Set Acheivable Goals with this 4 Step Strategy

4 Step Goal Setting Strategy

We’re almost three months into the year.

How are you doing with your goals?

Are you still on track? Or are you like me, getting sidetracked and having to revisit them again. I set a goal at the beginning of the year to eat less processed foods and go for a walk every day. The first part of January I stuck to the goal. The things happened. The weahter got extremely cold and snowy, so I didn’t take my walk every day. Then the grandkids were here and of course, they wanted cookies and ice cream, mac & cheese  and well, I couldn’t let them eat alone, now could I? Needless to say, my goal of eathing less processed food flew out the door.

Today I want to talk about a good goal setting strategy to help you reach you your goals.

Everyone has specific goals they want to reach. Maybe it’t weight loss or finances in your personal life, or a specific area of business growth.

Regardless of what milestones you want to achieve, you won’t get there if all you have is the end result in mind.

Setting goals is just one part of the equation. Knowing how to get there is the piece of the puzzle that so many people leave out.

Continue reading “Set Acheivable Goals with this 4 Step Strategy”

How to Use Images that Stir Reaction in Your Writing

For years we’ve heard that content is king. And while this is true, the different kinds of content you interact with on the web can make a difference in whether your story is seen or read. Telling your story with words is great, especially if you’re a writer, but can be boring.

Tell your story with images. It grabs attention and stirs a reaction. Many people are visual. They need to see an image to understand what you are trying to teach them, tell them or get your point across. Lean how to take an image and grab your readers attention. Continue reading “How to Use Images that Stir Reaction in Your Writing”

The Secret to Creating Powerful Shareable Images

Creating images that get shared across the social media channels can be a challenge.  I’ve seen many of mine just die while others get shared.

What’s the secret?

Last time I shared 5 Easy Ways to Turn Your Basic Image into a Unique Image. That’s just one way to create shareable images.

Check out this infographic for help creating powerful images.   Continue reading “The Secret to Creating Powerful Shareable Images”

5 Easy Ways to Turn Your Basic Image into a Unique Image

 

5 Easy Ways to Turn Your Basic Image into a Unique Image

Even with photographs you take yourself, sometimes they seem too ordinary and boring.

I love photography but I’m by no means a Professional. So sometimes the images I take can be really boring. I mean, images of kitchen gadgets or electronics can only be so interesting.  So I set out to learn how to make them stand out more and to be unlike others you see.

I’m going to share some of the tricks here. Continue reading “5 Easy Ways to Turn Your Basic Image into a Unique Image”

How to Watermark Images Using Free Tools

You already know how important images are in marketing on the internet.

Pinterest.

Facebook.

Twitter.

Your Blog.

Emails.

Once you have a great image you want to share it’s a good idea to brand it with your URL or brand. The best way to do this is with a watermark that is subtle yet stands out enough to be seen.

I wanted to find out how to do this myself – to see how easy it could be done Continue reading “How to Watermark Images Using Free Tools”

4 Tips To Help You Create a Visually Appealing Blog

Should you use a professional  (or at least professional-looking) website or blog design?

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More than ever, visual design is more important than ever on the internet. Think of sites like Pinterest and Facebook, where images are shared more often than text.

That’s why it’s important to have a good blog design that includes images and a good layout to quickly capture your audience’s attention.

A professional website design makes a great first impression to your visitor. Your website represents who you are and what you’re offering.  They want to know:

Is your site credible and trustworthy?

Does it look like a professional designed it (even if they didn’t)?

Is it easy to navigate?

Does your site make them feel welcome and know they are in the right place?

When designing your website ask yourself these questions. Design might not be the most important factor but it does play an important part of the first impression a visitor gets.

 

Four Tips for creating a great website design:

Using colors correctly. You need to use the right colors for your audience. You want to draw attention to certain elements using color. Not everything should jump out at your visitor. Also you should avoid using lot of different colors on your website. Instead, pick two to four colors for the main website and your marketing materials.

Avoid using animations, gadgets and other media when not necessary. Flash animations might look cool but do they really work with your brand? Avoid background music or animated backgrounds as well. Media and animations should support your content.

