Listen, content writers — Do not blame yourself

Content writing is tough because it is a consistent process. You can only be victorious if you have consistency for a long period of time.

One who can be successful at content writing and in a fitness regime can be successful in any sphere of life.

Dear Content Creators, Have you ever worked for some of your websites so hard, only to have your efforts fall apart before your eyes?

Throughout my one decade as an Internet marketing consultant, I’ve seen thousands of clients tear themselves down with the same emotional backlash.

If you fail to scale your website, you blame yourself. If you miss a financial target, you tell yourself you can never handle your wallet.

When you’re struggling with your website scale, you think you’ll never achieve visitors on your website.

So you’ve convinced yourself that you “can’t” do it, it “won’t” work out, or you should just “give up” on the life you want.

None of this is true.

When you’re working towards amazing new levels of blogging, e-commerce, and any other website, it’s your own mind that starts telling you that you “can’t” or “won’t” succeed.

And before you know it, you’ve defeated yourself.

All these nays saying are the result that your mind is in emergency mode. Emergency mode protects us from dangers and also hinders the clarity of future vision.

The good news is, you can reject this unhelpful subconscious programming and take back control of your mind.

You have to be realistic with your website, its scaling, promotion, content strategy.

All this comes with, a plan, execution, and understanding that bumps are inevitable when you move forward.

Throughout my decade-old career, I’ve been helping a client to promote their website and scale their content.

Now, I’d like to help you do the same. This is the reason I have decided to dedicate a full section, and series of free tutorials, for content writers in the next 21 days.

Bloggers, speed breakers are not obstacles

You are either writing or not. Daily, we have to make that decision.

Perhaps you have decided.

You are writing.

Speed breakers are real. They are unavoidable, and they hurt. Speed breakers cannot be denied.

Bloggers, speed breakers are not obstacles

A speed breaker that stops us to move forward is an obstacle.

Quite often, the only difference between speed breaker and obstacle is our interpretation and final decision on them.

Obstacle needs to be surmounted, daily.

You have decided.

Move forward.

How to create a custom WordPress search form

WordPress already offers a default get_search_form() function that can be reproduced in any part of the template, but that is constrained to the designed offered by the WordPress core team. Limiting to that design will be an injustice to the highly customizable WordPress content management system.

There is an easy fix.

Step 1: Create a searchform.php file in your root directory of the theme, and

Step 2: Put your custom form there. Here we have given an example:

<form class="tform" id="searchform" method="get" action="<?php echo esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ); ?>">
  <div class="tinput">
    <input class="email-search-box" name="s" size="40" type="text" placeholder="Search"/><input class="email-search-btn" value="Search" type="submit"/>
  </div>
</form>

Writer’s block —Here are easy steps to be creative each day

So you’re hyped and eager to pour yourself into writing.

Maybe you have too many ideas, or maybe not enough — either way, you don’t know where to start. That’s where I was just a few weeks ago.

To execute on the momentum and capture the spur of inspiration I felt, I looked into writing advice from some of Medium’s most prolific writers such as Tim Denning and Nicolas Cole.

Combining their tips, I built a relevant, in-depth content map and generated over 60 article ideas within one day.

Let me walk you through the exact steps I took.

Step 1: Pick 2–3 Topic “Buckets” to Focus On

Maybe you already know what topics you want to write about.

Maybe you don’t. Or you have too many ideas.

Tim Denning says it’s best to pick just two topics.

Nicolas Cole suggests you pick one niche topic and one broad topic, as well as one “industry topic”.

I was less worried about the industry one. Maybe, like me, you come from an industry you don’t necessarily want to write about.

What’s more important is to find one thing that speaks to everyone and another thing that speaks to a very specific set of people.

If you write only about broad topics, you’re competing with a lot of other writers and it will be harder to get a foothold. When you write about niche topics, you’ll get traction much more quickly, but you’ll only reach so many people. A mix of the two seems to do the trick.

Here are my topic choices: mental health (broad), careers & life (very broad), psychedelics (very niche).

Step 2: Map Out, Rank, and Break Down Your Topics

In this next step, you’ll branch out further from your core buckets.

