Page 1


Sold to erica hampton using Selz

The Blogger Babes Present:

an TO



by Heidi Nazarudin

thank you

The Blogger Babes Group!

This book is especially dedicated to:


May Your Blog Grow And Prosper! Sincerely, Heidi & The Blogger Babes Team

INTRODUCTION I’ve been blogging for a while - at first for other people and then for myself. Becoming a blogger is easy; what’s difficult is becoming a productive one. As a blogger, you probably have times where you feel a little scattered or confused. Are there times you just post anything that comes on to mind when you sit down at your computer? Do you make lots of blog to-do lists then forget to complete the tasks in them? Don’t worry: it happens to best of us. It’s frustrating, but be secure in the knowledge that you are not alone in this difficulty. Blogging can be really quite challenging, especially since there are so many things you have to do. It’s not just writing a post then publishing it. As a blogger you are expected to be on top of a lot of things, which can be really tiring. You have to answer the comments on your blog; you have to do your research for post articles, design and re-design your blog page, market yourself on Facebook, mind your Pinterest …and the list goes on and on. The bigger your blog gets, the more work you’ll have to put in. If your blog is monetized, you probably have to work on advertising deals. If you’re into affiliate marketing, you need to check your conversions. Of course, to make sure that your blog’s still at the top of its game, you have to keep on working on improving the number of reader subscriptions to your page. That’s a serious challenge for anyone, and that’s just blogging – you’re not even talking about the other aspects of your life and their demands just yet. This book, hopefully, will share with you some ideas that could help you become a much more productive and efficient blogger. But one thing is important and you really have to remember this: there’s no “secret” to becoming a successful blogger. It’s not something that you have to copy or discover from someone else. What works for one blogger won’t necessarily work for you. Each blogger has her own unique set of challenges and motivations. Your blog is unique, and so is your approach to it. Though this book will give you tips, it is up to you to adapt as necessary so that you may find a system that will help you achieve productivity and success. Try to see how these tips can improve your blog, but don’t forget to always maintain your individuality and voice. Now on to the book!


Chapter 1 Identifying Your Vision and Priorities Many bloggers often get started as a result of having some free time, wanting to do something they believe in and feeling the desire to interact with other people who share a common interest. You may already have your life down to a routine – work and family all chugging along steadily – and so you might decide to experiment with some of your extra time by starting a blog. And while blogging is lots of fun, it’s also time-consuming. If you’re serious about EHFRPLQJDJUHDWEORJJHURQHRIWKH¿UVWWKLQJV\RXPXVWGRLV¿QG a way to maintain a balance between work, family, blogging, and personal time.


Or maybe it’s curiosity that drives you to blog. Even if real life is demanding, some people blog because it brings them excitement. There are those who can only blog in the middle of the night when all their work is done, while others squeeze a blog post or two into their lunch breaks. Once you get into a rhythm, or start getting feedback from readers, blogging can become addictive. If your blog hits the big time, things can change fast. When your hobby becomes a real part-time job (this is especially true of monetized blogs), you might be wondering - how do I maintain balance? Just remember - always know your priorities, and enforce enough self-discipline to stick to them. Keeping Motivated Once your blog goes from a leisurely hobby to something you are doing (in the hopes of) getting professional recognition as a blogger, the game changes completely. What motivated you in the past – like WKHVLPSOHMR\RIZULWLQJ±PLJKWQRORQJHUEHVXI¿FLHQWFRXSOHG with the new stress on your schedule. But for professional bloggers, a few factors push them towards steadily maintaining their blog content. Becoming a professional blogger means that you’ll start feeling the pressure. Each post you publish can have serious consequences. At this point, bloggers will start asking the tough questions of


But there are other dangerous distractions to consider, especially when it comes to working online. Social media can be extremely distracting. You’re not alone in trying to justify your Facebook addiction - you’re doing research for your blog! But in reality, it’s more likely that you’re spending most of your time reading about celebrity feuds. +HLGLèV1RWH$WLSRQKRZWRLJQRUHVRFLDOPHGLDKDYHDVWULFWVRFLDO PHGLDWLPHWDEOH,RQO\FKHFNP\7ZLWWHU)DFHERRNQHZVIHHG WLPHVDGD\DQG,JRRYHUP\3LQWHUHVWDFFRXQWRQO\RQ6DWXUGD\V Sometimes too many ideas can be counterproductive, too. Once your blog becomes popular, you’ll likely receive a lot of “helpfulâ€? suggestions from friends, colleagues, or commenters. The goal is to weed out the useful suggestions from the unfeasible ones‌but that’s not always easy to do. You have to differentiate between valuable LGHDVDQGIDQWDVWLFLGHDVDQGWKLVFDQEHGLIÂżFXOWZKHQ\RXJHW caught up in a great-sounding, but overreaching concept. Never let suggestions distract you from your blog’s overall vision. If you’re unsure of how to separate the wheat from the chaff, consider these questions the next time you’re faced with a potential distraction.


