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23 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Blogger Health


Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Blogger Health

The combination of working long hours at a desk, squinting at a computer screen all day, and working from home with full access to the fridge is a recipe for pretty poor health conditions for most bloggers. So this week, we’re talking about blogger health. This is an edition of Brilliant Bloggers we all need in order to ensure that we’re healthy enough to blog well into the future. Take care of yourself, everyone!

(Note: I am not a doctor, so before putting any practices into effect, also talk to your family physician to make sure it’s the best choice for your body!)

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

Say Bye-bye to Blogger Body, and Hello to Better Health by Tania Dakka

This post from Tania covers all of the essentials that you need to know about blogger fitness. Tania goes into details about five ways to live a healthier life as a blogger: diet, hydration, focus, exercise, and sleep. Writes Tania:

As bloggers, we love to get things done. We’re experts at hyper-focusing. And it feels good—really good—when we write master content we know rocks our readers’ worlds—even if it means hours on hours in the chair bent over our keyboards, drinking pots of coffee, and eating whatever we can get our hands on.

But, you’re bound to hit the wall sooner or later. The aching in your back that’s screaming louder than your three-year-old will become a relentless signal that can’t be ignored.

You have to take care of yourself—or your content will suffer.

After checking out Tania’s post, which is a guest post on the Problogger blog, check out her own blog, at TaniaDakka.com and follow her on Twitter at @taniadakka.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 7 Big Benefits of Exercise for Bloggers by Jared Singler
  2. 8 Useful Tips for Bloggers to Stay Healthy by Dr. Rajesh Moganti (@rajeshmoganti)
  3. 30 Useful Health Tips For Full Time Bloggers by Vijayraj Reddy (@vijayrajreddy)
  4. Are Bloggers Really Putting their Health at Risk? by Lea Woodward (@leawoodward)
  5. Blog, But Do Care About Your Health! by Saksham Talwar (@sakshamtalwar)
  6. Blogs May Help Teens Reduce Social Stress by Rick Nauert PhD
  7. Blogger Fitness Tips from Bob Greene by Kelby Carr (@typeamom)
  8. Computer Work Postures and Injury: The Stress of Reaching for the Mouse, A Doctors’ Perspective by Dr. Steven R. Jones
  9. Does Blogging Help New Mothers Relieve Stress? What the Research Actually Shows by Kristen (@stressandhealth)
  10. Free Stretching Exercise Reminder for Computer Users by Binary Head
  11. Health Tips for Bloggers: Stay Healthy While you Blog by Richard  (@thefreshhealth)
  12. How to Improve Your Computer Fitness by Heather Long
  13. On Being a Healthy Blogger by Darren Rowse (@problogger)
  14. Organizing for Health by Raquel (@OrganizedIsland)
  15. Optimize Your Health for Better Blogging by Joey and Chris (@versatilehealth)
  16. Some Health Tips For Bloggers by Fazal Mayar
  17. Stay Healthy in Spite of Your Addiction to Blogging by Brankica Underwood (@brankicau)
  18. Stress Less: 4 Tips To Stress Free Blogging by Lisa Drubec
  19. The Blogger’s Workout Plan by Taylor Davies (@shutupilovethat)
  20. Time Management Case Studies: Full-Time Blogger Fitness by Marissa Brassfield (@efficient)
  21. Tips To Maintain Your Health While Blogging by Atish Ranjan (@atishranjan)
  22. Your Computer Posture Could Be Hurting You by Dr. Cynthia Horner (@drcynthiahorner)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about blogger health? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Time Management for Bloggers

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Should Bloggers Think More Like Start-Ups?


During my recent trip to Israel, I met with over 100 different start-ups, venture capitalists, and investors who are really passionate about their ideas. Israel truly is a start-up nation, for better or worse, as my friend Renee from SheBytes noted on her blog.

Meeting with so many start-ups really got me thinking about the similarities and differences between new entrepreneurs and new bloggers. The approach to this new endeavor is almost often extremely different, but is this a good thing? Could bloggers – those who hope to make money at least – benefit from taking more of a “start-up” approach to what they’re doing?

Is a Blog a Business?

I think the “is a blog a business” debate is one of the most interesting in our new media world. Certainly, not all blogs are businesses. Some are purely for hobbyists, people who simply enjoy expressing themselves online. But what about the people who do have some kind of business in mind when they start their blog. Typically, people are in one of two mindsets:

  1. The blog is the business. They hope to monetize the content through advertising, premium content, affiliate sales, or other means.
  2. The blog is not the business, but rather a means of marketing the business. They hope to use their content to lead to sales through being hired as a consultant, selling products, etc.

Often, there is overlap between these two opinions and it is a matter of perspective whether the blog is the business or the blog is a marketing tool for the business. For example, a blogger who posts affiliate links might consider the blog the business, while a blogger who emails affiliate offers to people who’ve signed up for their list might see the blog as a marketing tool for the real business, the list.