Your content map will have three levels: buckets, topics, and sub-topics.

The easiest way to get to levels two and three is to draw a classical mindmap. I did it in Excel, in true consultant fashion, but on paper may be easier.

There are no limits, but don’t go rogue. Specificity wins. A handful of topics per bucket and a few ideas for sub-topics per topic are more than enough.

In the next step, you’ll want to rank your ideas on the topic level.

Give each topic two scores from 1–5: one score for how badly you want to write about it, and another one for how much you think readers will care about it. This, again, comes from Nicolas Cole’s book on online writing.

Use the total score to rank topics within your core buckets and you’ll have guidance on which topics to prioritize first. We only need to rank topics (level two) and not subtopics (level three) at this stage.

Here’s what the final list looks like for me:

Mental health: Addiction & recovery (the science of addiction, healing trauma, eating disorders), emotional wellness (coping, communication, empaths)

Careers & life: Finding purpose (intuition, creativity), happiness habits (simplicity, lifestyle choices, conscious living)

Psychedelics: Lessons learned (from personal journeys), advice for beginners, science (neuroscience, consciousness, biology), culture, politics

Note: Don’t be too worried about your content map being “MECE” (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive). You’re not writing an academic paper.

Step 3: Brainstorm Article Ideas Based On 5 Common Types of Articles

This is where we get into the fun part, generating titles for actual articles.

Again, Nicolas Cole has made it easy for us by outlining the five types of articles in online writing:

  1. Actionable Guide
  2. Opinion
  3. Curated List
  4. Story
  5. Credible Talking Head

Number 5, the credible talking head, refers to things that simply get read because the author has credibility in the field. The other types don’t need much further elaboration. If you’re curious to learn more, buy Cole’s book.

Now, the fun part. Go through your sub-topics and come up with a few ideas for article titles for each one. You’ll quickly have 50+ ideas.

As a general rule, you’ll want to find titles and themes that trigger emotional reactions in your readers: either they want to be or do something badly, or they badly don’t want to be or do something.

Don’t worry too much about the headline. This exercise is just about capturing potential themes, you can brainstorm titles when you do the actual writing.

At the end of this exercise, you should have a nice long list. But there’s one more thing to make your content map even more relevant.

Step 4: Review Highlights from Previous Articles for More Inspiration

This is probably my favorite tip of them all.

Tim Denning shared it in a podcast. It’s super simple but highly effective.

In your highlights, people tell you what they want to read about.

Go through all your previous articles (especially those with traction) and take note of sections that were highlighted by multiple people.

This is what intrigued them, what they want to remember, what they want to come back to. This is what they want more of from you.

When I went through this exercise, my first viral article became a treasure chest for follow-up stories. I generated at least 10 more articles ideas, most of which were neatly slotted into my content map.

This is all you need to do and within no time, you have a fully fleshed-out content map with articles you want to write and people want to read.

You’ll never run out of ideas.

And when you do, you just repeat the four steps.

Happy brainstorming!

Content writers, are you unsuccessful? Do you have the courage to unlearn?

Curiosity leads to learning, but you need the courage to unlearn.

You had humility yesterday so you learned something.

It didn’t work out.

You are not able to scale your website even after years of input and investment.

Unlearning requires the courage to accept that you were wrong in yesteryears.

Learning was your evolution.

Unlearning is keeping and leveling up when the World has evolved more than you.

Unlearn, and find the better way to scale your content marketing.

Move. Forward!

Bloggers don’t be afraid of public opinion

Caution: This post is more about the motivation for everyone and all spheres of life.

The other day one of my clients emailed me for advice. She was thinking about expanding her business into new territory but was terrified of what people might think.

I get it, sometimes the internet is really loud.

So I passed on some advice that was given to me and that I’ll share with you.

What other people think about you is none of your business.

Yup, it’s their business, not yours. The thing that matters most is what you think about yourself. What you think about your dreams, about who you love, how you live, how you contribute to the world.

That’s what matters — your opinion of you not the public opinion.

We’ve all experienced the fear of putting ourselves out there.

That naggy inner voice that makes us feel insecure about standing out or doing things differently? Well, sometimes we can trace that voice back to mean shit other folks have said to us (or about us).

