Tag Archive | "Habits"

Sharpen Your Habits in November with the Copyblogger Book Club

Did you ever have one of those book clubs where you spend most of your time drinking wine and talking…

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Writing Nuts and Bolts: Fast Starts, Mindful Tools, and Remarkably Improved Habits

This week, we had a nuts-and-bolts focus on getting more of the right things done in your writing and business…

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5 Bad Habits that Will Tank Your Social Media Marketing

When I think about social media, I start to sound a lot like somebody’s cranky grandma. Back when I was starting out in marketing, we didn’t have all this Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook. If you wanted to run an ad, you bought a classified. In the newspaper! Which people had to pay for! Did
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Powerful Habits, Potent Engagement, and a Double Dose of Pink

How’s your January going? I’ve been having a great time looking at our publishing themes and brainstorming cool new topic ideas with our editorial team. And I’m so glad you’re here starting the year with us.

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How to Build Daily Habits that Support Your Goals

Last month, I wrote about how a goal-oriented approach to using technology can help you become more focused and productive. Using that guidance, I’ve now broken negative habits and built new ones that support my goals. Want to know how I changed my relationship with screens in ways I used to only dream about? Before
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Marketers Mismatch Their Media Habits With Average Americans

A recent survey by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) found that marketers and advertisers consume media much differently than the typical consumer. While this might not be a big surprise, there is a strong possibility that media buyers are relying too much to their own media habits in determining ad spends which could be affecting marketing outcomes.

In what is a perception versus reality set up, ad executives either assume that the average person has the same media routine as them, or simply misestimate people’s media habits.

In general, the advertising community is more affluent, more connected, skews male and younger than the US population, is more likely to own every major digital device (computer, DVR, smartphone, and tablet) yet have less household TV’s, and stream more content via smart TV’s and OTT devices. Also, advertisers tend to be busier and more “on the go” than the average American.

“The advertising business is running so fast to keep up with digital platforms that we’re outpacing the market, and creating an echo chamber that warps our perspective on the people we’re trying to reach,” said Danielle DeLauro, VAB’s Senior VP, Strategic Sales Insights.

Where this gap is most notable is with video consumption. Compared to Nielsen’s Q3 16 Comparative Analysis Report, the 250 surveyed marketers estimate of adults’ TV video consumption is off by over 50 percentage points:

Also, advertisers think that adults are only watching TV 2 hours or less each day while Nielsen says it’s actually 4 hours and 35 minutes per day.

“Go to any advertising conference today, and you hear about what’s next at the expense of what’s now, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that no one is watching live TV and everyone is on social media all day. The problem with this myopic focus on what’s new and next is that marketers need to sell products today, and that requires a precise understanding of how people are actually using media now,” said DeLauro.

The report goes on to show that advertisers’ think we spend more time watching video on computers and mobile devices, while less on TV, than what Nielsen stats show. While VAB proponents and Neilsen have vested interests in TV viewership success, the study seems to indicate that marketers might be little distorted when evaluating consumers’ media habits.

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7 Bad Writing Habits You Learned in School

forget these lessons to become a better writer

What is good writing?

Ask an English teacher, and they’ll tell you good writing is grammatically correct. They’ll tell you it makes a point and supports it with evidence.

Maybe, if they’re really honest, they’ll admit it has a scholarly tone — prose that sounds like Jane Austen earns an A, while a paper that could’ve been written by Willie Nelson scores a B (or worse).

Not all English teachers abide by this system, but the vast majority do. Just look at the writing of most graduates, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s proper, polite, and just polished enough not to embarrass anyone. Mission accomplished, as far as our schools are concerned.

But let me ask you something:

Is that really good writing?

I think most good writers listen to the way English teachers want them to write and think, “This isn’t real. It has no feeling, no distinctiveness, no oomph. You’re the only person in the world who would willingly read it. Everyone else would rather chew off their own eyelids than read more than three pages of this boring crap.”

And they’re right.

Create interesting content people want to read

Compare an award-winning essay to a best-selling novel, and you’ll notice that they are written in almost completely different languages.

Some of it has to do with the audience, sure. It’s natural to write differently for academics than you would for everyday people. But my question is: who are you going to spend more time writing for?