Regardless, there is a business element to the blog. So doesn’t that make your blog a start-up? By their very nature, start-ups are designed to grow quickly, which is the hope for every blogger as well. No one wants to feel as though their mom is the only one reading.

What Bloggers Can Learn from the Start-Up Mentality

If you’re starting a blog, here are a few things you can learn from the world of start-ups:

  • This will be hard work.

“You have to understand how tough it is,” says Dov Moran, CEO of start-up Comigo and inventor of the USB flash drive. “It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of fighting. It’s not fun. […] But if you do it and succeed, it’s amazing. Go ahead and do it, understanding the price.”

Bloggers often start with the mindset that this is an easy work-from-home opportunity, in part because what you see most often are the success stories. Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Darren Rowse, Jenny Lawson…these are are hugely successful bloggers, but what you don’t see are the thousands of bloggers who “fail,” either because they give up or in the sense that their blog never supports them financially.

If you want to have any financial success, if you want to make blogging a career, you need to be prepared to for the amount of work you’ll have to do. Any blogger who tells you that it’s easy to make money online is lying – or at least not telling you the whole truth. Building any kind of business, online or otherwise, takes a lot of hard work.

  • What problem are you solving?

Often, the difference between a start-up that fails and a start-up that succeeds is the magnitude of the problem they are solving. If someone develops a technology that cures cancer, you better believe they have a better chance of success out of the gate than someone who develops a technology that cures hangnails.

What problem does your blog solve? This is a question most bloggers never ask themselves, but if you don’t think about it, you could be missing out on an opportunity to succeed.

Sometimes, the problem you’re solving is pretty straightforward. For example, here on the NMX (BlogWorld) blog, we help people become better bloggers, podcasters, video producers, and social media users. Other times, the problem you solve might be that people are bored and you want to provide entertainment. Cracked.com is a great example of a blog that’s solving the problem of boredom.

Check out Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The more basic your needs (near the bottom of the pyramid), the bigger problem you’re solving for people. That doesn’t mean you can’t succeed if your blog addresses the need for creativity instead of the need for food, but it’s something to consider when you’re pinning down the topics you want to cover.

  • Monetization needs to be in the plan.

One of the reasons I believe that many start-ups fail is that they don’t have a strong monetization plan. It’s great if you have investors, but those investors aren’t just going to keep throwing money your way forever. You have to have a plan to make money. Blogs are similar. If you truly want to make this a career out of this, you have to have a plan to make money.

Yes, that plan starts with great content. But where does it lead after that? You don’t have to have an in-your-face hard sell present on your blog from Day One, but you do have to have a strategy from Day One, leading you to a final goal of making money. It might take a little time to perfect this strategy, and that’s okay, but don’t make the mistake of saying, “I’ll worry about making money later.” Once an audience is used to content without any kind of advertising, for example, they’ll revolt when you do decide it’s time to start selling ad space on your blog.

Maybe Start-Ups Should Think More Like Bloggers Too…

Although I do think something can be learned from start-ups, I think bloggers have something to teach too, especially about community.

When you’re a new entrepreneur, working hard to get your start-up off the ground, it is somehow easy to forget the people behind your business plan. Why is this a solid business idea? Who will ultimately become your customers? What does your audience really want and need? Most bloggers are very in tune with the idea of community, but start-ups sometimes get so involved in research and development that they forget this aspect of business. So maybe we have something to learn from one another!

Do you think a blog is like a start-up? Do you treat yours like a business?

Photo Credit: Bigstock

Better Blog Pages: Pages to Help You Make More Money (Day Five)


This post is part of a five-part series about creating better blog pages. You can see all the posts in this series here.

If your blog is monetized, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to make more money while still keeping content quality high. Creating a few pages with monetization in mind is one of the best uses for your time. On my own blogs, I’ve made thousands of dollars over the course of the last few years with the creation of the following pages:

An Advertising Page

Sometimes, advertisers will simply look at your about page or contact page, but my advertising inquires increased by tenfold when I put an advertising page on my site. This page simply covers some of the most common questions advertisers have, like demographics and pricing.

I really encourage you to list some baseline prices on your advertising page. This helps cut out people who email you and want free link trading or have a very low advertising budget. You don’t have to give specifics, but you can list ranges or your starting prices to give potential advertisers an idea of what they’ll need to spend to work with you.

Even if you have a contact page (which you absolutely should), include your email address on your advertising page as well. You don’t want people to have to work to figure out how to email you about buying advertising!

A Sponsored Post Page

One of the forms of advertising I offer on some of my blogs is a sponsored post. So, I have a separate page just for this, which answers the most common questions and gives pricing information. You might want to simply include this as part of your advertising page; it depends on your niche and how many sponsored posts you want to include on your blog. Before adding a sponsored post page, I would get requests three or four times a year. Now, I get about two every month.

The biggest benefit to having a sponsorship page is that you can talk about the quality you want in a sponsored post. Before, of the few posts I was offered every year, at least half of them were very poor quality—nothing I would publish. Now, most of what I get is on point.

