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Pinspiration Saturday: Mental Space with Paula Pant

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Today, we have another great quote for Pinspiration Saturday, our NMX weekly series where we highlight profound and inspiring quotes from our latest speakers to help motivate you. If that quote resonates with you, we hope you’ll take a minute to share the “pinspiration” with your followers on Pinterest by pinning it! And as always, you can also share via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or any of your favorite social networks.

You are what you think

Did you know that we’re at the best point in human history for going on adventures? If something is holding you back, you need to check out this post from Paul Pant at Afford Anything. As always, Paula is spot on with her advice about fear.

Every entrepreneur has doubts. You might not think that fear is what is holding you back in life, but for most of us, the road blocks in our life are actually caused by our own insecurities. We focus on the negative what-ifs, when we should be looking at all the possibilities in life.

Are you letting fear dictate the decisions you’re making about your content?

If you enjoyed Paula’s post about facing your fears, make sure you catch her presentation at NMX 2014. She’ll be speaking about the Art of Jaw-Dropping Content in our blogging track. Check out Paula’s full profile here to learn more about her and her session.

Bloggers Have a Choice: Do Something Awesome

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I’ve been Twitter friends with Ainslie Hunter since…well, I don’t even know when! Soon after BlogWorld 2010 last fall, and I believe it was the lovely Jade Craven who was the mutual link. We became fast friends over our love of Glee, and in a few days, I’m excited to meet Ainslie face-to-face for the first time. Yay!

When BlogWorld started accepting submissions for speaker proposals, I was glad to hear that Ainslie was going to submit one. I personally don’t have any control over which proposals get chosen, but I sent a quick note telling the whole BlogWorld team how much I enjoy her blog’s topic, her proposed session, and her, just as a person.

Ainslie’s proposal was not chosen.

Like I said, I don’t have control over the people who are chosen. Heck, I don’t even see the submissions (and that’s fine with me – what a tough job). I don’t know why Ainslie’s proposal was turned down. Every year, BlogWorld has to turn down amazing speakers. Sometimes there’s another speaker who proposes the same thing but has more experience. Sometimes , the track is filled and the presentation doesn’t really fit in. Sometimes…well, a million reasons could keep a great speaker from being accepted. Ask Deb Ng if you want to know more. It takes to so to pick speakers not just because of the volume of proposals to read but because it’s a hard job to pick between awesome sessions.

Ainslie, upon reading her rejection, had two choices, right? Get mad or get even!

Those are, after all, the choices I’ve seen others take. Some rejected speakers got mad, privately or publicly. I’m not talking “I’m upset that I didn’t make it” or “I’m mad at myself” or even “I think they were wrong.” I’m talking “BLEEPITY BLEEP, BLOGWORLD, YOU BLEEPERS. BLEEEEEEEP!”

Some rejected speakers get even. They use the rejection as motivation to do better, be better, prove us wrong. It’s not really a terrible way to go, but it’s fueled by the same thing – anger.

So instead, I’d like to propose that there’s a third choice. Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Do something awesome.

Ainslie showed me that. When she read her her rejection, she didn’t rant on social media or her blog about how wrong we were. She didn’t go into a product creation frenzy, trying to prove that we  made a bad choice, getting even with us in some way. She did this.

That’s right, Ainslie said, “Oh well, maybe next year” and released all of the information that would have gone on her blog for free for her readers. She’s attending BlogWorld in full force and has continued to support the conference even more than some of the people who were chosen as speakers have.

Now, this is not a post about how I think you should support BlogWorld no matter what, or even how you should be okay with every bad things that happens to you and your blog. You shouldn’t. But you don’t have to get mad. You don’t have to get even. You can turn whatever negativity happened into something awesome.

The ripple effect is that Ainslie has a really cool promotional tool that she can talk about when she meets people in New York. The ripple effect is that the BlogWorld team feels a connection with Ainslie and is sincerely hoping to cross paths with her – and I can’t speak for the rest of the team, but I for one won’t hesitate to recommend her in the future. The ripple effect is that people want to help her because she comes from a place of positivity.

The ripple effect could happen for you too. Again, this isn’t about BlogWorld. What it is about is learning to take the bad things that happen, any bad thing, and make them good. A lot of people think the “get even” option is the good option, but if you’re only creating a product or writing a post or whatever to prove someone wrong, are you really pursuing your passion? Or are you just stroking your ego, protecting your pride? Is what you’re doing coming from a place of good or a place of bad?

We’re all hurt sometimes, and we all get defensive sometimes. Heck, maybe it’s even rightfully so. But when things are out of your hands, when people say no to you or don’t believe in you, nothing you can do will change that. Shed your tears, punch a wall…and then move on. Yes, even if it wasn’t fair. Negativity can eat you up from the inside out if you let it. I should know; I’ve been there.