Other times we’re telling negative stories about ourselves that feel so damn real that we don’t know the difference.

Real talk: if you let fear of judgment hold you back, you’re robbing yourself and others.

The more you rely on outside permission and validation, the less likely you’ll be to go your own way, share your unique gifts, or even rise up to challenge injustice.

Sure, feedback can be useful. I’m grateful for the times my best friend (and even my mother) have encouraged me to take a step back and look at things differently. But not everyone has our best interests in mind — even when they think they do.

That’s why discernment is so important. We’ve gotta sift through the feedback and decide what’s valuable and what’s the other person’s baggage.

Folks who like to flex their nasty are often acting out from their own wounds. Have compassion for them, but don’t let their drama dull your sparkle, my friend.

Remember, their feelings aren’t your facts. Keep doing your best and making your magic.

All my love (and fire).

Keep rising. Keep blogging. Motion forward.

Are you trying to scale your online business? Learn from Zoom!

This story is about Zoom. Yes, the video conferencing app that most companies have adopted after the Covid 19 Pandemic forced most of the world to work from home.
 
In Dec 2019, Zoom had around 10 million daily meeting participants. Today, the number is around 300 million. In early Jan 2020, Zoom was worth 16 Billion US Dollars. In May 2021, it is worth around 90 Billion US Dollars!
 
 So, what happened? Most people will say that Covid 19 happened and as a video conferencing company, Zoom got lucky and made a lot of money. But is that really true? Let’s explore this.
 
There are a lot of companies that have traditionally been the more popular video conferencing applications. However, none of the companies or their applications have benefited as greatly as Zoom did.
 
 
Let me explain a few reasons. Firstly, Zoom was one of the first video conferencing applications in the world that was smartphone friendly. In fact, the founder of Zoom was an employee at WebEx and quit to start Zoom because at that time WebEx did not see the point in making their application Smartphone friendly. This very step of going the extra mile differentiated Zoom from other applications and it quickly gained a lot of users. Of course, soon others followed.
 
Zoom also focused a lot on being user-friendly. Many of the other applications required the participants to be tech-savvy but Zoom was developed keeping non-tech savvy people in mind and even people with little skills could use it easily. Again, by going the extra mile, it became a favorite among users and started dominating the competition.
 
 
When Covid 19 happened and suddenly almost everyone was ordered to work from home, Zoom was already popular among the other apps. Therefore, many organizations quickly adopted the software as its user-friendliness made it easy in shifting from physical offices to virtual interaction, especially for non-tech savvy people.
 
But there is one final thing that it kept doing for years that completely changed the game! Zoom kept maintaining enough resources to accommodate a huge number of users. Furthermore, it had structured itself in ways in which it could scale up extremely quickly even more if there was suddenly a huge spike in users. Other companies had simply not thought about taking this extra step and assumed that growth would happen in accordance with usual market projections.
 
This one step led to the exponential growth of Zoom. Because they had planned for a scenario where they could scale very fast extremely quickly, when the opportunity arose, they were READY!
 
A lot of other apps could not adapt quickly to the massive demand and started experiencing major issues. So, even many companies that were using these apps switched to Zoom.
 
Even when Zoom did experience criticism due to certain flaws, it worked to resolve them quickly
 
Is there any wonder then, that the company has experienced exponential growth, both in terms of users and its market value? Of course, not.
 
Zoom achieved massive success because it positioned itself correctly and prepared YEARS in advance.
 
Zoom went the extra mile in every area. When others focused on desktops, Zoom focused on being smartphone-friendly. When others did not care to make using their apps simpler, Zoom put in extra effort and became among the most user-friendly apps. When others did not anticipate and prepare for future opportunities, Zoom prepared itself quietly to handle hundreds of millions of users!
 
So, did Zoom get lucky? Perhaps it did.
 
However, good luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. If you stay ready by putting in extra effort and preparing for opportunities daily, you won’t have to get ready when the opportunity arises! ALWAYS remember that!!

New bloggers, you’re courageous to start a new journey

I just finished consulting for my Inner Circle content creation community about the courage it takes to try something new and I wanted to slide over a nugget to you.