The Right Productivity Tools In this age of online tools, it’s easy to think that all you need is the best app out there, and you’re all set. However, the truth is that there’s no one special app that will make you the productive blogger you’ve always dreamed of being. By all means, download or buy productivity apps (for example, Evernote, WPManager or Basecamp) if you think they will help, but don’t rely on just one. Oftentimes, a professional blogger will have a unique set of tools to rely on. Once you identify these tools that make your blogging easier, you’ll see a marked increase in productivity. You will need to experiment – I used Evernote and even though it works for a lot of people I realized because I have the iCloud set up across all my various Apple products and that I KDYH2XWORRNFRPWREDFNXSDOOP\2I¿FH¿OHV±,GRQ¶WUHDOO\XVH (YHUQRWH7KHNH\LVWR¿QGDSSVWKDW\RXOLNHDQGXVH ,WFDQEHWHPSWLQJWRSXUFKDVHHYHU\DSSWKDWSURPLVHVHI¿FLHQF\ However, the truly productive blogger realizes that only one or two really good apps will improve their output. Even something as simple as a paper calendar can be a valuable tool, depending on your blogging system. And this goes without saying - if you think you work better with pen and paper, then stick to the old-fashioned method.


If you’re a blogger who’s working with a team, though, you will need something a little bigger. For example, a popular app for team task management is Basecamp. This is a cloud-based app that RUJDQL]HVDOO\RXUSURMHFWVDQGKHOSVJURXSVZRUNPRUHHI¿FLHQWO\ together. Apps like Basecamp can improve communication – which is the most important criteria of working together in a team. Since most bloggers hire part-timers to work with them, they must use many various channels for communication. Some use Skype, while others rely on email or Gchat. 7KHJRDOZKHQZRUNLQJWRJHWKHULQDWHDPWR¿QLVKDSURMHFWLVWR keep expectations clear and simple. When you have a large team, you want the right members assigned to the right projects. Blurring the lines can result in failure and frustration. Your best bet is to keep \RXUWHDPWRROVHWDVVLPSOHDV\RXFDQ:KDW\RXQHHGLVHI¿FLHQF\ so go for apps that are stripped-down, basic, and ideal for your purposes. 'MFYJCJMJUZ $VZHDOUHDG\QRWHGDJRRGEORJJHUQHHGVWREHÀH[LEOHZLWKRXW losing sight of his or her priorities. Sometimes you can get stuck unable to think creatively because blogging has become too much of a routine for you. One of the best productivity techniques in this


situation is mind mapping. Mind mapping is a must for any blogger. Are you unable to let go of a great past idea? Instead of rehashing it, start mapping out ideas relevant to it. From each new idea you can create more original angles to the topic. Soon, you’ll have created a varied collection of new blog posts. However, don’t force inspiration. If mind mapping isn’t working for you, then maybe it’s time to take a break.


Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry - I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean taking a permanent break from blogging! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just talking about stepping back from the computer screen for the day. Take a walk. Play with your cat. Eat with your family. Have a manicure and relax your brain. By the time you get back to EORJJLQJ\RXUKHDGZLOODJDLQEHÂżOOHGZLWKIUHVKLGHDV Flexibility is one thing that full-time bloggers really do enjoy. You FDQJRDKHDGDQGOHDYH\RXUÂłRIÂżFH´VLQFHWKHUHÂśVQRRQHZDWFKLQJ the clock! You can work when you feel like it, as long as youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re meeting your goals. 7KHEHQHÂżWVDUHPDQ\<RXFDQSDUWLFLSDWHLQ\RXUFKLOGÂśVVFKRRO activities, or schedule holidays whenever you want. Being a fulltime blogger means you have time for all life has to offer, and you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about losing your job. $WWKHVDPHWLPHWKRXJKĂ&#x20AC;H[LELOLW\FRPHVZLWKDSULFH$V\RXU own boss, you know your responsibilities front to back. No one else is going to pick up the slack for you: there are no colleagues to cover your writing, and no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brainstorming ideas for you while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re sipping mai-tais on holiday. A week out of town means you have to work twice as hard a week before. Careful self-regulation is part of the life of a blogger! If you really think about it, the average full-time blogger sometimes works harder than the average employee. There are no time cards


involved. When your blog is your full-time job, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working anytime you need to, from morning till night. Some bloggers, read, write, and research more than eight hours each day - and continue working well into the weekends, too. Why? Because blogging isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just a job for them -itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a joy and a purpose. If you truly love to blog, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll rarely feel depressed by your job. Handling Priorities So if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a full-time blogger working around the clock on your EORJKRZGR\RXÂżQGWLPHIRUWKHRWKHUDVSHFWVRI\RXUOLIHOLNH family and personal needs? Well, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to set personal boundaries. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tempting to just fall into your computer and obsess about your latest post, or to VDFULÂżFHDIDPLO\GLQQHUEHFDXVH\RXZDQWWRJRRYHU\RXUODWHVW comments. %HFDXVHRI\RXUPRUHĂ&#x20AC;H[LEOHVFKHGXOHLWEHFRPHVHYHQPRUH important to set boundaries for yourself. Remember what your priorities are, and set aside time for the things that matter to you. Concentrate on keeping to your schedule but always be aware of whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening around you, outside the world of your blog. If