Do awesome. Be awesome. I know that everyone out there is capable…more than capable… of it.When someone says no to you, when something bad happens, they can’t be any more of a roadblock than you become to yourself. Instead, simply learn from the experience, and keep on keepin’ on. That’s what makes a successful blogger, after all – the willingness to learn and the drive to succeed.

Why Harness the Power of Motivation?

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Farnoosh Brock Speaker: Farnoosh Brock
Session: Motivation for the New Media Professional
Date: Thursday, May 26
Time: 11:15AM-12:15PM
Location: Jacob Javits Center 1A17

How much would the world miss out on what we can offer if we stop toiling away at our tasks, projects, passions and dreams right now?

It is impossible to answer this question accurately because we are powerful beyond measure and if we desire it, we can reach heights beyond our wildest imagination with the right determination, single-minded focus, and motivation.

Yet, when everything is poised so perfectly for us to succeed, why can we not rely on motivation to stand its ground and see us through to the end? We can know our own gifts, use our talents, believe in our path, and feel certain that we can make a difference and still, motivation can manage to find a way to run away.

How can we harness our motivation the same way we harness our talents, our gifts and our skills?

The only way to know the power of your own motivation is to know the lack of it. I have known many of those occasions when my massive motivation has deserted me, and with it, I have deserted plans, projects and pursuits.

Without my large dose of daily motivation, my best intentions to accomplish anything come short and my best-laid plans go awry. I believe motivation to be a non-negotiable element in all my pursuits, large or small. Without motivation, my yoga session is missing the inner fire, my writing is missing spirit, and my life is missing color, energy and intensity. With motivation, the dullest and hardest days become worthwhile, the longest hours turn tolerable, and the largest obstacles are removable.

I wanted to speak about Motivation at Blogworld before even knowing whether it would fit the schedule, agenda or the theme of the Blogworld Conference in May. I simply knew that motivation affects us all, be it in the blogging, writing, speaking, or other digital media professional worlds – and I am overjoyed to be speaking on the topic on Thursday, May 26th at 11:15am.

Motivation makes or breaks your success. Motivation holds the key that unlocks your true potential. Motivation enables and empowers you to turn an idea into an action and a dream into a reality.

What price do you put on motivation?

Farnoosh is the founder of Prolific Living, a space about Smart Habits for Rich Living. She talks about turning ideas into actions and fear into motivation. She explores rich living through world travel, yoga, writing, reading, speaking and photography. She is delighted to be speaking at Blogworld in May 2011.

Learning Versus Taking Action (and a new tool from BlogcastFM!)

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As bloggers, there is no lack of free information available to learn more about blogging – monetizing, building readership numbers, creating killer content, etc. The BlogWorld archives alone houses over 1000 posts (and counting!), and there are countless other blogging and social media sites online that you can check out.

But you can spend every day reading or watching videos or listening to podcasts about blogging…and do you actually implement the advice these bloggers? I talked about career inaction on After Graduation last week, and I know I’ve touched on it here at BlogWorld too. We want our blogs to be better. We want to make more money. We want to help more people. We want, we want, we want…but do we actually do anything to make those wants actually happen?

Often, the answer is no – and it’s not completely your fault.

Well, logically, it is your fault. It’s not fair to start blogging and expect someone to hold your hand or blame someone when you don’t get things done. Only you can make your blog successful. At the same time, blogs that give you advice – yes, even this one – rarely give you points of action or help in implementing their advice. I don’t know about you, but I often feel so overwhelmed by the sheer about of stuff I’m told to do, that I end up shutting down completely. If you don’t have a plan, it’s hard to make forward progress.

I am getting better at making a list of actionable steps as I read or listen to advice from bloggers I respect. But it’s about to get a whole lot easier thanks to some smart dudes.

Earlier this week, I finally took some time to check out BlogcastFM. I’ve definitely heard other people mention this site before, and I knew “of” Srini and Sid (the guys who run it), but we just haven’t crossed paths in the past. I just…didn’t take action. “I’ll get around to checking it out someday.”

The other night, I happened to be looking at my to-do list while on Twitter, and I saw Sid tweet that they were hanging out on Ustream answering questions about a new service they’d be providing, BlogcastFM Premium. I barely knew what the regular BlogcastFM was about, so I wasn’t really interested in anything “Premium,” but I thought to myself, “This is a perfect opportunity to cross something off my to-do list.

