Success Secrets From The Worst Team In Football

 

Day 11 of The Social Media Challenge

Today being Sunday in December, I spent a little time watching Football.  I’m a long suffering fan of the Washington Redskins.  I’m still sitting Shiva for glory days long since passed.

After watching them lose today… yet again, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to their failure and potential failure in this 30 day challenge.  For that matter, failure at anything in life can be illustrated through the trials and tribulations of my once proud team.

What Does A Football Team
Know About
Social Media Content?

When I was a kid the Redskins were a powerhouse.  They had John Riggins, Joe Theisman, an offensive line so big and mean they were called simply “The Hogs”.

Their great coach Joe Gibbs was able to take mediocre players and turn them into champions.  They have a group of grown men so dedicated to their team they wear dresses and hog noses to every game.  They call themselves fittingly, The Hoggets.  And they have the coolest fight song in the NFL: “Hail to the Redskins” that is played by an actual marching band.

They also had the coolest owners in the game.  Jack Kent Cook owned the team all the years I was a fan and I loved this guy.

The Man Who
Ruined My Team

When he passed away, the team went up for sale and was bought by someone who’s name I dare not say.  Not for legal reasons but because he has destroyed my beloved team in such a profound fashion that I actually think he might be evil.  He’s the Voldermort of the NFL.

He’s turned this once storied franchise into a laughing stock.  Not just drawing the ire of Redskins fans but of the entire league for doing some really wretched things including suing a grandmother.

In my opinion, he is solely responsible for over a decade of a new tradition I like to call: sucking worse than anything has sucked before.  Piece by piece he has torn this team down to a band of unlovable losers.

Of course, he didn’t want to do this.  But I believe he did it for the same reasons most people fail at anything.  See, he wasn’t a football guy.  He was a fan of the team but knew nothing about running one.

And there really is nothing wrong with that.  I mean, if had an extra $800 million dollars lying around I probably would have bought the team too.  And I am sure I would have done something stupid like made myself quarterback even though I can’t throw to save my life.  Of course, the first time some 300 pound line backer pile drove me into the ground I’d have probably had enough with that boyhood dream.

You Don’t Know
What You Don’t Know

But the thing is, he should have educated himself.  You want to succeed at something, get educated.

You want to create killer content, educate yourself on your niche.  Understand your product or service better than anyone else on planet Earth.  If an advanced race of experts in your niche from the 24th century time traveled back to now, it should be to seek your advice.

The owner who’s name cannot be spoken didn’t do that.  Instead he surrounded himself with the wrong people.  He made bad decisions out of ignorance.  And the team (and us fans) suffered for it.  But worse, he wasn’t learning from his mistakes.  He just kept repeating them over and over again.

You Have To
Have A Plan

It’s bad enough not to have a plan.  But he wouldn’t stick to it.  Every time something went wrong he fired someone or over paid some new player that was well past his prime.

Being successful in social media and content creation means knowing the right way to do it and going out and executing the plan.  If you stumble, you get back up and keep moving forward.  You don’t fire your head coach just because.

This goes for anything, really.  Want to be successful at virtually anything?  Know more about it than anyone else, stay focused and execute your plan with religious consistency.  And if you know you’ve got a great plan and strategy, keep executing through the failures and set-backs.  You can’t win every superbowl.

The owners who’s name cannot be spoken didn’t live by these important basic fundamentals.  Maybe he’ll figure it out someday and bring my team back to its former glory.  If not, maybe we can find our Harry Potter to send him back to the underworld.

Your Content Syndication Strategy

Day 10 of The Social Media Challenge

Today is day ten, congratulations on still being with me.  Yesterday we got into setting up our blog.  If you’ve been holding onto your content, now is the time to publish away.  Here’s the process I follow to get the word out to the world.

You don’t need to do it the same exact way I do.  It has to be congruent with your vision and what you want the overall outcome to be.

Publish To Your Blog

In this process, our Central Content Hub is my blog.  This is the main home for all the content I’m creating.  The next step is to take that piece of content and share it across the internet.

If you only just set your blog up on Day 9, go to your blog and put each piece in there one at a time.  Make sure to publish them in the same order you wrote them.  This way they’ll all show up chronologically correct.

You Need To Create A Syndication Strategy

Writing a blog is not enough.  You have to have ways to get traffic to it.  Without going off into a Search Engine Optimization lesson, you have to let Google and the others know how darn important you are.