My guess: everyday people — your family and friends, your blog audience, your boss at work, maybe even a Letter to the Editor every now and again. None of them are academics. None of them want to read an essay.

Personally, I think good writing doesn’t have to be educated or well-supported or even grammatically correct. It does have to be interesting enough that other people want to read it.

Much of what comes out of high schools and universities fails this test, not because our students are incapable of saying anything interesting, but because a well-meaning but flawed academic system has taught them a lot of bad habits.

Let’s go through seven of them.

1. Trying to sound like dead people

It’s a sad state of affairs when the youngest writer on your reading list has been dead 100 years, but that’s the way it is in school.

I don’t know who exactly decides what’s worth reading and what’s not, but they (whoever “they” are) believe in reading the “classics,” and most of those classics are centuries old. What’s worse is that many teachers hold up the classics as examples of what good writing is, and they expect you to mimic those writers with your essays.

Sure, Chaucer and Thomas More and Shakespeare were the stud muffins of their day, but you don’t see them on the New York Times Bestseller List now.

Not because they aren’t good (they were freaking great), but because people can’t connect with them. By mimicking their style, you might make a few teachers happy, but you’re essentially handicapping your writing in the eyes of the public.

If you want to make a connection, you’re much better off studying hot writers like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Seth Godin. Watch what they do, and play with using some of their techniques in your own writing.

Yes, you’ll still be mimicking the works other writers, but at least you’ll be mimicking something people want to read.

2. Expecting someone to hand you a writing prompt

Looking through the eyes of an educator, I can see why telling students what to write about would be useful. You have a bunch of students who couldn’t care less about your curriculum, and making them write a paper about the assigned readings is a great way to force them to read the material.

Makes sense … but it doesn’t make it any less damaging.

One of the biggest challenges of writing is figuring out what to write. Whether you’re writing a memo, an article, or a letter to your mother, the process is always the same: you start out with a blank page, and you decide what to put on it.

Sure, that involves considering what your audience will want to read, but no one but you makes the final decision of what to put on the page. That act of deciding is what writing is all about.

3. Writing long paragraphs

Once upon a time, it was acceptable to write paragraphs long enough to fill multiple pages with big blocks of text.

Not surprisingly, that’s the way most of us were taught to write: long paragraphs, topic sentences neatly organized, lots of supporting evidence in between assertions. It was the “correct” way to write.




Nowadays, most paragraphs should be a maximum of three sentences. It’s also a good idea to include some shorter paragraphs with only one or two sentences, using them to punctuate powerful ideas.

It’s not so much about having a “correct” length as using paragraphs to give your writing rhythm.

4. Avoiding profanity at all costs

I admit it; this is a controversial one. Many excellent writers still hold that profanity has no place in professional publications, while others feel comfortable using curse words occasionally.

The rest of us sit around wondering whether it’s okay to express ourselves “that way” or not.

So, who’s right? Well, I think Stephen King says it best:

“Make yourself a solemn promise right now that you’ll never use ‘emolument’ when you mean ‘tip’ and you’ll never say John stopped long enough to perform an act of excretion when you mean John stopped long enough to take a shit. If you believe ‘take a shit’ would be considered offensive or inappropriate by your audience, feel free to say John stopped long enough to move his bowels (or perhaps John stopped long enough to ‘push’). I’m not trying to get you to talk dirty, only plain and direct.”

‘Nough said.

5. Leaning on sources

Most kids I knew hated digging up sources and quoting them in their papers, but not me. No, the sneaky little bugger that I was (and still am) realized that sources were an escape route from creativity. With enough quotations from other writers, I could fill up an entire paper without coming up with a single original thought of my own.

And I was rewarded for it. From kindergarten to getting my degree in English Literature, I got an A on all but like five papers.

Here’s why: a lot of teachers care more about solid research than original ideas. They don’t want to see daring and inventive arguments challenging the foundation of everything we hold to be true and arguing boldly for a new worldview.

To them, it’s much more important that you understand the ideas of others and be able to cite them in MLA format.

But real life is the opposite.

Go around citing the sources of all of your ideas and people will start avoiding you, because it’s boring as hell. They don’t care who said what, and they aren’t interested in hearing the chronology of an idea.

What they want to hear is a new perspective on a favorite topic.

