that little result you get from the effort you put into what you’re doing.

For writers, your tiny win could be writing fifty words in the morning. For bloggers, it could be writing your next sub-section or paragraph in that guest-post.

Whatever it is that you do, recognising and being happy with your tiny win is very important to your career success.
It shows progress.

It also tells your brain’s cognitive centre that what you are doing is truly rewarding.

It is what will keep you motivated to do your work even when the going gets tough.

Little drops make an ocean!
Little plans make a mega plan!!
Little drops will make your ocean!!!

The 80/20 rule works with this too.

Take action today. And don’t give up on your dreams.

~ PBW