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Month: February 2018

Not Happy with Your Marketing Results? Maybe You Haven’t Picked the RIGHT Marketing Tactic for You

Not Happy with Your Marketing Results? Maybe You Haven’t Picked the RIGHT Marketing Tactic for You

Recently, I was at an event half-listening to a speaker give his speak-to-sell talk about his favorite marketing tactic, when I heard him say something that jolted me out of my daze (I’m paraphrasing, here):

“I’m going to show you why speaking is the only marketing tactic you need to build your business.”

Why did this jump out at me? Well, not because it isn’t true (or at least, not necessarily untrue), but because it’s incomplete.

Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I have no issue with him doing a talk designed around selling his program. I’m a big believer that entrepreneurs should be well-paid for facing their fears and putting themselves out there to build a business and make a difference.

Also, he’s not wrong.

Speaking absolutely IS a great way to market your business.

But, is it the best way? Depends on how you define “best.”

Is it the only way? Absolutely not.

Are there negatives associated with speaking? Oh my goodness, yes. (In fact, I’ll list a few here, in regard to speaking on local stages, as the speaker recommended: stage fright, getting dressed up/doing your make up and hair, travel time, ending up in front of a crowd of folks who aren’t your ideal clients (which means you waste all that time and energy), speaking in front of your ideal clients and bombing your talk, which is also a waste of time and energy, etc.)

And, that’s the issue I really have with what the speaker said at the event.

If you listen to the marketing “gurus,” they all have their one “perfect,” “can’t-miss” tactic for growing your business. And, as I said earlier, they’re all trying to make money, so they’re not necessarily going to share the drawbacks (or if they do, they’re going to downplay them), and they’re going to hype the positives.

For some entrepreneurs, the tactic they’re selling will absolutely be right for them.

But, for others, not so much.

It can be very confusing to try and take in marketing advice and sort out which is the best marketing strategy for you.

So, I want to help! Here are two questions to ask yourself every time you’re considering implementing a new marketing tactic:

  1. Does it light you up?
  2. Does it light you up enough to outweigh the drawbacks?

Now, let’s dig into both of these questions more deeply.

Does it light you up?

I’m a big believer that there is a marketing tactic for everyone. There are SO many ways to market yourself that you can most definitely find SOMETHING you’re both good at and enjoy.

It’s not about forcing yourself to market in a way you hate.

Now, are there times it makes sense to adopt a marketing tactic you’re not crazy about because it’s perfect for your ideal clients? Of course. In this case, consider hiring some help to make it more palatable for you (for example, maybe you hire a writer to write blog posts for you, if you hate writing).

But it’s also entirely possible to build your marketing around a marketing tactic you love, and that will work for you.

The key here is being consistent—if you’re consistent with your marketing, virtually any tactic can work for you over the long haul.

(My “Love-Based Online Marketing” book includes an assessment designed to help you figure out which marketing tactic is right for you.)

Now, let’s look at the second question.

Does it light you up enough to outweigh the drawbacks?

My friend Lisa Sasevich often shares this story on her stage about how she decided to have a second child:

After her son was born (who was a very easy baby), she and her husband were contemplating having a second.

And, she couldn’t decide.

She kept making lists about the pros and cons of having a second baby, and the list of cons far outweighed the list of pros. Did she really want to get back into diapers and sleepless nights? What about the expense of a second child? And so on.

But, she kept feeling a little soul around her, wanting to be born, and she couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So, finally a friend of hers said, “Choose your regrets.” She advised that either way, whether Lisa had a second baby or not, she would have regrets. So why not choose them?

When Lisa looked at it that way, the choice was easy, and she ended up having her second child, a daughter.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to say any marketing tactic has “regrets” attached to it, it certainly has “drawbacks” or “cons.”

So, in this case, choose your drawbacks.

Every single marketing tactic out there has drawbacks.

Every. Single. One.

Which drawbacks can you live with? Which ones can you work around?