A Resource List

If you make money with affiliate sales, I recommend creating a page with your top resources using your affiliate links. (Of course, include a disclosure that they are affiliate links.)

This isn’t just a way to make money. It’s also a quality resource for your readers. Customize the list for your niche (for example on one of my sites, The PinterTest Kitchen, we have a list of kitchen supplies we like since it’s a food blog). Don’t forget to keep your list updated so it’s always relevant for readers.

I also recommend creating some posts on your blog that are really specific about certain resources. For example, if you have a fashion blog, you could have a page for general resources, but at some point you might create posts like “The Top Ten Shoes Every Girl Needs to Own” or “My Favorite Hair Tools of All Time.” Link to these posts on your general resource page.

A final page that I really recommend every blogger has (if your blog is monetized) is a disclaimer/disclosure page. The FTC requires you to disclose when you have relationships with certain companies you blog about or when links are affiliate links. Having a blanket disclose page helps you comply with these rules. This page can also include other notices and policies, like your comment policy.

Better Blog Pages: Pages to Increase Your Pageviews (Day Four)


This post is part of a five-part series about creating better blog pages. You can see all the posts in this series here.

When someone looks at multiple pages/posts on your blog, they’re more likely to become a regular reader, subscriber, or customer. Google also cares about bounce rate and time on site, so its a no-brainer to include pages on your site that help keep people sticking around. There are three main types of pages that can do this that we’re going to cover today.


In order to make your blog as easy to navigate as possible (for both humans and search engines), consider including a sitemap or archives page on your blog. People love to find posts that interest them, and when they’re new to your site, an archives page can help.

I recommend doing some testing to find the right format. For example, Glen from ViperChill has an archive of posts via category. You can also auto-create pages with posts listed by date. These are definitely not your only options; how you set up your archives page depends on your niche and your specific content. The point is simply to make everything as easy to find as possible.

“Start Here” Page

When I visit a blog for the first time, I absolutely love when I see a “Start Here” page for newbies. I find this page invaluable because I know it’s going to point me to all the posts I need to read first.

On your “Start Here” page, you want to link to your backstory (whether that’s on your About page or is its own post on your blog). I also like to see a section for beginners in the niche, linking to blog posts that fall into this category, as well as more resources from both your own blog and from others. This page can also include product recommendations, testimonials, or even a video intro.

What would you want to see if you were a new reader coming to your site? Be as helpful as possible on this page.

“Best Of” Page

Even more important than a “Start Here” page, at least to me when I’m visiting a blog for the first time, is a “Best Of” page. As the name implies, on this page, you want to include all of the very best blog posts you’ve written. A good option is to split them into categories and list about five for each.

The reason I like this page is that I know, as a new reader, I can check out the posts listed and determine immediately whether the blog is my cup of tea or not. If I don’t really like the posts the blogger him/herself believe to be the cream of the crop, I’m probably not going to like other posts on the blog either.

Your best of page should be updated regularly. You can still include old posts, but having newer posts on this list is important as well. So, every few months, go through and add new posts, taking away some of the older ones if your lists become too long.

Remember, the stickier your blog is, the better. People can’t become fans of your site if they spend ten seconds on a page and then leave! You have to have good content, but to truly optimize this content, create the above three pages so you’re encouraging people to stick around.

Join us tomorrow for Day Five of our Better Blog Pages series!

Better Blog Pages: Page Navigation (Day Two)


This post is part of a five-part series about creating better blog pages. You can see all the posts in this series here.

In this series, we already talked about the most important page on your blog, the contact page. However, before we go even farther in talking about specific pages you need on your blog, let’s take a moment to talk about navigation to these pages.

After all, pages do not matter if no one can find them!

Top Bar Navigation

The most common place people will look for pages (like your contact page) is on a top navigation bar. You can put this bar above or below your header, depending on the other navigation needs you have on your blog, but I highly suggest having one, even if you like to your pages other places, like on your sidebar.

Don’t rely on drop-down menus here, at least for your most important pages. The five to ten most important pages on your blog should be spelled out in your navigation bar. It’s about making your blog idiot-proof. You don’t want people to have to spend time trying to figure out your contact information or other information you might need.

Interlinking Your Pages

We often link to our own posts, but most bloggers don’t remember to link to their own pages. Where appropriate, you should definitely do this to allow for easier navigation. I often see people say something like “contact me for me details” within blog posts, but then leaving it up to their readers to figure outhow to contact.

You pages shouldn’t just be linked within blog posts. They can also be linked to one another. It might make sense to link to your About page on your Contact page, for example. Google cares about how long people are on your site and how many pages they visit when there, so definitely take the time to link as much as possible.

Other Navigational Considerations

It might also many sense for you to include navigation to pages at other places on your blog. For example, some people will look for this information in your footer. Others will browse your sidebar. It’s important to have a well-designed site, and you don’t want to compromise the look of the blog, but wherever you can put more page navigation, do it. When in doubt, it’s always better to link to your pages as often as possible than to make readers search for the information they need.