If it comes from you, that’s fine. If it doesn’t, that’s fine too.

6. Staying detached

We are taught that good writing puts the focus on the subject, not the writer. It’s unemotional. It gives equal attention to opposing points of view, presenting them all without singling out one as best.

And sometimes, it’s true. If you’re a scientist, engineer, or a doctor, then maintaining your role as a detached observer is a great idea. For everyone else though, it’s a disaster.

Have you ever read the stuff scientists, engineers, and other so-called “detached observers” write? It’s boring! Outside of their exclusive circles, you couldn’t pay people to read it.

If you want people to want to read what you write, then you should do the opposite. Be more like Oprah Winfrey or Gary Vaynerchuk. They are opinionated, have a unique style, and are prone to emotional outbursts.

It’s no coincidence. That’s what makes them interesting.

7. Listening to “experts” more than yourself

Who am I to criticize the writing habits you learned in school?

Well … nobody.

Yes, I’m a professional writer. Yes, I have a literature degree. Yes, other writers have paid me up to $ 200 an hour to edit their work, and they’ve been amazed when all I did was correct the above mistakes.

But that doesn’t mean I’m right. In fact, that’s probably the most important lesson you can learn about writing:

No one but you is an expert on your writing.

Not me. Not your English teachers. Not Strunk and White and their highfalutin Elements of Style.

The longer you write, the more you’ll realize that other writers can’t tell you what to do. You should listen to more experienced writers, sure, but never more than you listen to yourself.

Great writers don’t learn how to write by sitting in writing courses, reading writing blogs, or browsing Barnes & Noble for yet more books on writing.

They learn how to write by coming to a blank page, writing something down, and then asking themselves if it works.

If it does, they keep it. If it doesn’t, they don’t. Then they repeat the process until they finish something they feel is worth publishing.

Sadly, most writers don’t know this

They labor under the mistaken assumption that there is an invisible standard of good and bad. And they worry that the Writing Police are going to show up at their door any minute, handcuff them, and haul them off to jail for failing to measure up.

If that was true, you wouldn’t see a single writer walking the street without one of those blinking bracelets around their ankle.

The truth is that you’re in charge. You. The blank page is sitting there, and you can fill it up with whatever the hell you want.

So stop sitting there, silly.

Go for it.

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on October 28, 2009.

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An Effective (but Embarrassing) Way to Develop Elite Copywriting Skills with Mini Habits

why doing a small thing leads to big results

After reading smart advice, how many of us immediately turn around and apply it?

Not many, unfortunately.

If smart advice only produces results once we begin applying it, why doesn’t it automatically become a part of our lives after we read it?

This post will help you bridge the vast gap between learning something and applying it.

To bridge the gap between theory and reality, we need an application strategy that empowers us to practice.

Until we apply what we’ve learned, the benefits of any action remain theory instead of reality.

My secret for applying what I’ve learned … fast

For the first 10 years I was interested in personal growth, I made meager progress.

I wasn’t one of those transformation stories like Jack LaLanne, who heard a seminar on healthy eating and changed his behavior dramatically — starting his path to become the “godfather of fitness” for the next several decades.

I’d be willing to bet that most other people don’t fall into that quick frog-into-prince category either.

In the last three years, however, I’ve made massive strides in multiple areas of my life at the same time.

Do I have a secret? Yes, actually. I stumbled upon a nearly foolproof application strategy. Before we talk about that, it’s important to understand the supreme importance of practice.

Practice makes subconscious

The popular saying is “practice makes perfect.” The more accurate saying is “practice makes subconscious.”

If you want to become good at anything, you have to recruit the power of your subconscious brain. There is no other way.

For example, Michael Jordan was so skilled at basketball because he practiced so much that all the scenarios, movements, and requirements of the game became second nature to him.

He didn’t have to consciously think, “Okay, I’m going to dribble around this guy, do a quick spin, pump fake to get the big man to jump, and do a reverse layup on the other side.” Instead, he did it all instinctively and swiftly. He had the skills, athletic ability, and court awareness, all of which were developed through hours and hours of practice.

Similarly, expert copywriters have practiced the craft so much that the right words, sentence structure, and emotional tone flow out of them — the concepts of effective copywriting are already a part of their ways of thinking. They may consult materials to aid their efforts (as Jordan studied the game of basketball), but they don’t necessarily need them in order to do a fine job.

