Top Posts for February – Awful Truths About Book Publishing, Kill an Idea, Seth Godin, Facebook and More

I’m a few days late but here are the top 10 posts for February from my blog (ranked by visits):

1. 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing… and 7 Ways to Overcome Them

2. The Best Way to Kill an Idea… Have Too Many Of Them

3. Why I’m Excited to be a Part of Seth Godin’s Domino Project Street Team

4. When is the best time to post on Facebook? Here’s the Answer…

5. Top Books Every Young Influencer / Leader Should Read

6. 25 Free eBooks & Manifestos for Business, Marketing, Blogging, Ideas, Productivity and More.

7. 14 Ways to Expand Your Influence

8. 5 Ways to Get More Done

9. How Often Should You Blog? The Answer…

10. Don’t Chase Someone Else’s Success, Create Your Own

Hand Fed and Leash Led (Dealing with Those Who Are)

There are those who take initiative and proactively contribute.

Those who look for ways to grow, serve and do more than simply what is required.

They don’t need someone to hold their hand before they attempt to take a step.

They’re motivated, eager to learn, and seeking.

And then there are others.

Those who want to be hand fed and leash led.

They expect everyone else to do for them, to “feed” them when they are perfectly capable of finding food on their own.

They’re okay with doing the bare minimum just to get by.

They’re afraid to take a risk or to make a decision unless someone else helps to make it for them.

They’re more focused on what they can get instead of what they can give.

And, especially in an organizational setting, they’ll be the first to complain and try to drag everyone else down (even if they aren’t doing so intentionally).

My point?

It isn’t to simply state the obvious between the two but to encourage you to help those who are being hand fed and leash led to break free.

Here are 3 ways:

1. Address Them: Most of the time the hand feeders don’t even realize they are the way they are. Sometimes they need someone who cares to spend some time talking to them and helping to show them their ways. Notice that I didn’t say “Confront Them.” It’s not about confrontation here, it’s about caring enough to want more for them… enough so to take an active role in encouraging and helping them grow.

2. Force Them: If you are a leader or a manger who has an employee or team member who is not making decisions or is performing at a bare minimum level, force them out of their comfort zone. Just like muscles must be stretched to grow, so do they. Sometimes we bow to their tendencies and do it for them but that won’t help them or you in the long run. Give them opportunities, don’t make all the decisions for them, let them have a win even if it’s not exactly what you would have done. The more confidence they build, the more they’ll contribute.

3. Release Them: The sad reality is that some people just won’t change despite our best efforts to help them improve. If this is the case with someone in your organization, it may best to let them go so that you can open up space for someone who will.

What are your thoughts about being hand fed and leash led?

Fight for Your Ideas

Sometimes we make excuses don’t we? Excuses that sabotage us from pursuing the ideas and dreams that we keep feeling the urge to pursue.

The words “I can’t” pop into our heads or even out of our mouths but if we’re honest, it’s rarely the case that we “can’t,” it’s just that we choose not to try.

“I can’t” becomes that convenient way of avoiding the fear, the pain, and the potential risk that pursing our ideas might involve.

But here’s the thing…

It’s not that we can’t, because we can. It’s more so a question of do we want it bad enough to say “I CAN” and then do everything in our power to overcome and make it so?

Only you can answer that for yourself but know this, it starts with belief.

As Henry Ford said, “Think you can’t or think you can… either way, you’re right.”

And this is exactly why I was inspired while reading an article on Jon Morrow, the Associate Editor of CopyBlogger.com (a hugely successful site). You see, from a surface level perspective Jon could easily be someone who says “I can’t” and have a legitimate claim. Jon was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a degenerative neuromuscular disease that progressively weakens the body to the point of complete atrophy, and eventual death. For most, it would be an excuse to throw in the towel and give in before ever giving life a shot.

But not Jon…

He’s accomplished more that most able-bodied people would believe possible even for themselves, much less for someone unable to move from the neck down. Things like graduating high school at 16, starting three businesses by 18, graduating college magna cum laude with a 3.9 GPA by 21, buying and selling millions of dollars in luxury real estate at 22 (without ever being able to see the inside of a single property), and going on to work with some of the greatest minds in copy writing with CopyBlogger.

You can read more about Jon Morrow’s story here and watch a truly inspiring video from him at the bottom of the page here.

My point is this…

If Jon can do it when all the odds were stacked against him… why can’t you? It’s most likely that you don’t have 25% of the potential roadblocks that Jon does but are you letting that 25% stop you from 100% of your potential success?

You were made for more and you know it.

Your ideas matter but ideas won’t come to life unless you fight for them.

Decide which ideas are worth fighting for, say “I CAN” and go… go fight for them.

Dealing with Those Who Try to Pull Us Down

News flash… there are people who disagree with you and some of them will do whatever they can to tear you down. This is especially true if what you are doing (that they disagree with) is gaining in momentum, awareness and credibility.