Join us tomorrow for Day Three of our Better Blog Pages series!

25 Posts About Blogging that Will Change Your Life


The title of this post might seem a bit dramatic, but I believe there are some truly life-altering posts out there about blogging. These aren’t how-to posts or resource lists, which are wonderful in their own right, but passionate posts from people who are big dreamers and incredible thinkers about the very art of blogging.

And yes, they have changed me. They have changed how I think about the world and how I run my own blogs and what I choose to say online. They’ve inspired me to do better. So today, I wanted to share these posts with you.

(Note: These posts are in alphabetical order by author’s last name, not in order of importance.)

1. The Insidious Perfidiousness of Doubts, Overcome by Leo Babauta (@zen_habits)

There isn’t a single one of us who has overcome the human condition of self doubt. Whether you’re a supremely confident person, a content Zen monk, a successful writer…it doesn’t matter. You have doubts about yourself.

The question is whether these doubts stop you from doing amazing things, from leading the life you want to lead.

2. Haven’t Had Time to Blog by Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan)

We pick our paths. We decide what we make time to do. We choose our own adventures every single day. Each and every day, we have the chance to make choices.

3. Bonus Post, Also from Chris Brogan: This Post Isn’t Worth Your Time

4. Confessions of a Narcissistic Blogger by Joe Bunting (@joebunting)

I first got into writing because I felt this explosion of feeling, like I could release everything I was on the page and fill it with beautiful and terrible truths. Sometimes I get so excited about writing, my eyes fill with tears. It’s a great experience.

This is life experienced to its fullest. But then I look at my pageviews and my game face goes on. All I care about is the numbers. Immediately, my joy fizzles out like soda gone flat.

5. Is F.E.A.R. Holding You Back? by Brian Clark (@copyblogger)

F.E.A.R. is an illusion. Something we fabricate in our own minds and pretend is real. It’s a fairy tale we tell ourselves that keeps us from doing what we really want.

False evidence appearing real.

The common label for F.E.A.R is anxiety, a less fundamental emotion that arises purely from our own thoughts, not external reality. And 50 years of cognitive psychology research demonstrates that while we can’t always control how we feel, we do have the power to choose how we think and act.

6. Bonus Post, Also from Brian Clark: Do You Recognize These 10 Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking?

7. Managing a Blog Is Great. Managing the Blogger is Even Better. by Brandon Cox (@brandonacox)

Your blogging success isn’t about your next post. It’s about all of your posts. It isn’t about a great headline, a huge list, or sweet graphics. It’s about the total package. Whether your blog is personal, corporate, or one of those that’s supposed to make you a millionaire tomorrow, your blog is really all about you.

8. Want People to Listen? Get a Life. by Jonathan Fields (@jonathanfields)

Fact is, every word you say, write, sing or film and release into the world is judged against a backdrop of who you are, what you’ve said, done and achieved in the past…and what you HAVEN’T said, done and achieved. That’s why one of the first things most people do when they read an interesting post on a new blog is jump over to the “about” page to see who the writer is. They’re looking to frame the message. Because…

Context is as important as content.

9. The Most Important Conversation I’ve Had About My Business Ever by Pat Flynn (@PatFlynn)

How many times during the day are you actually working when you’re supposed to? Probably not as much as you should.

I wasn’t.

In fact, after literally keeping track of everything I did during a normal day, I noticed some rather disturbing issues, especially when it came to checking my emails, checking website stats, opening my Facebook account (personal, not the fan page), and reading the news.

Basically, I did a lot of non-work related things when I was supposed to be working. On the flip side, I was working (or thinking about work), when I probably shouldn’t have been.

10. The Wealthy Gardener by Seth Godin

Sure, people make money growing orchids. Some people probably get rich growing orchids. Not many though. And my guess is that the people who do make money gardening probably didn’t set out to do so.

11. Bonus Post, Also from Seth Godin: Do It Wrong, Relentlessly

12. What’s Next? It’s You by Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel)

It was bound to happen. We were heading for a place where “top ten” and “how to”-types of blog posts may become redundant or rudimentary. We’ve come to a place where those who were never going to stick it out with blogging for the long haul are busy on Twitter and Facebook, where they can share without the burden of having a passion for writing. So, in the end, maybe what’s new for blogging is a place where the real bloggers step in and create a new type of copy for the world to consume. A place where more and more creative thinkers get to tinker with words in new and interesting ways. It’s a place where you (and everyone else who wants to write and have a voice) gets to be free to try it out and see what kind of audience their words, images and even video connects with.

13. Passion over Perfection. Love over politics. The Story of Mrs. Mulvey. by Danielle LaPorte (@DanielleLaPorte)

And that was a moment. One of those world-stops-for-a-nanosecond-so-you-can-glimpse-the-future kinds of moments. And I realized that I could do it. I didn’t know what “it” was, but I knew that somehow my passion was going to count.

14. Have Faith in Yourself and Your Writing by Ali Luke (@aliventures)

Faith doesn’t mean you never give up. Faith means that when you’ve fallen down – again and again – you get up and carry on.