And, is there enough about the marketing tactic you enjoy that outweighs the drawbacks?

OR, are the results of the marketing tactic awesome enough that you’re willing to push through everything you don’t like?

Bottom line …

That doesn’t mean you can’t try some out and see if you like them or not. That also doesn’t mean you can’t simply stop doing a marketing tactic you absolutely can’t stand, or that isn’t getting you the results you’re looking for.

But, here’s the thing about marketing tactics—they only work if you use them.

Consistently.

If you only use a marketing tactic for a month or two, get bored or frustrated for lack of results and move on, you’re never going to get the traction or the momentum you need to bust through and start seeing big results.

So, whatever marketing tactic you choose, you need to commit to it.

Then, you need to use it consistently (which of course looks different depending on what it is, but likely, it’s putting something out there in relation to the tactic at least once a week).

For at least a year.

Yes, you read that right. A year.

If you commit to that, after one year, you’ll have solid data to help you decide if it’s something you want to keep using, or if it’s time to try something else.

I know for many entrepreneurs, we move fast and make decisions fast, and we love nothing more than to jump right in when an idea strikes us (or, as one of my friends would say “We wake up with our hair on fire”).

On the flip side, we also abandon ideas we once thought were the “next best thing” just as quickly.

If we want our marketing to be successful, we can’t do that. We need to stick with it. Again, for at least one year.

So, choose wisely.

And, if you want more help selecting a love-based online marketing plan that’s right for you, make sure you check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Video] Flip It! Are You Building a Business Or Are You Just Making Money?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Building a Business Or Are You Just Making Money?

A few years back, there was what I call a “launch business phenomenon” (for lack of a better term) in the Internet Marketing/Information Product Industry. In a nutshell, these were “businesses” that relied on the product launch for  their main source of income.

These entrepreneurs would do 1-2 product launches a year, make 7-figures, and spend the rest of the year delivering the program and planning for the next launch while hanging out at the beach taking selfies to post on Facebook.

Needless to say, it was a great gig. Yes, there were a few intense weeks during the launch itself, but for the rest of the year, you only had to work a few hours a week.

However, like most things that are too good to be true, this idyllic way of earning a living didn’t last. Unfortunately, it also left a lot of unnecessary pain and anguish in its path.

You see, the launch business fed into this whole Internet business myth of working only a few hours a week and cashing in massive checks. Sure, that was true for some people. But, not for most.

But, here’s the thing. A launch business isn’t a business. In fact, I would go so far to say any business that is based around one or two income streams isn’t a real business.

Yes, it’s a way to make money. But, it’s not a business.

So, what IS a business? And do you have one?

To answer that let me ask you a couple of questions.

• Do you have to be personally involved to make money?

This one is probably the biggest. If your only source of income is to be personally involved, maybe even selling your time, you don’t have a business.

What you likely have is a job.

A true business generates income for you regardless of whether you’re personally involved or not. You would be able to go on vacation or take the afternoon off because your kid is sick and not have to worry about income fluctuations. You may even be able to cut how much time you spend working in your business without seeing a drop in your income.

• Do you have multiple sources of not only income but also prospects?

Most stable businesses have multiple ways of finding new customers. They are usually advertising on multiple platforms, not just Facebook. They’re using a variety of marketing campaigns and strategies, not just one complicated funnel or one or two product launches.

They also tend to have multiple offers and are making money selling multiple products and services.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to start spending thousands of dollars on advertising or creating dozens and dozens of products, but it does mean not putting all your eggs in one marketing strategy basket OR one product basket.

There is a bit of a fine line here between spreading yourself too thin because you have too many products and services and leaving yourself too vulnerable, because the vast majority of your income relies on one or two main strategies or products. I would encourage you to slowly add marketing strategies and product offers to your mix, to make sure you ARE getting a return on your time and money investment, and then you can also slowly add to your team to support what you’re doing.

