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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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What do you know about blogging?

On one hand, blogging is simple – put some words into a blogging platform and publish them. Make them good words and you’ll get lots of readers.

On the other hand, there is a lot of skill, strategy and knowledge that goes into running a good blog. And a lot of different measures for deciding if a blog is successful, or not.

leanring ABC of blogging

There is a lot to learn about blogging – but the important aspects are already with you

So what do you know about blogging?

What do you want to know about blogging?

Do you know why you care about blogging?

This isn’t a trick question I can give you an answer to.

I do think it is important to know why you are blogging (or thinking of blogging).

If you know why, you can make your blog suit that purpose and you have something to measure your success against.

For instance, if your aim is to build awareness of topic X, you can decide if 10 targeted readers is enough or if you need thousands of readers a week. Whereas if your aim is to blog to build  a habit of writing 200 words a day, a look at your post dates is an easy measure of your success.

I recently read a post by Rhianna which lists what she knows about blogging. It isn’t a technical list of how long posts should be, the best post frequency or choosing great titles, but a more basic list of what she knows about herself and her blogging purpose.

Like the Cheshire Cat said, how will you ever know you have arrived if you don’t know where you are going?

In a business context, I think this becomes even more important as time blogging could be spent elsewhere for perhaps greater profit – how do you know the blog is ‘working’ and worth the effort if you don’t know what it is meant to achieve for your business?

Even if you hire someone like me to help write or edit your blog posts, you need to know the purpose of your blog to assess it’s worth. And give direction to the writer.

So in the comments below, let me know why you blog. Or put in your ideas of maybe why you blog to help form your final answer and see if that changes how you blog.

* Images courtesy of 123rf

Choosing your environment

One of the factors influencing your happiness and success is the environment you find yourself in – and you do have control over it.

I recently read a blog post by Donna-Marie which reminded me of the impact people have on your life. I honestly believe that if you surround yourself with positive people, you will have a more positive attitude and are likely to find solutions and opportunities. Which of course means that if you spend lots of time with negative, no-hope people, it is much harder to reach your potential and feel happy.

This can impact many of your choices, such as:

  • make sure you employ staff who are positive and creative rather than complainers
  • only attend seminars and networking events where you feel a positive environment – if group members are not supportive or encouraging, you probably won’t benefit much from spending time with them
  • if choosing between two suppliers, pick the one who has a can-do attitude or enthusiasm over the one who makes the project sound like hard work or an interruption to their schedule
  • only use a coach or mentor who believes in success and finding solutions

Who you associate with can even impact on your writing style – positive people use words like “can”, “will”, “value” and “ideas” which inspire you and make your writing positive, too.

Have you ever experienced an obvious change by changing who is around you?

I once knew some people who couldn’t  help themselves from lying and adjusting perceptions to maintain their view of reality. Their behaviour made me uncomfortable and I didn’t like being unable to trust them, so I made a conscious decision to not associate with them. There was actually a great sense of relief when they were no longer part of my life, and I have taken care since to choose who I spend time with whenever possible.

Business flexibility or constraints?

Obviously, there are many reasons behind people starting up a business rather than being an employee. But a common reason, or support for another reason, is the desire for flexibility.

I have heard “I hate working 9 to 5 so I started my own business” or words to that affect a number of times. And yet those same people may well find that running a business requires more than 8 hours a day, 7 days a week to be a success.

Valerie Khoo not only discusses this issue but gives some good tips on how to plan flexibility into your businessin a blog post last month. I think her most important point is the planning – you need to know what flexibility you want (or need) and then plan the business around that.

For example, one flexibility I want is to be able to go on school excursions with my daughters, especially while they are young enough to be excited by my presence! Therefore, I do not claim to be available during all business hours and my regular clients know I sometimes work at nights or weekends instead of during traditional business hours. One client had a deadline for an article last week when I was at the zoo so we agreed he could call me at the zoo and I would talk him through any technical issues. Flexibility.

I would find it much harder to go on excursions if I had a traditional office where people were encouraged to drop in for meetings.

Sometimes a compromise will be necessary to achieve the desired flexibility. For example, to only work 3 days a week you may have to accept earning less than if you worked 5 days a week or accept having staff or outsourcing more.

If you run a business, from home or elsewhere, do you have the flexibility you expected when you started? Would you like more flexibility in your life to do things other than business?

I would suggest you plan your ideal week, business and personal combined, and see how far it is from reality then look for ways you can move closer to the ideal.

Use your time wisely!

Fear – the biggest time waster!

You might think surfing the web, playing games online or deleting spam are some of the biggest time wasters in your business, but I suggest that fear may actually be the biggest waste of all.

Think about it – if you fear making cold calls, you will suddenly find time to tidy your desk, sort emails and check links on your website! Or fear of a big project may make you procrastinate submitting your application, so much so that you do a rushed job and miss out.

Fear means we don’t get tasks done, and they stay in our minds so we can’t focus 100% on other tasks either. Although I don’t always do it myself, lol, I believe that the things we fear in business are the things we need to do NOW so we can get passed them. That doesn’t mean we won’t be scared of them next time they come around, but maybe we’ll know we can survive them!

As Michelle says in her ShelDesign blog,“if we let fear control our actions, it WILL steal our dreams.” And losing our dreams is a huge waste of our time.

How do you manage fear in your business? Do you find fear of failure or fear of success to be a bigger issue for you?