Beginners in any discipline need external help because they haven’t learned the core skills yet. On their paths to mastery, they’ll often emulate known authorities.

The difference between experts and those trying to emulate them is the amount and consistency of practice.

To reach your goal — whether it’s to create a popular blog, become a world-class copywriter, or do a double backflip on skis — you must practice consistently.

Success comes from consistent, repetitive action

When most people want to become good at something, they do it a few times and quit, or they do it sporadically for years.

To the subconscious mind, this doesn’t cut it. If you want to change your subconscious, repeat a behavior over and over and over again. Repeat it once more after that. Do it every day. Repetition is the language of the subconscious mind.

Seth Godin has written 18 bestselling books and has one of the most popular blogs in the world. Do you think it’s coincidence that he’s published a post every day for years and is a successful writer? I don’t.

“If you know you have to write something every single day, even a paragraph, you will improve your writing.” – Seth Godin

Success is born from consistency. People aren’t consistent because they’re successful; their consistency creates and sustains their success.

You won’t believe what triggered my breakthrough

If you’ve been reading carefully, you’ve noticed that I think consistency matters a lot. Well, I want to take it a step further. There is nothing more important than being consistent.

Let me briefly explain why I believe this so sincerely.

It was mid-2013, and I was struggling (to put it lightly). I had been blogging for 2.5 years and only had 440 subscribers to show for it. Most of my peers had done far better in far less time. Despite my Finance degree, I was jobless and living with my parents at the ripe old age of 28. My hopes for the future were ashes at the feet of my reality.

I made a decision in mid-2013, however, which gained me 4,000 more subscribers during the rest of that year.

Later that same year, I self-published a book which has been translated into more than a dozen languages and has been the number one self-help book in the USA, Canada, and South Korea.

After that, I created a video course, which now has more than 7,500 paying students. I wrote another international bestselling book last year, and my blog has grown to more than 12,000 subscribers. I’ve also put on 15 pounds of muscle by going to the gym.

It was a dramatic turnaround. What do you imagine was the “big” strategy that changed my life?

Writer’s Xtreme Boot Camp: Bleed By Day Three or Your Money Back!

Um … no. Yikes.

You went to Tibet and found yourself!

Nope. Sounds fun though.

You got lucky.

I don’t believe in luck anymore; I believe in consistency.

I’ll tell you the real strategy that created my avalanche of positive change, but you might laugh at it and you may not even believe me. In mid-2013, at the height of my failure, I set four daily goals that changed my life:

  1. Do one push-up.
  2. Write 50 words (blog).
  3. Write 50 words (book).
  4. Read two pages in a book.

Anticlimactic, isn’t it? Four activities that took me a cumulative time of five minutes to do completely transformed my life.

I call these “mini habits,” and it’s the topic of that book I published in December 2013.

Mini habits make application (really) easy

The transformation in my life occurred as a direct result of my strategy change. I switched from chasing “goals” to chasing consistency. Because these mini habits were so minuscule, I had no problem accomplishing them every day.

This concept is about more than just “set small goals.”

A unique part of the mini habits strategy is that the daily goal is not a ceiling. I actively encouraged myself to do more than my mini requirements. This ensured my consistency and also gave me an outlet for excess motivation. I realized that motivation isn’t supposed to be our primary fuel for action, though — it’s too inconsistent for that.

In psychology, there’s a term called autonomy. It’s far more important than people realize: “The term autonomy literally refers to regulation by the self. Its opposite, heteronomy, refers to controlled regulation, or regulation that occurs without self-endorsement.”

Autonomy means that you feel in control and are in charge of yourself.

Most goals people set seem like they provide autonomy since they’re decisions we make, but a big goal can easily become the boss you despise.

For example, when you’re unmotivated, you’ll resist the goals you’ve set, and you’ll feel controlled by your prior decision to pursue the goal. Your sense of autonomy will disappear and you’ll feel controlled. When people feel controlled, they fight back or try to escape.

Instead of stripping away your sense of autonomy, a mini habit enhances it and makes you feel empowered.