Of course, all that said, maybe you’re not interested in building a business. Maybe you really are just looking for an income stream. For instance, maybe you’re a massage therapist or a freelance graphic designer and you love what you do and only really want to sell your time. If that’s the case, then go for it.

But, just don’t confuse what you’re doing with building a business.

What you’ve done is create a way to bring income into your life, which is fabulous while it lasts. And, never forget streams have a way of drying up pretty quickly.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

For a good chunk of my life, I struggled with goal setting.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I was taught that hard work was not only valued, but the key to success. So, when I started my business as an adult, I WANTED to be so busy I was working nights and weekends.

After all, if I was working long hours, that meant that I was “successful.” Right?

(It took years and multiple burnouts to finally force me to shift that thinking.)

But sacrificing my mental and physical health was just the tip of the damage that mindset caused me. My workaholic tendency combined with my “Type A” personality also kept me constantly feeling like I wasn’t doing “enough,” no matter how many goals I checked off my list.

And, of course in the meantime, I did have big dreams and goals I wasn’t making any progress toward at all (specifically, my fiction writing goals), so I also believed I clearly had a problem with goal setting. (Actually, my secret shame was my belief that what was really hindering me was procrastination and lack of focus.)

So, I did what any workaholic, Type A personality would do when feeling stuck:

I became obsessed with goal setting.

I researched and tried many goal setting and time management systems. Nothing really worked.

I also tried relying on sheer willpower—pushing myself to get more done (which was also not successful).

So what was it that finally shifted goal setting for me?

Digging more deeply into my love-based philosophy, and realizing my goal setting was built on a foundation of fear.

What does that mean, exactly? And if your goal setting method is also built on a foundation of fear, how can you switch it to a foundation of love, instead?

That’s exactly what I’m going to walk you through in this Goal Setting Checklist.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Goal Setting Step 1: Get Clear. What Are Love-Based Goals Anyway?

To me, love-based goals are whispers from your soul.

Your soul wants you to step into the highest version of yourself. But, your soul also know that’s not easy. It requires you to face your demons and love your shadows.

So, as you do that work, your soul whispers your love-based goals to you. And as you become that highest version of yourself, your “reward” is that those goals can finally come true.

In other words, your love-based goals can only come true if you start to shift into the highest, best version of yourself.

Your soul wants to keep you on track toward achieving your love-based goals, so you can live your best, happiest life.

Now, on the flip side, in many cases, one of the main reasons why your love-based goals haven’t come true is because they don’t match your current identity. For instance, let’s say you’ve always wanted to write a novel, but the years have gone by and you’ve never even written a paragraph. Why is that? Because your current identity sees yourself as a wanna-be author, NOT an actual author.

That’s why taking the time to change your identity so it matches your love-based goals is key to having your love-based goals come true.

So, how do you change your identity? Keep reading — the next 3 goal setting steps are a good place to start.

Goal Setting Step 2: Identify Your Love-Based Goals

How do you know if you have love-based goals, or “regular” goals?

One big indication of a love-based goal is if you have a big dream you’ve been talking about your entire life, yet somehow, you’ve never gotten any traction toward realizing it.

Now, it’s possible that big dream is not a love-based goal, but what I call a “should” goal. A “should” goal is a goal you feel like you “should” be working on, but it doesn’t actually reflect your deepest desires.

How can you tell the difference? I recommend doing some journaling around your perfect day. (No, I’m not talking about a vacation day here, but a perfect work day.) What are you actually DOING during your perfect work day? How is your day structured? Where are you living? Who is around you?

While you’re doing this exercise, take note of how you’re feeling. Are you getting excited? Are you tapping into your passion? Or does it feel like you’re still doing something you “have to,” or maybe even dread?

This exercise is a great way to differentiate between love-based and “should” goals.

Goal Setting Step 3: Be Prepared for What Can Stop You.

If you’ve designed your life around “should” goals, it’s probably not difficult to understand why you haven’t gotten any traction on them. But, what about your love-based goals? Why haven’t they come true?