The layout. The layout should have clear navigation. The page elements should be organized instead of randomly placed all over your site. Use lots of white space by avoiding clutter. It’s hard to read a page that is crammed with elements, widgets, ads, images and text. Your eyes don’t know where to land. If your site is too busy, your visitor will most likely click away.

Fonts. Your typography needs to be legible. Carefully select font styles, font colors and font sizes that are easy for anyone to read. Most people scan pages. Using bullet lists, section headers and short paragraphs make scanning easier.  Make sure your information flows well from left to right and top to bottom. Use a white or light colored background with dark colored or black text.

Your Blog design is the first impression others have of your business. Make the layout, images, fonts and colors all easy to read and free of clutter.

What tips do you have for a well designed Blog?

How to Write Quality Blog Content Quickly and Consistently

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Every blog relies on content, whether it’s video, written or some other form. Finding the time and inspiration though, can be difficult.

If you want to run a successful blog, however, you have to be able to write quality content quickly and consistently is vital. There’s a direct correlation between the amount of content you write and the number of visitors you get. Great bloggers are able to write quality content more or less on cue.

Others, like me, find it difficult to fill my blog with constant content. This is something I am trying to change, though. I have started adding tools and micro tasking to my work day. We’ll talk more about micro tasking in another post, but it’s basically breaking down your big project into small, workable tasks that can be done quickly, say in an hour or less.

So how do you develop this skill?

==> Keep a Running List of Potential Topics

On your computer, or on a notepad somewhere, there should be a list of running potential topics you can write about. Whenever you have an idea for a potential post, write it down on this list.

Then whenever it’s time to write content, you can just sit down in front of your computer and start writing. There’ll be no writer’s block that stems from a lack of topics.

I have recently started using Evernote to keep a running list of topics. I can use it on any device whether I’m at my desk or out and about. When an idea strikes, I simply open the app and put the idea on my list.

 

==> Begin by Writing Out Your Sub-Points

Once you have your topic, begin your writing by writing out the main points. Brainstorm all the different things you could or want to talk about and quickly jot them down. I necessary, create a mindmap to help you focus on what you want to say.

This will help you structure your thoughts, so you can jump from topic to topic with flow. Trying to write from top to bottom without an outline is very difficult.

Remember those days in high school English when you had to create an outline before you began writing? Well, this is the same concept only you’re not working for good grades you’re working for money.

Now I know not everyone loves to write or finds it difficult to do this step, but if you put in the extra few minutes to create an outline, your writing will flow a lot easier.

 

==> Write Quickly, Without Editing

Once your outline is done, write. And write fast.Don’t do anything else; just write.

Don’t edit.

Don’t worry too much about spelling errors or grammar. Write in your natural, conversational voice.

The goal here is to tap into your natural flow of conversation. Try not to filter yourself. Between writer’s block and being “in flow,” there’s very little middle ground. You’re either writing quickly, or you’re not writing at all.

In other words, don’t try to write slowly, or you’ll probably come to a halt. Instead, just speed through your first draft, then come back and edit later.

I’ve found it helps to put on some music. I turn off phones, social media and all other distractions as well.

 

==> Use Outside Inspiration

If you ever get stuck for tips or sub-points, go get some inspiration.

Use Google to find out what kinds of tips other people are giving in your industry. Search for titles similar to the one you’re using.

Take a look at what people are talking about on the social media sites.

What creative ideas have others shared?

DO NOT COPY THEIR WORK. Use it only for inspiration, making sure you put your own twist to whatever ideas you use.

 

==> Most of All, Find Something You’re Passionate About

Most of all, make sure you’re writing about something you’re passionate about. Is it possible to write quality content quickly about something you don’t care about? Yes. But it’s much more difficult, much less enjoyable and you just won’t have the same amount of passion and excitement coming through.

 

These tips will help you get your writing speed up. All else being equal, a blog that publishes five times a week is going to get a lot more traffic than a blog that publishes once. Not just five times the amount of traffic either – it’s exponential.

Putting out content regularly is simply a requirement to a successful blog.

What tips do you have for writing content quickly and consistently? Share in the comments.