It’s never too intimidating to practice copywriting for 50 words or one minute. You’ll often exceed your small goal, not because of an arbitrary aim, but because you want to get better at it. You want to practice more, and meeting your mini habit requirement is a potent momentum and motivation booster to keep going.

A mini habit shines most on the days you’re tired and unmotivated, as you can still knock out your requirement and feel good about what you did.

This is why the mini habits strategy is the ultimate consistency tool.

Start small on your way to big results

Aristotle famously said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” That is true, even if what we repeatedly do is really small and simple.

Before my writing mini habit, I wrote sporadically and my results were sporadic.

When you do something every day, you resist it less over time. That’s why I was able to go from one push-up a day to a full gym habit. As a bonus, you will also develop the skill more rapidly.

There are considerations, such as how many mini habits to pursue at once and how to keep your mini habit small, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. For that, I recommend reading the Mini Habits book, which goes into more detail.

Dream big, but keep your goals small to harness the exponential power of consistency. You won’t look back.

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The Surprising Spooky Secret to Enduring Success Habits

ghost figure in pumpkin patch with Autumn leaves

Are you addicted to productivity advice?

I was, for a long time. I bought every system, book, and blueprint out there.

I had a very spiffy David Allen-inspired GTD process that was only 642 steps long and took a mere 3 hours a day to implement (during which time I wasn’t actually, you know, getting anything done).

That wasn’t David Allen’s fault, by the way, it was mine. But I don’t think I was alone.

Every person who has a long to-do list also has a desire to do more.

And most of us are quite good at doing certain things. We don’t have a problem getting out of bed every day (even if we grumble), brushing our teeth, driving to work, or finding some lunch. As Seth Godin likes to say, “No one ever gets Talker’s Block.”

Why? Because those things are just ingrained habits. We don’t think about doing them, or need to find motivation to do them … we just do them.

Where we do tend to procrastinate and stumble is on the activities that we feel resistance around. Anything creative is a major one. Writing, in particular, is one of the few forms of procrastination that has its own name: Writer’s Block.

You might have made a million resolutions to write every day, or publish two blog posts a week, or finally get your damned autoresponder up and running. And a million times, you might have failed.

Today, I’d like to let you know what works for me. Because I believe it will work for you, too.

First things first.

Big resolutions don’t work

We all know it, and I don’t know why we keep doing it. Resolutions for massive, sweeping habit change just don’t work.

(They probably work for a few people. But those people aren’t reading this post, because they’re too busy climbing Everest while writing their best-selling memoir and running their four-hour-workweek business. Bless their hearts.)

Everyone I know who believes that sugar is a deadly poison is also stuffing donuts into their face every time I see them.

Everyone I know who absolutely, positively is going to have their novel done in 30 days has been working on that novel for 25 years.

Big change is scary, and we avoid it. With all the creativity and energy we can muster.

Maybe I just know more than my share of flakes, but I don’t think so. I think that massive change sounds like a good idea while we’re making those impassioned vows to ourselves. But once the real world hits, the part of our brains that actually does things wants nothing to do with it.

What works better

There’s an intriguing (and increasing) body of work that suggests that instead, itsy bitsy habit change is the thing that works.

There’s Robert Maurer’s excellent book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, which everyone should go read right now.

There’s BJ Fogg’s well-known Tiny Habits site, and accompanying TED talk.

There’s Stephen Guise’s book on Mini Habits, which lays out a stupidly easy plan to develop these stupidly easy small habit tweaks. You should go read that one right now if you’re not picking up the Maurer, or even if you are.

So if you want to get your book written? Commit to a ridiculously tiny habit of writing 50 words on it a day. Once the micro habit is in place, it’s funny how often you find yourself sticking around for a lot more than those 50 words. And on the days that you only do 50 — you still win.

Getting started on anything new or uncomfortable — writing, working out, improving your website — is always the hardest part. But once you’re in motion, you’ll tend to stay in motion. And once you have a solid habit formed, you’ll think of yourself as “the kind of person who” does that thing. You’ll be surprised at how much productivity that will spur.

Here are a few of my thoughts on how to get a micro habit started, how to best benefit from it, and some ideas about productive micro habits you might want to get rolling for yourself.