I can’t tell you that the writing path is an easy one. I can tell you that it’s worth travelling. And if you want to be a writer, if your life doesn’t feel complete without writing, then you already have the faith that you need.

15. It’s OK to Give a Crap by Ian Lurie (@portentint)

It’s OK. Take this opportunity to feel good about it. You’re in a shrinking population of People Who Actually Give A Crap About What They Do.

I, for one, am sick of people telling me I should delegate everything, find someone offshore to do SEO for me for $10 a day, take my own work ‘less seriously’, blah blah blah blah. Screw that. And you, if you’re one of those people.

16. Important by Anissa Mayhew (@AnissaMayhew)

If the worst thing that happens in your day is that someone sends you an ugly email, try waiting for a call from the doctor to give you results you’re pretty sure you don’t want to hear.

If you’re going to argue about who makes money and if they’re doing it right, you’ve never sat in front of your checkbook and wondered what you weren’t going to pay so that you can afford to give your child the treatments they need AND keep a roof over their head.

If you can talk about your mafia, feel slighted because you weren’t the center of attention, or fret about your PR connections, you’ve never had to sit and contemplate the moment when they cut into your child’s brain to see what the tumors are doing.

17. How to be Unforgettable by Jon Morrow (@JonMorrow)

If we’re being honest, I think maybe that’s one of the reasons many of us start blogging. There’s something immensely comforting about knowing your thoughts are out there for the whole world to read. You could kick the bucket tomorrow, but your words will live on, teaching, inspiring, and taking root in the minds of readers for generations to come.

Or at least that’s the idea.

What really happens, of course, is that you pour your heart and soul into a post, and no one seems to care. No comments, no links, no nothing. Come on over, friends, and check out my blog. We’re watching my ideas die in real time. Yuk, yuk, yuk.

And it’s disturbing.

18. Let Them Love You by Elizabeth Potts Weinstein (@ElizabethPW)

You refuse to share your gifts with the world, just because you are not perfect? Because you are human? Because you don’t have ever answer to every question even invented, because you have flaws, because you are still growing and learning yourself?

Stop wasting yourself on all that crap.

19. When it Feels Like Nobody is Reading Your Blog by Darren Rowse (@problogger)

As I would preach to the empty pews and as my word echoed around the room I found that I learned so much about the topic I was exploring and how to deliver it. I also learned a lot about preaching. New ideas would come, I’d try different ways of expressing it and slowly the final version of the sermon would begin to form – to the point that when I got up in the same room on Sunday to deliver the final version it would flow.

20. See The Rats For The Fleas by Joey Strawn (@joey_strawn)

It’s so easy to look at a situation, see something we are already afraid of and place the blame there. How much more often could we investigate further and find the little things being ignored are the real issue?

You complain that your blog isn’t getting the audience you want or that not enough people are subscribing to your amazing feed, but are you looking at the right things?

21. 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great by Tommy Walker (@tommyismyname)

Be honest. How often do you sabotage yourself?

On any given day, you have tasks you’d like to finish because you know they’d positively impact your business, and tasks you actually do.

You trick yourself into thinking that keeping up with industry news, and reading the latest “10 tips to ______” post is “working.”

You know better, but some part of you believes that simply reading the article will help you move forward.

22. Bonus Post, Also from Tommy Walker: Blogging and the Definition of “Insanity.”

I’ll humbly add to this list, two posts I’m extremely proud to have written, one here on the NMX blog and the other on my blog, Blog Zombies. I hope they have really affected my readers and changed them for the better:

23. Does Your Blog Just Tell People What They Want to Hear? A Honest Look at Social Success
24. Don’t Be a Scumbag (And Other Advice I Can’t Believe I Have To Tell You)

Where’s post #25? Well, I leave that one up to you. I hope you take a moment to leave a comment with a link to the best post you’ve ever written, a post that you hope has changed the lives of your readers.

If you’re having trouble thinking of a post that fits into this category, maybe it’s time to write one. Give me your best!

Bloggers: Do You Have Chutzpah?


Right now, I’m part of a delegation of tech-related bloggers visiting start-ups and companies based in Israel (mostly Tel Aviv and Jerusalem). The start-up culture in this country is extremely different than you’ll find in most areas of the world, so I started asking people why that is. Again and again, one word came up: Chutzpah

A shot of the Jerusalem wall from my trip

I think we all need a little more chutzpah in our lives, especially those of us who are  running blogs.

What is Chutzpah?

Chutzpah (or “hutzpa” as it is sometimes spelled in English-speaking countries) is a word that means slightly different things to different people. It can mean arrogance and audacity, but the meaning is a little deeper than this. More traditionally, chutzpah is a negative quality, but it can be turned around to mean something more positive as well. It can reflect courage and self-confidence, the willingness to get out of your comfort zone, perhaps in a presumptuous way and with a little sauciness, but because you’re passionate about what you’re doing.

