The single most important change you can make in your working habits is to switch to creative work first, reactive work second.
“It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen.”
It’s time to stop blaming our surroundings and start taking responsibility. While no workplace is perfect, it turns out that our gravest challenges are a lot more primal and personal. Our individual practices ultimately determine what we do and how well we do it. Specifically, it’s our routine (or lack thereof), our capacity to work proactively rather than reactively, and our ability to systematically optimize our work habits over time that determine our ability to make ideas happen.
Through our constant connectivity to each other, we have become increasingly reactive to what comes to us rather than being proactive about what matters most to us.
Truly great creative achievements require hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of work, and we have to make time every single day to put in those hours. Routines help us do this by setting expectations about availability, aligning our workflow with our energy levels, and getting our minds into a regular rhythm of creating. At the end of the day—or, really, from the beginning—building a routine is all about persistence and consistency. Don’t wait for inspiration; create a framework for it.
CREATIVE WORK FIRST, REACTIVE WORK SECOND
The single most important change you can make in your working habits is to switch to creative work first, reactive work second. This means blocking off a large chunk of time every day for creative work on your own priorities, with the phone and e-mail off.
I used to be a frustrated writer. Making this switch turned me into a productive writer. Now, I start the working day with several hours of writing. I never schedule meetings in the morning, if I can avoid it. So whatever else happens, I always get my most important work done—and looking back, all of my biggest successes have been the result of making this simple change.
But it’s better to disappoint a few people over small things, than to surrender your dreams for an empty inbox. Otherwise you’re sacrificing your potential for the illusion of professionalism.
Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series) by Jocelyn K. Glei
Forget about blending in.
When you run a blog, you want to stand out from the crowd. To become one-of-a-kind as opposed to one-of-many, get comfortable with taking a stand and having people line up on either side of you. Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) said it best: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
Once your blog is operational, meaningful content has been added, and you’ve begun cultivating traffic, Pat (Flynn) offers three powerful rules for creating momentum and generating income:
find partners, sell products and/or services, and spread your wings.
One of the most effective strategies for building major traffic is to contact top bloggers in your niche. First, tell them you’re an up-and-coming blogger who respects their work and enjoys their content. Then, add you’re writing an article and would love to get quotes from industry experts like them. The vast majority will take time out of their schedule to answer your questions. Once the article is published, send each contributor a follow-up thank you note with a link to the article. Most will post the link on their site and/or offer a link to your homepage, thereby introducing their audience to your work.
This provides you with free exposure and credibility as these top bloggers are effectively endorsing your content. Few things establish brand recognition faster than endorsements from renowned peers. With significant effort and patience it is certainly possible that your blog may become so popular that other bloggers will get in touch to obtain quotes from you.
Offer Products And Services For Sale
To profit from your blog traffic, you can create products and/or services that best serve your tribe. Examples of content-based products include books, interviews (in video, audio, and/or transcript form), white papers, and research studies. Alternatively, you can become an affiliate by offering products and services created by others for sale and receive a percentage of each transaction. A growing trend is to create a membership program. Some memberships require a one-time fee and provide access for life. Others, known as continuity programs, provide ongoing content and require subscribers to pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee.
The membership model works great for certain industries—e.g., finance, in which many customers will gladly pay for ongoing news and analysis.
One of the great things about a blog is its flexibility. For example, it’s simple to update text and photos so information remains current without the need for relying on an expensive programmer to update the site. It’s also easy to modify on the fly to adapt to the changing needs of your audience. You can even run A/B Split tests, in which you post two versions of the blog to determine which strategies are most effective for achieving higher conversion rates.
Remember, online, no one builds monuments.
Be willing to periodically play around with layout, content, and structure in order to keep attracting the largest number of potential customers for your message.
You should also consider including advertising to generate additional passive income and/or to capture your audience’s contact information.
• Google AdSense (and other ad networks)
• Banner ads • Ads for training or certification programs related to your field
• Paid guest posts • Ads for teleseminars and webinars that compliment your offerings
• Advertorials which feature beneficial products and services
• Ads for personal and group coaching • Ads for on-and off-site consulting
• Ads for newsletters (often free in exchange for a visitor’s contact information)
Internet Prophets: The World's Leading Experts Reveal How to Profit Onlinee by Steve Olsher
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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Disclosure of Material Connection:
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”