Sharing Your Success Becoming a blogger is all about building a community. You should always have something valuable to contribute in order to remain relevant. Don’t stress yourself out thinking about how you’ll stand out and get ahead in the online world - just take some action and reach out! Try some new strategies, ideas, or apps, and then share what you learned either on your blog or on a community platform. Your goal is to be a resource to others. As a blogger, your work should be useful to the people who matter: your readers. If you are seen as helpful, others will reach out back to you automatically. &YQFSJNFOUBUJPO When developing a blog that’s helpful and useful, you’ll have to put yourself and your creativity on the line. By that I mean: don’t rehash anything that’s been said a million times before by other bloggers. You can only put your spin on a certain topic several times before you end up repeating something that’s already out there on the blogosphere. As a successful blogger, you have to learn how to experiment – put out new kinds of content – maybe a series of posts on how to cook better, or a new post category about style tips for petite ladies – anything new that a) you are able to do regularly and b) will be useful or entertaining to your target blog readers.


when you can execute the ideas that just entered your head today. Sometimes in the middle of writing, you also might remember something you forgot to do, like respond to a particular email or drop by the grocery store. Again, it is not a good idea to stop writing and check your inbox. Instead itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good idea to have a small notepad (digital or otherwise) on hand so you can jot down these notes and avoid getting distracted. Finish whatever youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing and then visit your notepad afterwards.




When you make something like social networking something that is obligatory rather than fun, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re creating more of a stress on yourself. 'RQÂśWĂ&#x20AC;DJHOODWH\RXUVHOI6LPSO\LPSRVHERXQGDULHVDQGVHWVRPH limits. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about punishing yourself and completely eliminating the things that make you happy In truth, your productivity levels will lower with increased stress due to eliminating your go-to behaviors. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very easy to get caught up in stressful thoughts. But try and curb this tendency; more negative pressure equals less productivity. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be able to work creatively and, in the long run, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bad for your morale. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t treat excessive stress as a natural result of blogging. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re stressed, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sign that something is wrong in the process. Stress tells you that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re off your game. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your writing V\VWHP\RXUZRUNLQJUK\WKPRUVLPSOHODFNRISODQQLQJÂżJXUHRXW whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s giving you a headache and address it ASAP.




Chapter 3 Trust Your Vision Blogging professionally is far from an easy job. It may seem an ideal MREDWÂżUVW\RXÂśUHZRUNLQJIURPKRPH\RXKDYHDYHU\Ă&#x20AC;H[LEOH schedule, plus you are your own boss. However, bringing a blog to fruition requires much more than the ability to write. You may start out as a one-man operation, but as your blog grows you must learn how to stay focused and achieve your blogging goals. One thing you need to do to ensure constant blog productivity is to be committed to your vision. Sometimes, a vision isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t something you start out with, especially if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just one blogger and doing it for fun. It can take awhile to cultivate the overarching idea of your blog. The Beginning A lot of bloggers start out thinking they just want to put their thoughts out there. Blogging may not necessarily be a challenge, EHFDXVH\RXUH[SHFWDWLRQVPD\EHORZZKHQÂżUVWVWDUWLQJRXW<RX just want to write - but eventually you will receive feedback that will help shape your ideas and your future posts. Your audience will tell you what they want to read, and in turn they will help crystallize a vision for your blog.


you. As mentioned earlier, your readers are your market. The production of valuable content is the unspoken agreement between readers and bloggers. Without this content to read and digest, they won’t see your blog – and your business – in the same light they did before.