Below are the different places I like to make sure every piece of content is broadcast to.  There is some automation tools I use to accomplish this but for the most part I actually do most of it manually.

Google really doesn’t want you gaming their system.  So by syndicating one thing to a lot of different places with the intention of “optimizing” your site, you’re technically breaking Google’s terms.  In fact, it can be argued that just about anything you do to get traffic to your page, other than give Google money, breaks their terms.

They want things to grow organically. In other words, you create a web page and people talk about through their preferred online method.

Google is relying more and more on social media to understand the value of content that’s out there.  Here’s a video with Google big wig Matt Cutts discussing this:

 

 

So long story short, I don’t advocate trying to game the system.  Making sure your stuff is great content is a sure fire way to get it talked about.  But syndicating it to your own social media is the first way to get it out there.

Facebook Page

When you setup your Facebook account, that’s a personal profile.  A page is setup from within your personal profile.  When we syndicate to Facebook, you want it to be on a page.  This is where you will get the biggest bang.

Below you see that I posted it into my Eye On Social Media Facebook page.  I had images in that post so they get embedded which creates an eye catching visual.

I also ask a question above the link to the post.  I like posting questions and calls to actions such as ‘If you like this please share’.  This will greatly increase the amount of interaction you get on your updates.  And the more interaction you get, the better chance you have of more people seeing it.

 

Twitter

My Twitter account is linked to Facebook.  So every time I post something to Facebook it automatically goes to Twitter.  It will create a link right back to Facebook for any content that goes over 140 characters.

Linkedin

I post to Linkedin the same way I would to Facebook.  Simply put the same post right in the status box.

I usually try to keep it a little more professional.  Facebook, even though you can have a business page, can be much more casual while Linkedin is all about business.

You can also automate this so your Facebook goes straight to Linkedin.  This is convienent.  But each platform is different and I think it’s a good idea to respect them as such.  The way you post on Linkedin, may look different than Facebook as my example below.

Youtube

Youtube is a social network too.  When you view your channel, you can actually post what’s called a bulletin.  This is Youtube’s version of the status update.  It gives you a place to put a comment and another to put a Youtube video link.

You can see from the pictures I just put my comment and link to my blog in the bulletin.  That link will activate when it posts to my recent activity.

Now, of course, people on Youtube want to see videos.  So posting a link to a written blog will help give you some link love but people probably won’t care for the content.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can take your content and turn it into a video.  This is a little work but can really be worth it.

The way to do this is to create a presentation with the bullet points of your article.  Then use a screen capture tool to record it while you read the article to match the bullet points.  Boom, instant video.

Google Plus

The new kid on the block.  You betcha I want to be sharing my content on the new social media network created and run by the worlds most important search engine.

Here you share with your ‘Circles’.  Just another fancy word for Likes, Fans, Subscribers or Followers.  Every social network has to have their own fun name for it.

Podcast

As long as you’re reading the article anyway, why not turn it into an audio as well.  Now you can submit this to a podcast channel such as podcast.com.  You can even submit your podcast channel to the Itunes store.

On Another Note

We also want to make sure that our blog itself has a way people can Like, Tweet, Share that content.  You’ll notice below each of my posts you can Like the actual post.  You can plus it for Google Plus.  Or tweet it.  This is also really important to have installed on your blog, if possible.

But Wait, There’s More

There’s a whole slew of other social networks and bookmarking sites that we can strategically post are blogs too.  We’ll get into these “others” later on through the challenge.  But the big three; Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are absolute musts to get your content out there.  And quite frankly, they may just be enough if your stuff is good.

It should be automatic that you share your blog posts across these channels every time you publish.  Like James Earl Jones said to Kevin Costner: “If you post it, people will come, Ray.  People will most certainly come!”.

How To Get Your Blog Setup Fast

Day 9 – Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge

Welcome to day 9.  We’re almost a third of the way done!

If you have not yet setup your blog, today is the day.  Hopefully you’ve been producing your content every day.  If you have, you’ve got a lot of stuff to publish.

There’s two ways to setup a blog.  You can use your own site or someone else’s.

If you’re tech savvy or have someone to do it, you can setup a self hosted WordPress or other type of blog very quickly.