It’s these negative people who want to do nothing more than to draw you into confrontation. They push your buttons, toss daggers with their words, leave nasty comments on your blog and attempt to incite an emotionally charged reaction from you in order to disrupt and bump you off course.

Do you give them what they want?

Do you add fuel to the flame?

Do you react and try to prove something?

Do you let them win?

If you are doing something worthwhile, there will be those who try to stop you.

But here’s the thing… They can only win if you let them.

What you’re doing is too important to let them get you off track. Don’t.

Don’t let their antics trip you up. Don’t take their bait.

If you must respond, respond but don’t react.

Most of all… keep your vision in front of you and pursue it no matter what they say.

How Often Should You Blog? The Answer…

To blog or not to blog (and how often).

That is the question.

Well, gather round the crystal blogging ball as the answer is revealed…

“You should blog __ times per week.”

Not the answer you want, right? But it’s the answer we seek… someone to tell us specifically what that blank “__” should be. That magic formula for blogging success.

Well, there is an answer but it’s not quite that simple.

It’s different for each of us.

Why? Because we are different, what we’re trying to say is different, our audiences are different and our goals are different as well.

What might work for you might not work for me.

There is, however, a way to find the winning frequency that is a custom fit for you.

I’ve been doing a lot of research into the frequency of blogging and how it impacts traffic. Tests of my own and looking at the posting patterns of some of the most successful bloggers (as ranked by their traffic and RSS subscriber counts).

One thing is clear. Almost all top ranked blogs have a high rate of frequency. Meaning, they post multiple times per week, some even multiple times per day but it varies.

In an internal test on my own blog, I saw a significant uptick in traffic when I posted daily versus posting 2 times per week (and I’ve talked to many others who have experienced results much the same).

It might sound odd to some new bloggers out there (because you might assume people are already bombarded with too much info) but the trends and the stats don’t lie.

Now let me add something here… what you can’t ignore in any attempt to dissect successful blogging is content. Content, above all, drives traffic so without good content the frequency of the posts has little residual impact.

While posting frequency shows to have a direct correlation with traffic, you must find the right balance that works for you. You can’t undercut quality in an attempt to focus on quantity but you also can’t let the myth of perfection slow you down.

So what should you do? How do you determine the posting frequency that works best for you? Here’s my suggestions:

1. Assess your goals. Why do you blog? What do you want to accomplish? Do you have blogging goals written down? If not, then start there. If you do, revisit them and keep them visible. Knowing where you want to go helps you figure out how to get there.

2. Test. Take a week and post 2-3 times. Then the next week post every day. Then the week after post 2-3 times. Then the week after that post every day. Try this cycle for a few weeks and then look back at your stats. See any patterns in traffic? It’s important to test it more than just one week so that you can give it an accurate shake just in case you had a hot post one week that took off and skewed results.

3. Find your groove. Once you test and know the answer then you can work to find a balance that fits how frequently you can write and how frequently you WANT to post. If you saw that posting 5x per week increased your traffic but you can only successfully crank out 2 posts then you have to work towards posting more or just be okay with what you can do. (Hint: A path to success could be creating draft articles when you have time so that you build up a bank of articles to post even when you don’t have time… that’s what the big boys and girls do).

It’s not an exact science but with a little time and effort you can find the sweet spot that will help your blog succeed.

Question: How has the frequency of your posting impacted your blog?

While we’re on the topic of blogs… have you subscribed to mine? It’s free. Get new posts emailed to you or subscribe via RSS.

Looking for better blogging tips? I suggest reading www.TentBlogger.com

Don’t Chase Someone Else’s Success, Create Your Own

I think it’s safe to say that most of us crave more.

We have goals, ambitions and dreams that we want to achieve.

But, many times we look at the success of others and try to define our path based off of theirs.

It’s a slippery slope that starts with admiration…

“I wish I had 12 best-selling books or a top read blog like Seth Godin.”
“I wish our company was growing like these.”
“I wish I had the 71,000+ blog subscribers like Chris Brogan.”
“I wish our church was as cool and innovative as Northpoint.”
“I wish my Twitter follower count was over 93,000 like Michael Hyatt.”

…but, if we aren’t careful that admiration can turn into distraction, a perpetual sense of not measuring up, and a focus on a success that is theirs instead of our own.

We can’t measure ours by constantly comparing it to theirs.

Learning from what they’ve done is indeed helpful but constantly focusing on what they are doing (instead of what you are doing) or simply copying everything they do won’t help you achieve your success, you’ll just end up chasing theirs.

Instead you need to focus on you and being the best YOU that only YOU can be.

Do something that matters and do it better than anyone else instead of trying to do it like everyone else.

Don’t be afraid to try something new or even to fail. Failure, after all, is where true innovation comes from anyways.

Be a pioneer and become the one that everyone else looks up to instead of being the one looking up to everyone else.

You can.

It won’t happen overnight but over time, you’ll get there if you stay the course.

Question: Do you ever struggle with comparing your success with that of others? Be honest (because we all do).