Chapter 4 %JWJTJPOPG-BCPS Although most blogs start out as individual outlets, they can gain enough attention to need extra support. This is where the ability to balance the different aspects of your life comes into play. The development of a blog relies on working with (and managing) the right people who share the same vision and can really help you as you try to move forward. In some cases, successful blogs are the results of successful partnerships. Some blogs might even be the projects of real life couples and families. For the lone blogger, the most important thing LVWRXQGHUVWDQGWKHVLJQLÂżFDQFHRIWKHGLYLVLRQRIODERU+DQGOH areas that are within your strengths, and then have someone else handle the others. 5IFNBJOBDUJWJUJFTUIBUHPJOUPBQSPGFTTJPOBMCMPH






your blog is small. But once you make productivity your goal, you can’t just sit back and let life’s challenges take away from your blogging. Find a way to provide the content your reader’s want, if you’re to keep your EORJDÀRDW $PMMBCPSBUF One of the most important decisions you can make as a blogger is your choice of teammates. Surround yourself with people you can trust. The people you hire are not just your employees- they’re also your partners as you seek to achieve your vision for your blog. They are stakeholders in your success. Choosing the right people to work for you can truly help improve your blog’s productivity. When you’re just one blogger, then things like exams, moving, or a new baby, can stop your from blogging regularly. Readers will understand. However, that won’t help your blog’s overall productivity. Instead, try to get other writers to work with you. You don’t have to worry about content, because there are other writers working to create it and ensure that it is delivered to your readers. Cultivate the same attitude where business partners are concerned. It can be tempting to try and hold on to all control, but that’s not a JRRGLGHDLQWKHORQJUXQ<RXQHHGWR¿QGEXVLQHVVSDUWQHUV\RX


to read through these submissions before they are uploaded and published. Remember that even if you’re working to streamline the process, you should never forget the human aspect. It’s not about having the tools take over. One way to stay grounded is to remain in touch with your readers and to keep studying what they need and what they want from your blog. Learning to Say No Not a lot of people are equipped with the ability to say “no” with conviction. It is very easy to get swept up and forced into projects you’re not really sure about, just because you’re too shy to say no. But don’t fall for it - then you’ll be forced to waste your time and take time away from things you actually need to do. If you spread yourself too thin and accept every offered project that comes your way, your quality is going to suffer, since you have to divide your time between more and more projects. Be choosy when it comes to projects you take on. Ask yourself, is this project going to include monetary rewards? Money is a motivator, and it is an important factor when your blog is your fulltime job. But money isn’t everything, and projects that help improve the blog or help you achieve the vision you have for the blog should


be undertaken immediately, no questions asked. +HLGLèV1RWH7KHUHDUHVRPHEORJJHUVRXWWKHUHZKRDUHQRW FRPIRUWDEOHWDONLQJDERXWPRQH\:KLOHWKHUHDUHEORJJHUVZKR JHQXLQHO\MXVWZDQWWREORJDVDKREE\WKHUHDUHDORWRIEORJJHUV ZKRDUHKRSLQJWRĂŞPDNHLWELJĂŤDQGPDNHDOLYLQJIURPWKHLUEORJV 7KHUHLVDEVROXWHO\QRWKLQJZURQJZLWKRZQLQJXSWRWKLVIDFW 7KHPRVWLPSRUWDQWWKLQJWRUHPHPEHU LIÄ&#x2020;QDQFLDOUHZDUGLV\RXU PRWLYDWRU LVWREHJHQXLQHDQGSDVVLRQDWHLQ\RXUEORJWRSLFVLH \RXUFRQWHQWDQG\RXUUHDGHUVPXVWDOZD\VFRPHÄ&#x2020;UVW Evaluate projects properly, and always try to see if you do have the resources for completing them. Sometimes, it can be tricky, as a project you think is easy turns out to be rather time consuming and requires a lot of manpower. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to you to decide on which projects are worth your while and which arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. What if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an external partner seeking to collaborate on a project with you? The same essential rules apply. Consider how much time it will take to work on this project, and if the new project will mess up your work-life balance. If you can handle it without missing important events, then go ahead and take it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to say no to a potentially lucrative project from an external SDUWQHUEXWLWÂśVHYHQPRUHGLIÂżFXOWWRVD\QRWR\RXUVHOI7KLVLV because when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your own idea getting shot down, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s somewhat emotional. Bloggers get attached to ideas, and sometimes you can be so in love with an idea that it can be nearly impossible to let go. But saying no is a skill we all have to learn. Working on ideas


that are only going to bog you down isn’t a worthwhile endeavor Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses than to push through a project that no longer has any value. If it’s dead weight, let it go. It’s important to move forward and push past ideas that might seem appealing but aren’t actually going to help you achieve your blog’s vision.