To Self Host Or
Not To Self Host

This blog you’re reading right now is a self hosted blog.  Without getting fancy and creating custom headers and CSS, I was able to go from start to published post in 30 minutes.

If you want free and easy, just use someone else’s.  And for that, I recommend Tumblr.com or WordPress.com.  You can be up and running in mere minutes.

Here’s A Short Video
That Shows You How

How To Create Content Without Writing – Video 101

Welcome to Day 8 of the Social Media Challenge

You don’t have to create written content.  Welcome to cheat day.  I’ll let the video explain.

 

5 Reasons You Need To Know The Experts In Your Field

Day 7 Of The Thirty Day Social Media Challenge

If your goal is to be considered an expert in your field, one thing is for sure; you better know who the other experts are.  Not only should you want to know who they are, you should also want to get on their radar.

If you’re working the 30 day social media challenge, and I hope you are, today we’re going to challenge you to find out who these key players are.  This takes a little digging sometimes but it is well worth it in the long run.  Here are 5 reasons you want to know who your experts are.

1: The Experts Will Give
You Content To Use

If you look on this blog you’ll see where I took the transcript from a great Q&A session that Joe Pulizzi or the Content Marketing Institute hosted.  In fact, here is the blog post: Q&A With Joe Pulizzi On Content Marketing.

Now, first of all, this was an incredibly valuable piece of content that I believe was well worth blogging about.  I honestly felt it should be shared.  So I shared it.

But the best part of this was, I took a piece of content that was already written.  I had to edit it because it wasn’t done as a blog post; it was on Facebook.  So I re-formatted it and put it into a blog post.

In the post, I gave full credit with links to the owners.  I explained why I was doing what I was doing and when I was done, I had a unique piece of content that had amazing value and it took me very little effort.

Afterwards, I also asked permission of the two authors.  One of the authors gave me a shout-out on his Facebook page which drove visitors to my blog.

2: The Experts Will Turn
You Into An Expert

Obviously, by reading the experts in your field, you’re going to build your own knowledge base.  Not just on the topic though.

A great thing about social media is that we can now easily see things that we used to have to hire focus groups to learn.  We can not only see the content they write but we can see which get the most likes.  We can see which get a lot of comments and the kinds of comments they get.

You’ll also be able to see how they promote their content.  What different social media channels do they broadcast to?  What sources seem to bring the most traffic back to the main source?

There are endless possibilities to learn from your experts about your topic.  But digging under the covers will give you a great deal of insight.

3: The Experts
Will Help You

I recently interviewed Mari Smith who is one of the top Facebook experts out there (she just released a new book called ‘The New Relationship Marketing‘).  She was very gracious to have done this with me.  (You can get this interview when you enter your email on this page, by the way.)

Years ago, a friend of mine got a job as a private chef for Bobby Bonilla who was a Baseball player for, at the time, my favorite team the New York Mets.  I got to go to a lot of games in luxury that year.  I even got to get my heart broken at the playoffs live and in person instead of the way it’s usually broken; on TV.

But the interesting thing to me is the instant fame association people make.  I am with a famous ball player so I must in some way be famous too.  It’s silly to think it happens, but it does.

The same thing happens here.  When you are endorsed in some way by an expert in your niche, you will instantly become an expert by association to many.  Not to all, but to a lot.

Now, it is important to do this genuinely.   I really wanted to interview Mari because I like her and think she’s an amazing resource who I wanted to share with my followers.  If I asked to interview her for nothing more than my own personal gain, she would have seen right through that.

If your heart is in the right place, your goal is unselfish and you have value to add, many experts in your niche will want to help you succeed.

Just remember, people want to be around, help and do business with people that they know, like and trust.  You gain much more in life by giving.

4: The Experts Will
Motivate You

It is always inspiring to see what others have accomplished.  If they can do it, so can you or me.  So where there is success already, there are possibilities for anyone else.

If you want to become an expert then eventually these people will be your peers, right?  So why not start thinking of them that way now?

Peers are there to lift each other up.  They are there to provide inspiration and motivation.

5: The Experts
Provide Community

In this day and age of social media, most top experts in about any niche probably have a huge following.  They may have a ton of people on their Facebook page.  Maybe they’ve got tens of thousands of loyal Twitter followers.  Maybe they have a forum or a blog.