I’m a bit of an introvert, so crashing someone’s Ustream party is daunting for me, but I bit the bullet and showed up, while also heading to the BlogcastFM site. As often happens when I actually take action about something I’ve been putting off, I immediately wondered what had took me so freakin’ long. For those of you who have not yet checked out BlogcastFM, the site is filled with interviews with successful bloggers, both from the make-money-with-your-blog niche and other niches. You get to hear their stories and learn about what has and has not worked for them. I’ve already been steadily working through their archives, and the content is amazing.

Amazing…and overwhelming.

Which brings me back to my original point – it’s great to take the time to learn from other bloggers, but it’s hard to take action, especially when facing a site like BlogcastFM for the first time. Over 100 interviews, each which contain tons of advice? It’s pretty hard to get motivated because it feels like such a difficult task to get the ball rolling.

Just as I was thinking that during the Ustream chat, Srini and Sid started talking about what they were actually there to promote – their premium site. I kid you not, it was like one of those moments where the heavens sign down and you here, “AHHHHHHHHHHH.”

What Srini and Sid have done is create action plans for every interview. With premium access, you can download the interview as an MP3 (perfect if you’re on the go as often as I am), but more importantly, they’ve teamed up with Mike Tiojanco to help you actually take action. With every interview (12 per month, plus access to archives), you’ll get a workbook to help you digest the interview and a mindmap to help you organize your thoughts. The guys gave me access to their premium site to check it out for y’all, and I can tell you firsthand that the content is extremely interactive and high-quality. If you have a problem implementing all the good ideas you know would make your blog better, BlogcastFM Premium is a tool you should check out.

Please note – the final link in this post is an affiliate link, but anyone who’s read here knows how important I think it is to take actions to reach your goals! I would recommend BlogcastFM even if that wasn’t an affiliate link. You can also get their free ebook here if you’re not yet ready to take the step in purchasing anything right now!

What Motivates You?

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Earlier this week, I posed the question, “Where are the Remarkable Bloggers?” and it’s been nice to see some readers replying. For those who haven’t yet, I hope that post helped to inspire you to examine what you’re doing as a blogger and how you can move from “just” a blog to something much more. Blog posts (and comments) can definitely be inspirational!

Motivation makes your ideas grow.

But inspiration and motivation aren’t the same thing. I’m inspired all the time, but it takes something more than inspiration to actually motivate me to do something.

Inspiration makes you say, “I want to…” or even “I’m going to…” but motivation makes you actually do those things. We all need the spark of inspiration, but that spark will die without motivation. I would definitely argue that you can’t have motivation without inspiration, but few people understand that inspiration also depends on motivation if you actually want to move forward.

I’d like to talk to you a little about what motivates me most, and then turn over the floor to you. So get your fingers ready to leave a comment about your personal motivation.

My Motivation

Today, someone called me a failure.

I’ve felt like a failure many times. I think we all have, and that’s not limited to bloggers. I tweeted about it, for two reasons: 1) It hurt to hear that, regardless of whether or not I believe it and 2) I fires me up to want to prove the person wrong.

As is usually the case with emotional tweeting, I got some responses, including one from Andy Hayes (@andrewghayes), who I’m quickly learning is one of the most supportive people on Twitter and possibly in the whole world.

@allison_boyer: When people call me a failure, it just makes me realize I’m not.

@andrewghayes: eww! who said that? 🙁

@allison_boyer: Someone who I will prove wrong, one step forward at a time!

@andrewghayes: you dont have anything to prove to them.

You know what? He’s right. I was being motivated by an extremely negative comment, from someone I consider a friend, and turning it into more negativity. Ha! I’m going to prove you wrong!

But I don’t have to prove him wrong. I could work and work and work and at the end of the day, what I do may never be good enough for this person to consider me anything but a failure. Or if not him, someone else might call me a failure. I can’t control others’ reaction to me.

So what motivates me is not the negativity of wanting to prove someone wrong. What I’m allowing to motivate me is the drive to be better for myself. Someone thinks I’m a failure, and I may never be able to convince him that I’m not, but I can use that as motivation to be better than I am right now, to take steps forward, to always reach for success, whether I can prove it to him or not. And more than that, I can surround myself with people who cheer me on, rather than break me down.

So what motivates me is the need to be better, and the reminder that it isn’t ok to stand still. What motivates me is not the need to do more and more and more and more so much that I can’t slow down, but to be better at the things I do choose to do. What motivates me is people like Andy Hayes and all the other wonderful supporters I have on Twitter and otherwise, telling me that they believe in what I’m doing.

Your turn – what motivates you?

Where are the Remarkable Bloggers?

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Many of us started blogs to get out of the rat race, but I’m noticing more and more that there’s a blogging rat race all of it’s own. We fall onto this treadmill of needing to post, post, post, post. And it goes beyond writing posts. We fill our hours to the brim with answering emails, tweaking site design, replying to comments, reading posts from other bloggers in our niches, writing guest posts or editing guests post that people have submitted for our own blogs, and on and on and on and on.