Set your own boundaries. You are now your own boss, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to you to establish certain guidelines to make sure that your productivity is on track and the blog doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suffer. .BLJOH$POUFOU:PVS,FZ'PDVT Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus on content. Since the cornerstone of your business is still your blog, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very important to continue producing high quality content so that your readers will keep coming back. As a blogger, your ÂżUVWUHVSRQVLELOLW\LVWRZULWH. Set aside a special schedule for writing new content. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absolutely important to have a blogging schedule, especially if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working from home. If possible, you should write more posts than needed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and keep them saved. This is because you never know when something might come up and you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have time to write. Stockpiling posts is a way to make sure you have something to publish. Your blogging schedule should be a â&#x20AC;&#x153;sacredâ&#x20AC;? schedule. During this time, focus solely on writing. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t interact with your friends on social media, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play with your dog, and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do anything else. Your goal is to get the writing part of the job done, and distractions


can only weaken your resolve and dilute your output. Bigger Picture of Blogging Writing, however, is only one part of being a blogger. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important, but thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not all there is to it. Running a blog means you also have to see it as a business, which it especially is if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve started monetizing. You have to review what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve achieved so far, and then identify the different components that have made your blog successful. Include all possible aspects like social media, SEO, and marketing. Setting a Schedule But if you have to write and manage your blog at the same time, this means you have to be judicious with how you spend your day. You have a lot to work on all day, so know how to parcel your time. 2QWKHĂ&#x20AC;LSVLGHGRQÂśWZRUNRQ\RXUEORJQRQVWRS,I\RXJHWDQLGHD in the middle of the night, you might just open up your laptop and start writing. Resist the urge! Set boundaries for yourself, in order to maintain work-life balance. Break up the tasks you have to do. Set aside a time for blogging, as mentioned earlier. Then, set your task lists in a way that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have time to do other things for the rest of the day. This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just


the editing process. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good idea to create a writing and editing procedure that you have to follow to the letter to ensure quality posts. Start by setting aside a schedule for writing, as mentioned earlier. Write as much as you can so you always have a lot of spare posts to FKRRVHIURP1RZZKHQ\RXÂśUHVDWLVÂżHGZLWKZKDW\RXÂśYHZULWWHQ itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to send it to your editor. You will get a few corrections, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work on the post immediately. Let it â&#x20AC;&#x153;simmerâ&#x20AC;?. Give your post some time before you return to it. This way, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to see it with fresh eyes and new perspective. Edit, revise, and re-read until youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re completely happy. Send it to your editor again to check for grammatical errors or typos. Finally, publish the post. This can be tricky if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re posting an article per day. You might want to adjust the process according to your own system. The goal is to always plan ahead. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good idea to have a solid process (remember the blog post calendar?), planning around it as much as you can. %JTDJQMJOF Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to impose self-discipline when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a blogger, because no one else is going to do it for you. As a blogger, you may sometimes feel like certain projects are more interesting. Maybe youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all about the theme layout today. Or perhaps youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the


mood for social networking. However, if you just let these whims take you anywhere, you’re never going to get anything done. Build a structure. If you don’t have proper structure, a schedule, and the discipline to stick to these impositions, you’re likely to spend far too much time on Facebook without getting anything done. You have to whip yourself into shape and force yourself into productivity, because sometimes, simple inspiration isn’t enough to push you forward.




they continued writing regularly and never stopped. More importantly, the bloggers who succeed are the ones who are really hungry for it. They want to see their vision through, and they keep working until they get what they want. There’s a degree of competitiveness that fuels them as they seek to always do their best blogging. When the blog hits moderate success, some bloggers realize that they’re in over their heads and eventually give up. Some think that they can just continue with the work they’re already doing – updating from time to time and networking a little – but then they realize that a bigger blog requires expanding duties like maintaining the website, producing new content, adding peripherals, and more. It’s a lot of work. Improve constantly. Keep reinventing and presenting new content so readers don’t get tired - when your information goes stale, people will start looking for something else to read. Setting Boundaries How do you manage a personal blog without over-sharing? It’s a thin line. The best way to go is to be honest with readers when sharing your personal stories and this can be done through the right voice and tone in writing.


However, this doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean you have to share everything. For example, if your blog shares stories of motherhood, then you can put in the funny anecdotes, the touching stories, and the challenges you have to go through. Avoid the posts that could be dangerous (such as those that reveal personal details) or too embarrassing for your children. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll grow up and read your blog someday! +HLGLèV1RWH$JRRGUXOHWRNHHSLQPLQGZKHQVKDULQJSHUVRQDO VWRULHVLVWKLVÃ¥,WèVRND\WRVKDUHSHUVRQDOVWRULHVDVORQJDVLWLV UHOHYDQWWRWKHEORJèVWKHPHRUWRSLFHJLWèVRND\WRVKDUHDVWRU\ DERXWKRZ\RXPHVVHGXS\RXUÄ&#x2020;UVWDWWHPSWDWPDNLQJKRPHPDGH SDVWDLI\RXDUHZULWLQJDIRRGLHEORJ$QGLWèVDOZD\VJRRGFKHFN Ä&#x2020;UVWZKHQ\RXZDQWWREORJDERXWDQ\WKLQJWKDWLQYROYHVGHWDLOV DERXWVRPHRQHHOVHèVSHUVRQDOOLYHV$QGWRNHHSLWFODVV\QHYHUSRVW DQ\WKLQJWKDWLQYROYHVSHUVRQDOFRQÄ&#x2021;LFWVÄ&#x2020;JKWVRUDUJXPHQWVZLWK RWKHUSHRSOHLQ\RXUSHUVRQDOOLIH (PJOH"HBJOTU8SJUFST#MPDL %XWZLWKVXFKOLPLWDWLRQVLWFDQEHDOLWWOHGLI¿FXOWWRMXVWOHWWKH VWRULHVÃ&#x20AC;RZ2QHWKLQJ\RXFDQGRLVOLVWGRZQWKHLGHDVWKDWSRS up into your head while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing something else. If something funny or interesting just happened, or you had some sort of epiphany â&#x20AC;&#x201C; write all these down. Keep these ideas in a notebook. The next time youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for ideas for your posts, you can take a peek at the ideas in your notebook to inspire you. One thing a lot of bloggers complain about is writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s block. When


youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been blogging for some time, you might suddenly feel that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve run out of stories to tell. Even with ideas, you might feel like WKHZRUGVMXVWDUHQÂśWĂ&#x20AC;RZLQJRXWULJKW:KDWGR\RXGRWKHQ"7KH best thing to do is to sit down and just power through. Force yourself to write. You can always rewrite the post afterwards. The most important thing is to get the words out. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let the constraints of your mind prevent you from writing. With practice, writing becomes a lot easier to handle. Sync Your Schedule $VDEORJJHU\RXQHHGWREORFNRXWVSHFLÂżFWLPHVIRUZULWLQJ :LWKRXWDVFKHGXOH\RXÂśOOEHWHPSWHGWRMXVWÂżWWKHZULWLQJLQWRDQ\ free time you have in a day. With procrastination and the distractions in your life, this can cause your writing to suffer. As such, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to block out time for writing, and then schedule a different period of time for administrative tasks and other blog-related duties. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working with a team you should realize that every team member needs to know everyone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s task list and schedule, so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no overlapping. Have a team meeting at the beginning of every week. List down all the tasks and the people they are assigned to. Plot your schedules, and share them (perhaps using an app). You can use Google Calendars or iCal, depending on the operating system youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re used to.




Chapter 7 5SJDL:PVSTFMG*OUP#FJOH1SPEVDUJWF A major challenge for any blogger is the fact that you are your own boss. No oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s looking over your shoulder and waiting for your RXWSXW:KHQ\RXÂśUHQRWDFFRXQWDEOHWRDQ\RQHLWFDQEHGLIÂżFXOW to be productive. This is especially true since youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working from home. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to put things off and tell yourself youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do the work later â&#x20AC;&#x201C; then later and later. This can be a serious blow to any blogger seeking to improve productivity. &UHDWLYHW\SHVKRZHYHURIWHQÂżQGSURFHVVHVDQGSURGXFWLYLW\ systems boring. How do you get yourself to stay excited when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve settled into a routine? This is why, for bloggers who are used to spontaneity, it might be necessary to shake up your process from time to time. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to re-evaluate from time to time and change your method of motivation and productivity. *OTUBOU(SBUJĂ DBUJPO Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easier to be motivated when you can get the results instantly. That sense of completion and achievement can be truly remarkable. The problem is that a lot of the tasks involved with blogging require more than just a few hours. Often times, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get that instant JUDWLÂżFDWLRQDQGLWFDQUHVXOWLQSURFUDVWLQDWLRQ,I\RXNQRZ\RX canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get it done in one sitting, you may not be able to bring yourself


to do it. This is perhaps why a lot of bloggers gravitate towards things like checking their email and feedback regularly, as well as Twitter and Facebook. With these platforms you post something and the response is almost instantaneous. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also the reason why some bloggers procrastinate when it comes to producing new content but are perfectly happy with micro-blogging on various social media channels. #SFBL*U%PXO The best thing to do when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re nervous about time management is to start rewiring your brain. Instead of seeing a project as one giant task, break it down into ten small ones. Then you can tackle one PLQRUWDVNDIWHUDQRWKHUDQG\RXÂśUHEDFNWRLQVWDQWJUDWLÂżFDWLRQ,WÂśV a good way of pacing yourself, and you do feel like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting somewhere without getting overwhelmed. If you want, you can even set milestones and reward yourself for reaching each one. Or create an enjoyable environment surrounding work you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like to do. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re about to motivate yourself to do something you completely loath by listening to great music motivate yourself by VSOXUJLQJRQQHZPXVLFLI\RXÂżQLVKVDLGWDVNVE\DFHUWDLQWLPH In fact, try using the music or a playlist as a timer. When your