Getting started

I’ve read a few books on this (apparently I’m still addicted to productivity advice), and Stephen Guise’s Mini Habits is the best one I’ve found to just get you going. It’s a quick, easy read that lays out the process, as well as the benefits, succinctly.

Or if you’d rather start right now (an excellent idea), just pick one of the habits I’ve listed in this post. Do it every day. If you aren’t doing it every day, try my advice below.

One nice thing about these teeny habit changes is that you can do more than one at a time, if you like. I’m currently doing four, and will add a fifth in the next day or two. But start with just one for at least a week, to get yourself used to the new plan.

Plan for your crazy days

Your micro habit needs to work on your absolutely most insane days.

Think about your nuttiest day of the week — when you work late, your dog has swim practice, and your kid has obedience lessons. Or think about what your day looks like when you’re traveling for business. Or family. Or anything else that tends to be disruptive.

These little habits need to be so little that they’ll fit into your day, even when things are a zoo. Don’t be tempted to skip your micro habits on zoo days — that’s just when you most need them.

(If you or a loved person goes to the hospital for something serious, you have my permission to slack off. Anything short of that, the habit should be small enough to fit.)

The right timing

When I can, I like to time my little habits so that I have some free time after.

Why? Because that’s how 50 words on a key project turns into 2,000 words. That’s how completing your warm-up turns into a 40-minute workout.

Important, though: If you can’t time your teeny habit for that kind of time slot, do it anyway. If you have four habits and you do all of them right before bed, you still win.

Don’t unconsciously make your “real” habit Write 2,000 Words and start putting it off because you don’t have that much time or energy. Your habit is 50 words. If you do that, you win.

The value of fanatic consistency

Guise makes an excellent point about the need for rigid consistency with your micro habits.

“Self-efficacy,” or the belief in your ability to influence an outcome, plays a big part in mustering the willpower to do things. Getting a truly daily habit in place, even a tiny one, skyrockets your confidence in that ability to beat procrastination and do the things you want to do. It trains your willpower “muscle.”

… a problem many people develop is an expectation of failing to reach their goals. Over time, this crushes their self-efficacy because it’s hard to believe that next time will be different (especially if you’re using the same strategy that failed last time). ~ Stephen Guise

A little tiny habit is a surprisingly easy way to retrain your brain — but only if you do it daily.

If it’s not working

If it’s not working, your habit is probably a little too big. “Write one page” is small, but it’s not small enough to be tiny — it’s too much to handle on a day that’s crazy, or a travel day.

Trim them down until they are stupidly easy and quick to complete.

Reminding yourself how embarrassingly easy and quick they are is also a good tool if you’re tempted to skip a day.

Some habit ideas you can swipe

Here are some ideas you can steal for micro habits of your own to develop. I like to have a mix of professional and personal — two for my business, and two for my personal life. (If you want to know what my habits are, swing by the Google+ conversation and I’ll let you know.)

Try one of these, or make up your own. Remember, start with one for the first week, and if you want to, you can add a few more later.

  • Meditate for five minutes (or two minutes, if you find resistance to five)
  • Read or re-read two pages of a classic copywriting resource
  • Write 50 words on your Big Project
  • Do the warm-up for that workout you’ve been trying to do more often
  • Write three headlines for content you might write some day
  • Hand-copy out a paragraph of writing you admire
  • Walk for ten minutes (or less, if this feels too big)
  • Outline a post idea (it’s okay if these are very silly — they’re not to publish, just to warm up your writing brain)
  • Participate in your favorite online writing or business group (Only do this one if you don’t have this habit already)
  • Read two pages on a topic that has nothing to do with writing or your business

Got more? Join us over on Google+ with your suggestions — we’d love to hear them!

And I’ll leave you with one final quote from Guise, to push you over into trying this out for yourself. I think you’ll be happy when you see the results.

We’re quick to blame ourselves for lack of progress, but slow to blame our strategies. Then we repeat them over and over again, trying to make them work. But here’s the thing — if you fail using a strategy more than a few times, you need to try another one. ~ Stephen Guise

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Alexander C. Kafka.

About the author

Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

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30 Minutes a Day: The Power of Daily Habits in Successful Content Marketing (and Life)

Staying on target is one of the biggest challenges with content marketing. Take the time to clarify your big objectives, and then shift your focus to creating a system that supports your success.
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