The term is perhaps most successfully translated to mean nerve or gall, but in the entrepreneurial world, perhaps this is a necessary characteristic to possess.

Chutzpah in Many Forms

It might be hard to put your finger on what Chutzpah really means, but it’s easier to see it in action.

Chutzpah is a meeting with Tareq Maayah, the CEO of ShopZooky, a social shopping experience app for Facebook. Tareq actually lives not in Israel, but in Palestine. For those of you who don’t know the geography/politics, travel and relations between the two countries is not especially easy. Yet he drove to Tel Aviv to give a brief presentation and have dinner with our group in order to show us his product. That’s chutzpah.

Chutzpah is Lihi Margalit taking over Facebook for Newvem, a company that analyzes your AWS cloud usage. Chairman Zev Laderman said that before she was brought on, they didn’t really believe in Facebook marketing for their company and instead focused their efforts on other social media and community tools, like Twitter and LinkedIn. Lihi set out to prove them wrong, however, and today their page has over 10,000 fans and most of their updates are liked, commented on, and shared by hundreds of people. That’s chutzpah.

Chutzpah is Israel Aerospace Industries, whose men and women have to overcome struggles that other countries could never imagine due to lack of resources, political unrest in their part of the world and other complexities. For example, when countries launch satellites, they do so to the east, in order to gain momentum from the Earth’s natural rotation. Because Israel’s eastern neighbors would be pretty unhappy with anything being launching in their direction, however, Israel has to launch against the rotation of the Earth, to the west, so each launch has to be much more powerful than launches in other countries. As our guide for the day told us, “When we present problems to our engineers, first they tell us it’s impossible, then they prove that it’s impossible, then they do it.” That’s chutzpah.

Chutzpah in Your Life

It’s hard for me to not look at the Israeli people I’ve met on this trip and feel like I could be doing more for my own career and in my life, living it with more chutzpah. I ask myself:

  • What tasks on my blog should I be doing that I put off simply because I’m lazy?
  • Am I writing blog posts that really make a difference in others’ lives, helping them in some way or teaching them something?
  • Are my goals really being achieved or am I saying, “Good enough” too often?
  • Could I be connecting with more people or am I sticking to my own circle of online friends because it feels safe?
  • Am I pushing boundaries and making people think or just doing the same-old, same-old?
  • Do I care too much about what others think of me and my blog?
  • How can I improve, even with tasks I think I already do really well?
  • Am I reaching out, being the biggest fan of my own blog?
  • Could I be treating my community better?

These are not questions to take lightly. They’re also not questions I (or anyone) can answer overnight. What’s important is that we ask them and actively seek answers. And then take action according to those answers. And then ask them again. What’s important is that we have chutzpah, always pushing ourselves to do better, even when the going gets tough.

So ask yourself…do you have chutzpah? Or do you maybe need more in your life?

10 Reasons to Blog Every Day


10 reasons to blog every day Every November, writers around the world join together for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an every-day-writing challenge that’s so popular, it’s spread to blogging with National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). Today, bloggers of all kinds come together monthly to post daily, whether about business or photography or their family life, sticking to that everyday schedule for an entire month and encouraging each other along the way.

Have you considered joining them and taking the challenge to post every day? Should you? Does it make sense? What does daily blogging have to offer?

To help answer that question, let’s take a look at 10 of the biggest benefits that come from a month of posting every day!

1. Increases Self-Discipline

A common piece of advice given to new bloggers (even if it’s considered overrated advice) is to post every day, at least for a month. Why is this advice so common? Why do many feel daily posts are so important? Perhaps it’s because regular posting, more than anything else, helps establish the blogging habit. “It is said that it takes 10,000 hours to master something,” writes John Rampton. “If that is the case then you need to spend lots of time practicing. “ What better way to practice than through the habit of daily posts?

”Daily practice in developing my voice means that I’ve been able to find words more quickly and say things more effectively, which is always a benefit even when you’re writing an e-mail to a client.” Blogger Dawn Storey, Alphabet Salad

2. Builds Community

Now hosted by blogging mega-community BlogHer, NaBloPoMo is an instant way to connect with other bloggers. Participants link up to their postings on BlogHer’s site, distributing their content amongst others taking part. This gives you a ready audience with whom to share your content, as well as other bloggers to reach out to and form relationships with. What’s more, to encourage participants, BlogHer offers regular inspiration, advice and writing prompts throughout the month to help make it easier for you to stick with the challenge.

3. Forces Creativity

The biggest hindrance that most bloggers who consider a monthly of daily posting find is coming up with daily things to write about. While posting every day may seem intimidating, the truth is, it could also be key in unlocking creativity.

There’s an old saying: “If you want to be a writer, write!” By forcing yourself to blog every day, you gain regular practice in blogging and force regular productivity.  “To be honest, the more you write, the more creative you become,” says David Santistevan, GoinsWriter.com.

Blogger Christopher S. Penn agrees:

”[When you’re blogging every day,] you run into your own limits. Forcing myself to a daily content scheme forces me to be creative, forces me to think outside the box, forces me to look at old things in new ways to see if there are additional avenues to extract value.”