%FBMJOHXJUI%JTUSBDUJPOT Working from home plus working online means there are so many things vying for your attention all the time. It can be tempting to just VSHQG\RXUWLPHRQ7ZLWWHUVXUÂżQJWKHZHERUJRLQJWKURXJKWKH comments on your blog. However, these â&#x20AC;&#x153;distractionsâ&#x20AC;? can actually be quite useful if you handle them the right way. 7KHÂżUVWWKLQJWRGRLVWRPDNHVXUHWKDW\RXÂśUHGRLQJVRPHWKLQJ because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s useful, consider the value of the action youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re taking. Are you on Twitter because you need to keep abreast of the news on your niche topic, or are you on Twitter because youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re too tired or bored to do the job you actually need to complete? You need to be honest when you feel the need to stall. Maintaining relationships is very important when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a blogger. You thrive on feedback. However, you have to choose what types of relationships to commit to. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to just stay on Twitter and respond to everyone who mentions you. However, try instead to forge relationships with your commenters. It takes more time, but there is a deeper commitment that somehow forces you to be a more professional blogger.


Creating In Lieu of Reacting When reading through blog comments, bloggers tend to respond. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very easy to just write a few lines of a quick response. How about posting a new post in lieu of commenting or responding? This is a great way to connect to readers. This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always feasible, but whenever the opportunity arises to create from a comment, take it. Skip the response and go straight to crafting a new post.



Chapter 8 Happiness and Productivity You might not think much about it, but there’s a close relationship between happiness and productivity. The two have a direct correlation, meaning that when happiness is high then productivity levels soar too. Conversely, when you’re unhappy you’re likely not very productive. When it comes to blogging, it’s not about hitting a milestone (number of subscribers, for example) then forgetting all about it. Blogging isn’t a bucket list. Working on a blog means constantly putting one foot in front of another and going towards your vision. You have to think of your blog as an everyday challenge. Don’t just do something and then let it go. It’s more important to renew your commitment to your blog each day, and to work towards your goal with every opportunity. But how do you know you’re on track and that your blog is still moving in the right direction? One way is to have a checklist. Keep close tabs on it: are you checking a lot off every day or is your checklist mostly gathering dust? Accountability is key. With no boss other than yourself, you have to maintain accountability, meaning self-discipline. In order to be


productive, you have to be clear about what you want to achieve. If you don’t know what your goals are, then how will you go about achieving them? Constant Research For most bloggers, their moods can affect what they write. It’s hard to write when you’re sad or depressed. But your mood doesn’t have to be a productivity killer! In fact, you can use it as a way of researching your own approach to blogging. By working through your emotions, you can analyze how your personality and your moods affect the topics you write about, or your ability to write at all. Reading and expanding your worldview is also important. Introspection is a big part of blogging, but you also can’t spend all your time navel-gazing. You want to be informed and the best way to have fresh content is to read. Researching means reading news, other blogs, and more. The good thing is that in the age of the Internet, getting information is quite easy. Find inspiration in documentaries, movies, books and more – all of these help widen your perspective and improve your blogging. Constant Creativity Though a lot of people think otherwise, a lot of bloggers can attest to


itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the yard, or the coffee shop down the road. Just go there and focus on what you need to work on. If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the Internet thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the SUREOHPWKHQJRRIĂ&#x20AC;LQH7KHJUHDWWKLQJDERXWPRGHUQWHFKQRORJ\ is that you can do your work anywhere. Take your laptop with you and work in the sunshine! Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t kid yourself into thinking that you can take a peek at social media and not get sucked in. A quick Twitter check means youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see who mentioned you, and then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel like responding. Without UHDOL]LQJLWVLJQLÂżFDQWDPRXQWRIWLPHZLOOKDYHJRQHE\DQG\RX havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t completed any of the tasks you have on hand. $MFBS:PVS8PSLTQBDF Have you ever tried to work in a clutter-free environment? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s DQHQWLUHO\GLIIHUHQWIHHOLQJ:KHQ\RXUGHVNLVÂżOOHGZLWKSDSHU IROGHUVGRFXPHQWVDQGPRUHLWFDQEHYHU\GLIÂżFXOWWRWKLQN FOHDUO\*HWULGRIWKHVHWKLQJVRUEHWWHU\HWÂżQGDSODFHWRVWRUH them in an organized fashion. When your workplace is clear, your head is clear, too, and you become more productive. 7KHVDPHWKLQJDSSOLHVWRWDVNOLVWV(OLPLQDWHWKHHDV\WDVNVÂżUVW Work on the things that you can complete in a minute or less and cross them out. That leaves you with the real tasks that take time. By the time you get to them, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about the minor things because youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already completed them all. It lets you focus