These can be fantastic communities of the very people you’re looking to connect with.  They are already out there congregating in plain sight.

You can comment and post to these social media channels.  If you offer interesting insights, people will take a peek at your channels to see what you’re all about.  And once they’re there, you now have the opportunity to convince them to follow you too.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not about spamming someone’s Facebook page to trick their followers to like you.  That’s never met with success.

You must approach this as we’ve been discussing all along this challenge.  You have to provide high quality content.  If you do that, people will come.

In the social media world, Social Media Examiner is a great educational resource.  They also provide other social media managers a great community.

I hope this motivates you to get out there and learn about the experts in your field.  And if you’ve already done it, maybe you’ll find some new ones or some new ways to think about how you can utilize their expertise.

How to Always Follow Through and Accomplish your Goals

Day 6 Of The Thirty  Day
Social Media Challenge

By now you should have a ton of things to write about.  You should have started writing and hopefully publishing your content.

Today I want to share a powerful strategy that will help you to follow through and finish the challenge.  Not only will this help you here, but it will help you do virtually anything you want to in life.

I Have Broken Every
New Year’s Resolution
I’ve Ever Set

It’s less than a month away from New Year’s Eve.  This is the time of year when we all set those darned resolutions that most of us will never follow through on.  I’ve set resolutions at New Year’s parties that I’ve even broken before the clock struck twelve.

I’ve set goals to lose weight, to exercise more, to work harder in business.  I’ve set all sorts of crazy goals.  And not just New Year’s Eve but I set new goals all throughout the year that end up dying and going to goal heaven.

The Reason Why We
Set Goals That
We Don’t Follow Through On

We all do it.  And we’ll all probably continue to do it.  Hopefully, though, this will help break the cycle for you as it has for me.

There’s two main reasons why people don’t follow through with goals they set.  They are pleasure and pain.

We either truly don’t want the goal bad enough.  Or the goal doesn’t help to move us away from any real pain.

Anthony Robbins says we’re constantly working to move towards pleasure or away from pain.  If it’s not pleasurable to write and worse, causes pain, you’re not going to follow through with it no matter how much you think you will.

Or maybe there is something else going on at the moment you need to write that is more pleasurable causing writing to be painful at that moment.  You’re going to eventually give in.

So the idea is to understand all of the wonderful things that can come out of it.  And then you also must truly desire having those things.  But that we covered already.  What I want to cover is making it so painful to not write, that you will do whatever it takes to follow through.

Who Do You
REALLY Hate?

This is going to seem harsh, but you need to find the one person or thing on this Earth that you truly want nothing to do with on any level.  You need to feel at your core that you would rather wrestle a pack of Crocodiles than being anywhere near this person or thing.

Now I know it’s great to think we should all love each other.  But I have to think there is someone to hate for even the most loved person.  As much as the Pope cares for all, I bet he would rather not attend a Neo-Nazi meeting.

This thing could be a politician who’s ideas you totally disagree with on every level.  Could be an ex spouse who took your kids away and ruined you for life.  The idea of being near this person, group or thing must truly make your skin crawl.

This Might Just
Cost You $100

Next thing you do is write a check for $100 with today’s date to that person, group or thing.  And again, you have to really loathe this.  So if you’re a die-hard gun control advocate, write the check to the NRA.  If you’re Superman, write the check to Lex Luther.  Get the idea?

Now stick that check into an envelope, seal it, address it and put a stamp on it.  Repeat this process until you have 30 sealed envelopes with $100 check inside written to your nemesis.

Every day you don’t write and publish one piece you mail one check.  Every day you do, you toss one into the shredder.

 

The Idea Of Not Following
Through Will Cause You
Great Pain

Think you’ll be more motivated to write?  Darn tootin’ you will be!

I have to give credit to my friend, mentor and genius marketer Jason Silverman (pictured to the right) for teaching this to me.  Because of him I would miss the Super bowl if it meant a choice between getting my task for the day done and mailing one of those checks.

I should probably be mad at him for teaching this to me.  For all he knows, the checks I wrote for this project are addressed to him.  Unfortunately for him, this trick works so well he’ll never know.

Secret To Publish 20 Or More Blog Posts Fast

Now that you’ve gone through some exercises to get yourself motivated, create your vision and, I hope, even written your first few pieces, you need to plan what to write about the rest of the month.  By the end of this article, you should have a lot, if not all, your blog posts mind mapped out.