But what are you doing, right now, that is truly remarkable?

Yesterday, Nathan Hangen tweeted something that made me extremely sad.

I’m desperate from something new, innovating, or fresh – what’s the most amazing piece of work you’ve seen lately?

Why did it make me sad? Because I honestly couldn’t think of anything to recommend to him off the top of my head. I know people who are running awesome blogs that I enjoy reading, but that’s part of the blogger rat race. I know people who are interesting on Twitter, but that’s part of the blogger rat race. I know people who have amazing ideas, but…well, you get the picture.

What project are you working on that’s going to change the world?

Perhaps that seems a bit intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be a plan to end world hunger or cure cancer. Your remarkable project could be something that starts much smaller, changing the lives of those around you in your niche. But if you create something remarkable, you will start to see that ripple effect.

And this all could start with an awesome blog post or interesting tweets or great ideas. Even the biggest forest fire starts with a single spark. The problem is, few people expand upon those remarkable sparks. If you’ve ever been a scout, like I was, you know – when you build a campfire, you have to baby those first few smoldering wisps of smoke. You nurture the flames until they grow and even though it gets easy, you can’t stop feeding that fire unless you want it to die.

Are you feeding the fire?

It’s easy to watch top names in any industry release products, create new blogs, start membership sites, and so forth, but you have remarkable ideas too. It might take you a little longer to complete, and it might take a little longer for you to see an outpouring of supporters, but if it’s something that you’re passionate about, something that you truly believe in, it’s worth doing. And worth promoting.

Today, I released a product at After Graduation that I think is remarkable. It isn’t relevant for everyone, but it is for writers. BlogWorld encouraged me to take the spark, that product idea that I was throwing around for over a year now, and develop it into not just a few pages of notes, but a real ebook. And I’m going to fan that fire, growing from this product to make more that help people in the freelance industry.

I’d like to invite you to share your remarkable products, ideas, and sparks. I was so sad at Nathan’s tweet not only because I think there’s a lack of remarkable things happening out there, but also because the things that are remarkable? I don’t know about them or realize people are working on them. And that’s partially my fault. I feel like lately I’ve been needing to slow down a bit and support others, rather than just plowing ahead with my own remarkable projects.

So… leave a comment! Tell me what you’re doing right now or planning in the future. Tell me what makes you remarkable. Tell me what you have for sale or for free that is going to change the world, or at least the lives of those in your niche. Or tell me what you’ve seen out there from other people. Link for me (and other readers) all of your glorious remarkable-ness!

Overheard on #Blogchat: Stat Discouragement (@tsudo)

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Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night, I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This week’s theme: Understanding your blog’s analytics and using that info to grow your blog’s readership

As I’ve already said once tonight, stats are not my favorite. I don’t like analyzing them. Heck, I don’t even like checking them. I think one tweeter tonight especially touched on why stats are hard for me:

@tsudo: Measuring audience is important but don’t allow it to be a discouragement to creating useful content.

No matter how well my blogs are doing, I always have higher aspirations. I’m one of those annoying people who is never satisfied, even when I reach my goals. So, stats always seem like a bit of a let down to me. The doubt starts to creep in.

I’m not growing fast enough.

My reader bounce rate is super high. I must not be writing engaging content that encourages people to stick around.

Most of my referrals are from Google. I’m not doing enough to promote by blog through social networking sites, and no one feels compelled to retweet my links.

I had a bad stats day. All is lost.

I know in my heart that even a horrible stats day doesn’t mean that all is lost, yet it if easy to look at stats and wonder why you aren’t doing better. I bet some of the most popular bloggers in the world look at their stats some days and feel discouraged that they only have one million readers instead of two million readers.

The key is to be productive when you look at your stats, rather than letting it paralyze you and prevent you from creating good content.

Take a good look at your last two weeks of posts. Are they high quality? Are they original? Are they focused to be relevant for your target market? Are they consistent? If you truly believe in what you’re doing, keep doing it. Don’t stop just because you see a day of bad stats or aren’t growing as quickly as you wish you could be.

Of course, on the flip side, it is also important to not ignore bad stats. If your readership hasn’t grown for months, you have to ask yourself: why? Maybe you need to reevaluate your niche, your market focus, or your style approach. Don’t blindly continue to post for months or even years if you have no readers. Figure out why.

The point is, take any stat number with a grain of salt. It’s easy to get down on yourself if you think you could be doing better, but rather than simply not posting, continue producing high-quality content and take steps to discover why you aren’t doing as well as you’d like to be doing.

Check out “Overheard on #Blogchat” here every Sunday to read about some of the most interesting tweets from participating bloggers.

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