If you rely only on external measures, it’s easy to get distracted. <RXULQVWLQFWVZLOOKHOS\RX¿JXUHRXWLI\RX¶UHVWLOORQWKHULJKW track. The Persona When do you stop writing as you, and when do you start creating a persona for your blog? Just remember that a blog that totally relies on a made-up persona comes off as fake. Even professional blogs should be an extension of who you really are. When you start creating false personalities for your blog, even as a barrier, people


will realize it and it will negatively affect how they view your blog. $VWDQGRIÂżVKYRLFHZLOOWXUQUHDGHUVRII(YHQLI\RXÂśUHZULWLQJD professional blog, writing in a stuffy way and removing any personal details can make your work seem very aloof. This can affect how you interact with readers. When you share your own experiences, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re building a more authentic community. Get Rid of Friction In becoming a more productive blogger, you need to get rid of everything that prevents you from achieving productivity. Get rid of all the distractions. If necessary, use the simplest possible text editing app. Just write. Do whatever you need to write without having to worry about distractions from social media. Just write and hit publish. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as simple as that. Your goal is to share your idea with the world at large, so the best thing you can do is get FUDFNLQJWKHQVKDUHLWLPPHGLDWHO\,I\RXÂżQGWKDW\RXZHUHWRRIDVW and forgot some things, you can always go back and edit. The point is that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lose that rawness in your words. +HLGLèV1RWH3HUIHFWLVWKHHQHP\RIGRQH$ORWRIXVDUH SHUIHFWLRQLVWVDWKHDUWDQGZHDUHVRDIUDLGRISXVKLQJWKHĂŞSXEOLVKĂŤ EXWWRQEHFDXVHZHIHHOZHQHHGWRHGLWWZHDNDQGFKDQJHZKDWHYHU EORJSRVWZHDUHZULWLQJ/LPLW\RXUVHOIWRDÄ&#x2020;[HGQXPEHURIHGLWV OHWVVD\WLPHV HYHU\WLPH\RXÄ&#x2020;QLVKDEORJSRVWĂĽDQGWKHQ KLWSXEOLVK<RXUUHDGHUVGRQèWZDQWDçSHUIHFWèEORJSRVWWKH\ ZDQWDUHDOEORJSRVW$QGDVORQJZKDW\RXZULWHLVXVHIXODQGRU


HQWHUWDLQLQJDQG\RXNHHSWRWKHEDVLFUXOHVRIVSHOOLQJDQGJUDPPDU å\RXFDQèWJRZURQJ No Expectations One thing that really causes stress is the belief that your words should elicit a grand reaction - stop thinking about how people will react. Just enjoy the comments and reactions you’ll get, even if it’s just one or two comments. You can use these reactions to improve DQG¿QGWKHULJKWGLUHFWLRQIRU\RXUEORJ




"'FX1BSUJOH8PSET The one thing Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like you to take away from this book? That thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no â&#x20AC;&#x153;oneâ&#x20AC;? secret formula comes to blogging productively. Know your own measure of success, determine your goals and execute them and \RXÂśOOEHDEOHWRHYDOXDWHMXVWKRZHIÂżFLHQWDQGSUROLÂżF\RXQHHGWR be. Building your blog as with anything in life, takes time and effort. Use the tips in this book to develop your own approach = read through and adapt as necessary. Blogging is all about you and your own special place on the Internet. Make it count! If you have any questions or comments about this ebook or about blogging â&#x20AC;&#x201C; please email me at reachme@heidinazarudin.com. I would love to hear from you.



th e Au h t t Abou

Heidi Nazarudin

I’m a blogger, babe and cat enthusiast all in one slightly OCD package. I’m also a former investment banker who found out pretty quickly that living the high life as an investment banker in Tokyo didn’t necessarily translate to fulfillment. So ages ago I decided to quit my corporate lifestyle and focus on my true passion: writing. Blogging was a natural extension of my love for writing. Since 2010, I have been a full-time blogger and contributor for websites such as LAChronicle, Fashion Fox UK, and Celebzter.com. In early 2013 I decided to start HeidiAndCo.org, and decided to focus all my efforts to blog primarily on this blog. I am also the president and co-founder of the BloggerBabes.com – a group with goals such as - helping female bloggers support one another, with all the tools and resources a girl might need to get her foot in the door of the big blogging world. My goal is to help shape the blogosphere, with females taking the lead. So welcome to my blog. I welcome feedback, both bouquets or brickbats – which you can send by emailing me at reachme@heidiandco.org. Side note: And when I am not blogging, I spend quite a fair amount of time looking at cat videos on youtube.

Visit my blog at HeidiandCo.org List of Publications Blogger Babes: Your First 31 Days To Blogging eBook Blogger Babes: Introduction To Blogging The Complete Blogging Manual 2013 edition A Girl’s Guide To Santa Monica - scheduled October 2013 A Girl’s Guide To Kuala Lumpur - scheduled November 2013 A Girl’s Guide To Bali - scheduled December 2013 All ebooks are available on my blog, BloggerBabes.com, Amazon, iTunes and other reputable eBook resellers.

visit us at



Profile for TheSuccessfulStyle

How To Start Blogging Better  

How To Start Blogging Better