The Reason Most People Fail

A big problem many people face when they’re trying to create content for themselves or their clients is how to keep the momentum.  They write a couple pieces then all the sudden they’re scratching their heads trying to come up with content.

The big reason they stop is because there is no plan.  There’s no layout to follow that has a logical, connected path that is simple to follow.

This is all about creating a plan.  This is about creating a simple roadmap that use to crank out great content very quickly.

This Is A Great Method
But There Are More

Now there are a lot of ways to do this.  And as we continue on the Thirty Day Social Media Challenge, we’ll explore others.  But this is one of my very favorite methods that I use not only for myself, I run my clients through this as well.

I can’t take all the credit for this because I first learned it from Mike Keonigs of Traffic Geyser.  (Full disclosure: that link is an affiliate link so if you became a client of them I would get a commission).  This is part of a strategy that Mike uses to teach how to create massive amounts of content very quickly.

Mike advocates using this with video.  But the great thing is, it can be used for any kind of content creation.

This Simple Method
Can Generate
20 Different Topics 

It’s quite simple actually.  (Isn’t it amazing, by the way, how often some of the most profound methods are pretty easy?).  Take the 10 most frequently asked questions you get and the 10 questions people should ask you and answer them.  It can be more or less, but that’s the idea.

Now here’s the thing, if people are asking these questions on a regular basis about what it is you do, then you’ve got high interest content.  These are things people want to know.  Therefore it already has a high level of interest.  And that’s exactly what we want.

What Do Your Readers
Want To Know About You?

Take out a sheet of paper or open your word processor and list as many as you can for each.  If you can only do 5, that’s great.  If you can do more than 10, keep going:

1: Frequently asked questions – These are the top questions that you are continually asked about your product or service
2: Should ask questions – These are the top questions your customers should be asking

If you come up with 10 for each, you will have 20 powerful topics.  Now simply order them logically.  These can literally become your table of contents.

This Makes It
Much Easier To Write

Now go back and write your answers for each of them the same way you would if you were face to face with your prospect or customer.  Your answer is your individual blog post.  This one exercise alone could create 20 unique pieces of content.

As I mentioned, there’s other ways to come up with ideas and concepts for your content.  We’ll explore them later.  But here is a method to get you moving very fast.

Do you have one to share? Post yours in the comments below.

How to Create a Vision for Your Social Media Campaign

Welcome back to day 4!  Doesn’t time fly?

Now, if you’ve stumbled upon this and are wondering ‘What’s this day 4 thing?’  this is my thirty day social media challenge.  It’s all here in this blog and the best way to see the whole thing, is to look for the category for 30 Day Challenge over in the right hand side.

I should also tell you I wrote this as well as the previous posts on November 26th all at once.  My goal is to write at least once per day but, of course, if you have the motivation, write more.  It’s great to have a back log of things to publish and then each day you write is for your library of future things to publish.  In fact, I highly recommend this if it works for you.

What You Will Be
Writing About
For The Next Month

What is it you plan to write about over the next 30 days?  Today is all about creating the vision for what we want.

You start by literally writing the words ‘my vision for my content is…’.  Then keep going until you’ve got a crystal clear road map for what the content of the remaining days will be.

And you don’t need to do this for only 30 days.  But at least that much.  And remember this is day 4 so you only have 26 days left.

Once you get to day 30, you’re going to have some amazing habits formed.  I guarantee you’ll keep writing and churning out great content well after this with the greatest of ease.

Easy Way To Create Your
Grand Vision For Writing:
Just Copy Me

The best way for me to tell you how to create your vision statement is to tell you how I created mine.  This is where the rubber meets the road so do this and don’t continue on until you’ve got it.  The clearer your vision, the better your content will be, the easier it will be to create it and the more people will eventually consume it.

Now, the first part of this for me comes from my understanding of how people make things hit the big time on the internet.  It’s more than just content.  It’s community.  The biggest names in social media create a community.

Let’s start with the big kahuna; Facebook.  They created a tool that allows over 800 million people to share their lives online.  They created a community.

Coke, Dell, Dos Equis to name a few focused on their community first.  The content drips from that.  So my vision starts with what I want my community to look like.

The Simple Formula
That Defines Commerce
On The Web

I also know that life and death on the internet is decided by a very simple formula.  Traffic and conversions equals dollars.