4. Forces Faster Writing

If you’re like a lot of writers, you can easily spend so much time tweaking a project that you never finish. By forcing yourself to blog every day, you practice calling projects done. And as you, every day, have to come up with a new post and hit publish, you get better and faster at creating. This is not only good for blogging but also for all your work, as you push against perfectionism.

”Get the post up fast, not perfect. You can edit if you have to, later. Perfectionism kills good habits.”  Blogger Chris Brogan, ChrisBrogan.com

5. Adds Value to Your Site

When you’re daily posting quality content (and quality is key!), you’re giving readers a solid reason to keep coming back to your site—and this not only boosts SEO but also your value in the minds of your audience.

6. Encourages Comments

More posts mean more opportunities for readers to weigh in. What’s more, sometimes the more real-time nature of daily posts is more conducive to discussion as the posts feel less finished and polished.

7. Builds Website Authority

Daily posting can help boost your website authority, which improves your influence on the Web and sends the message to search engines that you’re an expert. Zemanta CEO Bostjan Spetic saw this firsthand when he decided to post once a day for a full month:

”I’ve learned that my blogging more regularly has brought more visitors to my blog and has raised my profile in the industry; in other words, I am becoming more influential,” said Bostjan Spetic in “One CEO’s Story on the Benefits of Daily Blogging” published on Contently.com.

8. Increases Back-Links

Every new post is a new opportunity to generate back-links—a key factor in search results. The more valuable your site is, the more links you’ll acquire from other sites, too, which is also good for both SEO and referral traffic.

9. Boosts Overall Search Rankings

The combination of greater website authority and more backlinks can lead to higher search rankings. As most SEO experts will tell you, more blog content usually translates to better search results. In fact, “you’ll get the most out of your SEO program if you publish new content as often as possible,” says Brandon Cornett at Austin SEO Guy. Why is this the case? The more you’re posting quality content, the more opportunities you have to draw the attention of readers, the more ways search engines can notice you, the more established your site becomes.

10. Increases Traffic

When blogger Todd Schnick posted every day for a month, he saw unique visitors to his site more than double; the same thing happened to Ryan M. Healy of RyanHealy.com. Why the huge uptick? Most likely the change came partly from better SEO and partly from the new content drawing readers each day. One thing’s certain, though, an idea that doubles traffic is an idea worth considering.

What do you think? November is fast approaching, and along with it, another opportunity to test this strategy yourself. Have you already participated in a NaBloPoMo? Will you? Or does the thought of posting daily leave you scared stiff?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

24 Must-Read WordPress Tips and Tricks


WordPress tips Whenever I do a workshop on WordPress, I see the little flashes, the light bulbs that turn on when someone finally “gets it.” And it isn’t always something earth-shattering. Often it’s that tiny problem that’s been bugging you forever. You know—the one that when you solve it, life becomes a little easier.

Here 24 tips and shortcuts that might eliminate some of those bumpy spots in the road:   

  1. When you do a return in a post or page, you always get a double space. If you want it single, simply press <shift> <return> on your keyboard.
  2. Creating a powerful password for your admin login is the first step in making your site more secure. The second is to change that password monthly.
  3. To get your readers to click through to your full post, stop it at exactly the spot where they will be most curious to read the next sentence. Every post has such a spot (or it should). To take advantage, stop the post there and insert the “read more” tag.
  4. If you have unused plugins or themes installed, and have not activated, delete them. This greatly beefs up site security.
  5. If you are looking for a WordPress developer to create your site, your first question should be: “Do you know php?” If they claim to be a developer (not a designer), but their answer is no,  run!
  6. Don’t use a widget because it’s cool and shiny. Use it because it is useful to your reader.
  7. Whether it’s your WordPress blog or website, make sure that people are able to contact you. Don’t hide your contact info in size two font in the footer of the page. Make a separate, highly visible contact page.
  8. Remember, it’s WordPress. Capital W, capital P, no space between. If you land on a site and they call themselves a WordPress expert, but spell the name wrong, beware.
  9. When inserting a photo into your post or page, don’t forget the alt (alternate) tag. This is what Google looks for when it’s indexing images on the web and the big G doesn’t like a site with alt tags missing.
  10. If you have chosen to block search engines in your privacy setting during the construction of your blog or website, remember to turn it back on when you go live. Because that little sucker blocks them good.
  11. Keeping your plugins up-to-date is just as important as keeping your WordPress version up-to-date.
  12. Do you want to change your homepage to a static page rather than your blog? Can’t figure out what to do? Create a page for your homepage and one for your blog. Then go to settings >reading and change the settings on the “front page displays.”
  13. If you are self-hosted, back up your database and all your files regularly. Hear that? Back up, back up!
  14. Think about the theme you choose for your blog or website. Does it meet all your needs? Does it allow your site to grow as your business grows? Because if you decide to switch themes down the road, chances are it’s not a simple one-click process.
  15. If you fly off the handle or rant in a blog post, remember, the moment you hit that publish button, it appears on the web and to your RSS subscribers. If you are angry when you write a post, it’s always best to save it as a draft and revisit it later for one last look.
  16. Use a photo to provoke emotions in your blog post. Not only will you attract more readers, but they will remember your content longer.
  17. If you have only one row of tools when you are creating a page or post, simply click on the far right button, “show kitchen sink,” and you will get a whole second row of tools.
  18. If you are still using the default “admin” for your user name, it’s time to get rid of it. Create a new one, then delete the old one, assigning all posts and pages to your new user name. Otherwise you are giving hackers 50% of your login info.
  19. If you cannot find an option on your edit post or page window, check the tab “screen options” in the upper right corner. That feature may be hidden.
  20. To expand your editor window, grab the lower right, ridged corner and drag it.
  21. Be careful when you underline text. Readers still have a habit of thinking any underlined text is a link.
  22. Remember to turn off your comments on static pages. No one wants to comment on your about or contact page.
  23. Remove or replace the default blog tagline under your general settings. Otherwise, people will see that generic message that says, “Just Another WordPress Site.”
  24. And lastly, don’t be taken in by over-promises.  Like most worthwhile things, WordPress has a learning curve.