One of the mental obstacles that can trip me up is when I think I can’t make a change or do something different because I don’t know-how.

But here’s what I know to be true: I don’t know-how is usually code for I don’t know where to start.

When we stall out because we don’t know where to begin, it’s likely because we’re too focused on the endpoint –– the finished book, the healed health issue, the weight loss, the moon landing, etc!

Change requires action, but it takes one soulful step at a time.

If you want to try something new or make a change in your life, identify what it is (be as specific as possible) and then brainstorm all the steps you can think of taking to get there.

Instead of getting overwhelmed by the finish line, chip away at it slowly, one action at a time.

Not all the actions, speed racer. One. One goal. One action. Turtle power.

Rinse and repeat.

If this feels intimidating, lean on your courage. As adults, we’re often afraid to be beginners.

We feel like we’re supposed to have it all figured out and it can feel vulnerable or embarrassing to admit that we don’t.

But a beginner’s mind is a special place to allow yourself to be. It’s ripe with openness and possibilities.

Let yourself turn the page on a new chapter of your life, even if you don’t know how or where to start. Even if you think you’re too old or too green or too…whatever. You’re not.

And no matter how long it takes to get there, find joy in the process.

Fun is Fuel. The more fun you have, the more momentum you’ll create.

There are only a few months left in the year. Now is a great time to begin thinking about who you want to become during this next trip around the sun.

Start blogging, and begin the new chapter as a successful and profitable blogger.

For the next 90 days right 1000 words daily.

If you can’t write 1000 words daily then write 500.

If you cant write 500 words daily then write 300.

But write.

If you cant run, then walk.

If you cant walk then crawl.

Motion forward.

The most powerful paradoxes for bloggers

The Persuasion Paradox

Social media is a miracle. It has given the power to everyone to send their feedback, opinion, and emotion with a push of a button. People argue in real life and in virtual life. Have you ever noticed that people who argue never persuade anyone?

The art of persuasion lies in listening, being patient, putting your perspective, and being silent. Persuasion is an art that requires a craft not a sledgehammer.

The Effort Paradox

Simple was s complex before it became so simple. What seems effortless today, had a series of tiring efforts sown in the past. The Midas touch effortless performance today is often the result of the volume of efforts, and gritty perseverance in the past.

Small things become big things. Simple is not so simple.

The Growth Paradox

Growth will take so much time to come, but suddenly after some time, you realize that growth has come so fast now.

Paradox: Growth happens slowly initially, but then booms.

Bloggers growth is exponential, not linear

The Productivity Paradox

Bloggers have you heard of Parkinson’s Law, which is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. A home can be cleaned in one day and also in one month. When you assume certain hours for a certain task, you find unproductive ways to fill them.

Bloggers should work like a lion. Sprint, rest, and repeat.

The Shrinking Paradox

Bloggers elastic potential energy

When spring shrinks, it stores potential energy that can be utilized later. Bloggers must shrink sometimes to store potential energy.

Relax, take a rest. Ponder. Find a great topic and then write a great article. Great blogging is telling a great story.

The Constant Change Paradox

“When you are finished changing, you are finished.” — Benjamin Franklin

Entropy is a reality. The only constant in life is a change. You stop changing. You are dead. Bloggers should keep on innovating their story telling methods else they will be doomed in the absence of the novelty and innovation.

The Fear Paradox

The only thing to fear is the fear itself that’s the adage. Fear has it purpose as it save us from incoming danger, but many times danger are not real, but hypothetical.

Hypothetical danger should not deter us. Fears are constant reminders that we have to face them.

Content writers and bloggers can learn from the bamboo trees.

Bloggers can learn from the Bamboo tree.

What can the Chinese bamboo tree teach us about growth?

It teaches us about the invisible threshold.

It has to care for every single day. It doesn’t break through the ground for 5 years, but once it breaks through, it can grow up to 100 feet in 5 weeks.

Lesson: Be patient. Growth happens gradually, then suddenly.

Write something daily.

Slowly traffic will increase in days, weeks, months, and years.

Your content and blog will scale.