Now, although this is 100% free blog my goal is to make money at what I do.  This does not mean that I am charging for the content though.  The most successful internet marketers and social media pros make their content free.

Facebook became Facebook by providing their system for free.  Countless other huge success stories have done the same.

If I charge for this content, no one will ever see it.  If Facebook charged their users, they would be probably out of business by now.

But by offering great content free, they have very high conversions.  Now, free alone does not help conversions.  As a matter of fact, free alone may just be viewed with wide eyed suspicion.

Great content for free that is greatly needed and even more importantly, desired, by a group of people will result in high conversions.  If the offer converts, all you need to do is drive traffic to it.

The More You Give,
The More You Gain

So, while there are many different ways to go about it, I strongly suggest you follow the free method.  And that what you give for free must be the best possible stuff you can muster.

Money will come later.  Just ask Mark Zuckerberg who saw his personal value go into the billions once they started advertising.  Like Facebook, you won’t see a hint of advertising on this blog while we’re building it up.  Not until it gets to a number of users where it makes sense to start.  That could be in the tens of thousands.

  • So the vision for this involves:
  • Giving 100% free high quality content away on a very regular basis
  • Having a lead capture system in place to capture emails
  • Providing incentives to Like, Follow, Friend, etc
  • Creating a community where people will feel compelled to participate
  • Attracting talent to contribute high quality free content

The vision for my central content hub is to teach social media managers my method for managing social media.  They may be professional social media managers or they may be a receptionist in the office who just got promoted to chief Facebook status updater.

Whatever their job or level of skill, my goal is to add a ton of value so they can be inspired, educated and be a part of a community of like-minded people.  Ultimately, I want to be able to help them do their jobs better.

This Is How To Write
Several Pieces Of Content

Now, here’s your homework.  You need to go and write at least one blog post and share your vision.

If you want a living breathing example to use as your road map, go and read the first three blog posts of this Thirty Day Social Media Challenge.  The intro, day 1 and day 2 all came from the act of understanding my vision.

Here are the blog posts for easy reference (and also so that I can blatantly create an SEO friendly link to promote other content).

Day 1 – Become the King of Content

Day 2 – Introduction to the Thirty Day Social Media Challenge

An Easy Method To Start Writing Your Content Today

Today we’re going to start writing.  If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry about it yet.  Setting up a blog is easy and can be done from setup to blogging in literally five minutes.  We’ll cover that in another post.  For now, let’s start creating content.

And remember, you need to be able to publish one piece of content for 30 days.  So even though we’re not publishing today, we’re going to start writing.

Don’t Get Paralysis
By Analysis

Ever start something and then you don’t follow through?  Or worse yet, you never even get off the ground because you spend way too much time analyzing and planning?  Well, today we’re just going to jump on in and get going.

We’ll come back to the high level planning stuff.  But the important thing is to get moving.  Otherwise we spend so much time thinking and planning that we never get started.  Then it can start to seem overwhelming.  And what happens when things feel overwhelming?  We give up.

 

A Simple System For
Creating Content

I love simple.  Simple makes everything easy.  And when things are easy, we follow through and have success.

You’re simply going to write answers to several questions to flush things out.  The questions are designed to help you build a piece of content in a step by step method.

If a friend asked you questions about your favorite topic, you would answer each in order.  Likely, they would start off with a very broad answer.  As they asked more questions, they’d get more specific and uncover deeper details of that thing.

If you transcribed your answers, you’d probably have a story that reads very logically, filled with great information, some intrigue, a little humor and interest.  We’re all natural story tellers.  But a lot of times we forget that when we sit down to write.

While you may not yet know what your vision is for the next thirty days, (we’ll cover that in the next few posts), the place to start is with you.  Introduce yourself to your audience in your first content piece.  Or, if you already know your topic, introduce us to it.

One Size Does NOT Fit All
Write The Way You Want To Write

Some people like to start with an outline.  So you can write your headline and sub headlines then fill in the meat later.  I love this process because it creates what’s called a second readership path.  It is how I am writing for this blog.

I have a headline and then I have these sub heads that are little headlines too.  They are designed to break up the page and allow skimmers to get the gist.  They should also stir up interest and make them want to keep reading.  For example:

How To Create A Second Reader Path
That Keeps Your Reader Focused In On You

Then you fill in the blanks and continue writing about what that sub head was about.  This is one method.