The Top 5 Phrases Successful Bloggers Never Say



We all measure blogging success in different ways. For some, it’s seeing those traffic numbers increase every month. Others care most about their bank account, and still others just want to write something they’re proud of writing. Whatever your goals, though, you can learn from the people who are already successful (by your own standards) in your niche.

Study their techniques and tips all you want, but at the core of success is attitude. What you don’t say is what matters most in finding success. You have to mentally get your ducks in a row first.

These are five things top bloggers do not say to others…or even to themselves:

1. “I don’t feel like it.”

Being a successful blogger is hard work. Anyone who tells you differently is lying. Do not buy it if someone tries to say that making money online is easy. They’re probably trying to sell you some kind of secret or something, but there is no secret. It’s just about hard work.

Successful bloggers never say that they don’t feel like blogging (or working on the business end of their blog) and instead take time off. They just get stuff done. The idea that you get to flit away on vacations or spend all day with your kids is a silly notion. For each hour your spend away from your computer, you have to replace it with an hour (or even more) at your computer. Time management tips can help, but if you can’t hack the work, you aren’t going to find success.

And, really, if you’re saying that you don’t feel like working on your blog, perhaps this isn’t your true passion after all. Over six years after I wrote my first blog post, I still absolutely love doing this. Sure, I have my days (don’t we all), but if you never feel like it, if blogging is a chore to you, go out there and find something more fun to do with your life.

2. “I should *insert task here* but I’m just way too busy.”

Top bloggers might say no when they are legitimately busy, but be careful with how many opportunities you miss with the excuse of being too busy. If you really want to do something, you will find the time. Several times at NMX (previously BlogWorld), keynote speakers have flown across the country for just a single night in order to give their talk. You can usually make time if you really want to do something.

That doesn’t mean that you should spread yourself so thin that you never sleep. What it does mean, however, is that you prioritize your tasks honestly, work on your time management skills, and stop lying to yourself about being busy when you really just don’t want to do something.

3. “This is easy.”

I never take someone seriously if they say blogging (professionally) or making money online is easy. It is not easy. This goes back to point one – blogging is hard work and anyone who tells you differently is lying.

Furthermore, you’ll probably notice that top bloggers have all gone through struggles to get where they are today. Beware overnight successes. They’re usually lying, doing something to scam the system, or both.

Even after you’ve “made it,” blogging isn’t easy. There are a lot of cogs in this machine, and you have to grease them all daily. Yes, the hope is you can someday hire people to help you or sell your blog completely, but the truth of the matter is that it will never be easy.

4. “I can’t.”

I recently wrote a post about the three words killing your blog, and those three words are “I don’t know.” The sister of “I don’t know” is “I can’t.” These two phrases should be banned from your vocabulary! If you don’t know something, figure it out. Google is your friend. If you can’t figure it out, find someone who can. Social media is your friend, too.

Top bloggers never say they can’t do something and just give up. They are problem solvers, and they find a way to make things happen, one way or another. If you can’t fix a problem, find a path around it. If you can’t find a path around it, ask for help. “I can’t” is just another excuse.

5. “I don’t care.”

Lastly, if you don’t care about your blog and your business, what are you doing in this industry? Top bloggers are extremely passionate and in tune with every part of their business. They care what font is being used in their posts. They care what community members say in the comments. They care about minute details that probably don’t actually matter at all.

To be a top blogger, their blog is their baby. If you don’t feel that strongly about your blog, think about changing your niche. You have to care about the details to be successful.

I already talked about banning “I don’t know” and “I can’t” from your vocabulary, but in actuality, all of the above phrases should be banned! Are there any I’m missing? What phrases do you think bloggers need to ban to be successful? Leave a comment!

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