Or, you can just write from top to bottom.  Some people are better when they just start and keep going until they’re done.

You may yet have another method.  There really are no wrong ways.  The right way is the way that gets you the best result.

In life, most things have different ways to come about to the same result.  Maybe brain surgery has one way, but I find most things have plenty of different ‘right ways’.  Feel free to share yours in the comments.

There’s More Than One Way
To Skin A Cat Or
How I Passed Math

When I was in college I was having a real hard time with math.  I kept failing out of the class and having to take it again.

Finally made my way to the dreaded Calculus, (which I all but forgot five minutes after the course was over), and I was again failing.  Another kid in the class was having a hard time with it too.  So he invited me to join him at his old high school where his former math teacher offered to tutor us.

She gave us a completely different way to solve the calculations than our professor did.  And this method I understood.  And we aced the test.

Being that the calculations were on the test, the professor thought we cheated.  It took us an hour to educate the man that there is not always just one right way.  I finally put math behind me.  So never be afraid to create your own method.

Answer 8 Questions And
Create Powerful Content

Just answer all these questions in a sentence.  Then go back or continue expanding upon it to build out your paragraphs.

Later, come back and re-write it so it flows.  Keep adding to it until you think you’ve got your final version.

1: What is this about? This is your opening.  Here you write the overview of what it is you’re about to cover in the rest of the piece.

2: What is the reason you’re writing this?

3: What burning question does your reader have that this will answer?

4: How will this benefit your reader/what problems will it solve?

5: What should the reader be doing or how should they feel after they’ve finished reading this?

6: Do you have a story from your life or somewhere else that can illustrate your points?

7:  What do you hope you’ve accomplished for your reader?

8:  What should your reader to now?

Now You’re Ready
To Start Writing

Each time I write I go through this Q&A to kick things off.  Sometimes I end up with ideas that spark the final version.  Sometimes the answers become the final version.  However it turns out for you, it’s a lot better than staring at a blank sheet of paper.

If you go through what I just wrote and compare it to my Q&A’s, you’ll see it fits nicely within this mold.  You may find that your finished piece looks nothing like this when you’re done as you will likely proof read it, make grammatical changes, have new ideas and tighten everything up.  But this will be a great starting point especially if you have a hard time writing.

Now it’s your turn.  Go ahead and get started writing.

 

How To Never Fail – Let the Social Media Challenge Begin

So here we are, day 2.  If you have not read the introduction to the challenge or day 1 post, you should do that first.

Today you need to get started with the mindset first.  One of the biggest downfalls to success for me, in almost any endeavor I’ve ever tried and failed at, is that I just didn’t follow the steps.  I dove right in and started where I wanted to and then skipped the boring stuff.  I’m a little impatient.

The Big Secret:
Why People Really Fail

The times I follow every step, I succeed.  It’s almost impossible to fail when you follow a tried and true process.  So please do each step.  Give it the appropriate amount of thought and effort.  Think of each step here as a part.  You take one part at a time, in the correct order to assemble the model airplane.

Eventually, you will get to a point in this process where you start creating content.  Most people will want to skip this boring planning stuff and dive into the fun content creating stuff.  But they lack the road map that came in the begining.  Then they’ll get discouraged because the efforts won’t get the results they want.  They’ll blame me.  But rest assured, it will be because they started building the model airplane from the middle; the fun part.

You’ll have plenty of writing to do.  Our goal will be to write every single day.  First, we need to get some really important steps done.

The Ugly Truth:
A Personal Admission

One of the curses that social media managers have is that we’ve got to be creative.  So this step is creating a process that will allow for maximum creativity.  The goal is to get ourselves into fighting shape.  Peak performance requires peak condition; mentally and physically.

I really let myself go over the years.  I weigh more than I ever have (my weight has rarely ever gone down).

At six foot, and at my heaviest ever, I weighed in at 240 pounds.  At that height and weight I am considered obese.

My biggest issue is that I have developed pre-diabetes.  This is actually my first public admission of this by the way.

I’ve had high cholesterol and high triglycerides for probably almost 20 years.  So pre-diabetes is no surprise really.

The sad part is I have never been able to change my lifestyle for more than 2 weeks at a clip.  That’s a recipe for disaster and yes, at 44 I am starting to get concerned.  And yes, I should have been concerned 20 years ago.  Whatever happens, I’ve probably got it coming.

The Big Reason I Am Being Honest
And Why You Should Too

Why am I telling you this?  Two reasons.  The first is that if you’re going to create truly great content you have to be willing to be open and honest.

People are not stupid.  They’re quite savvy these days to marketing tricks and slick manuevers.  And they’re getting more sophisticated every day.

So to try to fake people out with marketing BS is a waste of team.  Finding ways to connect with people honestly and sincerely will create a much deeper connection.

The second reason I am telling you this is that it’s all connected.  I’ve gotten myself so bad with my blood sugar that I have no choice any longer but to turn it around.

One of the symptoms of high blood sugar is exhaustion.  I was always tired.  It has become a struggle to do anything.  The more tiring the activity the harder it was.

It became a cycle.  I was tired so I didn’t have the energy to do the things I needed to do to feel better.  And the more I let this go, the worse it got.

I finally just went cold turkey into the diabetic diet.  Which is a great diet for anyone, by the way, not just diabetics.

When I Feel Great
I Accomplish Great Things

Very quickly that week I was able to reduce my blood sugar.  As soon as it fell below a certain point, my energy started coming back which resulted in me doing more work and better work.

Hot Air Balloon While Writing About Social Media ContentAnthony Robbins is one of my favorite motivational speakers.  He talks a lot about the connection between physiology and psychology.  And having eaten my – (as I was typing this I looked up and saw a hot air balloon go right over my house.  So I ran out to have a look.  Not that you care but it was pretty cool.) – way into a predicament where I was almost unable to operate, I can tell you first hand he couldn’t be more right.

If you feel physically poor, everything you do will follow suit.  Not that I didn’t produce top work.  I had no choice.  But it took me twice as long and was laborious and often painful to accomplish.  The result is I was either working or sleeping.

So to produce the best work in the fastest amount of time, my body needs to be functioning properly.  Can’t poor high fructose corn syrup into a car’s gas tank and expect it to run.  Can’t do it to our own engine either.

The 30 Day Challenge For Me
Is About Much More Than Just Writing

So this 30 days isn’t just about writing.  It is about immersing myself into a project.  Thus, I’ve made fitness a part of the process.

That process is healthy eating to fuel my body.  A morning walk while listening to the motivational speaker of the day to wake up and fuel my mind.  It’s so important to put good things in.

As soon as I finish, I will write one piece of content.  Inspiration will not just come from preparation which we get into tomorrow, but from what I am doing immediately prior to writing.

What Will Your Pre Writing
Ritual Be For Maximum Impact?

This is part of it.  Pick your own pre-writing ritual.  And do it all first thing.  Make it a priority and get it done first.

It doesn’t need to be walking for you.  But you should do something that will get you motivated, stimulate your mind and get your body in the proper state.  It can be anything that works for you personally.

Funny thing is, I used to not exercise because I felt like I was taking time away from work.  After all, ya gotta work, right?  But if I get up and just sit down in front of my computer to write, I don’t.  I first check emails, then Facebook, then emails again.  I then try to start writing but I can’t because I am trying to force it.

So I waste time.  I do other things.  I come back to the writing but then have to change my focus.

In the end, the piece gets written but it takes 4 hours.  And it is only an average piece that now needs to be re-written.

But now I’ve taken too much time so I need to work longer.  I get run down because I am working too much, don’t spend enough time with my family.  Then I get frustrated.

What This Really Is:
How To Get More Done

If I get up and walk listening to a motivational speaker on my ipod, it takes about an hour.  Then I come back and sit down to write and I can then churn out a piece that needs only minor editing in 30 minutes.  I end up feeling pumped because I accomplished something.  I work less and I feel great.

So that’s my ritual.  I get up and plug in the ipod and do either an hour walk or half hour on the elliptical.  And if I don’t feel ready to write, I keep moving until I do.

Then I make a big pot of tea (because I am a tea-aholic) and then I get to writing.  Now you need to find that ritual for yourself that will get you into the perfect mental and physical state for writing.

Today’s assignment, write it out.  What will you do to prepare yourself.  Again, this is not necessarily to publish.  Although, write it like you will publish it.  But do something to pump you up first…

See ya tomorrow!