Typically, there’s something going on either internally or externally.

If it’s an external problem, it’s usually around not having found the right goal setting system for you.

In my “Love-Based Goals” book, I dig into a variety of goal-setting methods, to give you options so you can find one that feels right for you. It’s also pretty easy to do your own research, with a little help from your favorite search engine.

If it’s an internal problem (which I suspect is the real culprit, more often than not), well, that’s a little trickier.

Generally speaking, if something is going on internally, it’s directly related to blocks in your mindset or subconscious. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating every time you sit down to work on your goals. Or maybe you lack focus. Or maybe you can never find the time.

Or maybe you find yourself constantly feeling worry or resentment or anger or sadness or jealously or guilt every time you sit down to work on your goals.

And, because you feel so crappy, it can’t possibly be a good goal, right? It must be a sign you shouldn’t be working toward that dream.

Alas, our fear-based emotions stop us more often than not. We feel crappy, which not only makes it difficult to do the work, but since we want to stop feeling that way, we’re compelled to take actions that help us numb or stuff down our uncomfortable feelings. (For instance, maybe we want to take a drink or make poor eating choices or numb out on television or start a fight—these are all actions we take to distract ourselves from feeling our fear-based emotions.)

If you relate, my recommendation is that the next time you’re working on your big dream and you find yourself feeling bad, let yourself feel the emotion AND don’t let it stop you from continuing to take action. (I talk about how I did this myself when I had my big 2017 marketing success story here.)

Goal Setting Step 4: Set Yourself up for Success.

While feeling your fear-based emotions and still taking action is never going to be easy, there are things you can do to increase your odds of being successful.

• Start and maintain a morning practice (so rather than check email, start your day with self-care practices such as meditation or journaling).

• Use rituals, such as a New Year’s Day ritual to help you create a supportive container around making your goals come true.

• Create new, empowering habits that support your love-based goals and the person you’re becoming. (And, on the flip side, let go of old, toxic habits that are keeping you trapped in the “old” you.)

• Give yourself a break! None of this is easy. Give yourself the time and space you need to let your emotions move through you. Drink plenty of water, exercise, rest. And, above all, don’t beat yourself up if it’s not happening “fast enough.” Chances are, it’s happening plenty fast enough and surrounding to the process and allowing it to unfold the way it wants to is the best gift you can give yourself.

If you’d like to dig more into making your love-based goals come true, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Goals” book. Grab your copy here.

 

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Pick Yourself Up After You Fail?

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Pick Yourself Up After You Fail?

Let me start by busting a myth: If you’re successful at anything, you’ve also experienced a fail or two.

And, likely, a lot more than one or two.

I’m not sure it’s possible to BE successful without also experiencing failure. Because, if you’re not out there and trying new things and testing out new ideas and concepts while knowing you may fail, it’s difficult to BE a success.

Projects you thought would be a big hit … aren’t. Or they take longer than you planned to catch on. Or maybe they WERE a huge success, and then one day they stopped selling.

Launches crash and burn. Marketing strategies that once worked stop.

I could go on and on. And, these are just entrepreneurial examples. There’s also countless examples if you want to be an author or artist or scientist or inventor, or even climb the corporate ladder.

Thomas Edison experienced over 10,000 failures (which he didn’t call “failures”) before he figured out how to make a light bulb work.

So, I suspect you already know this. It’s not a secret.

But, I also bet you forgot.

Because, unless the fall from grace is really public, you don’t see it. A lot of failures happen behind closed doors. A product doesn’t sell as well as hoped — is that truly something most people are going to see? Probably not. It didn’t sell well so how would anyone outside the business know?

I start here because I’m beginning to believe one of the key attributes all successful people share is their ability to bounce back after they fail.

Because failure is going to happen if you want to become a success. And, the more successful you want to become, the more failure you’ll likely experience.

Now, my take on picking yourself back up after you’ve fallen is maybe a little different than what you heard. You see, I think the first thing you need to do is feel all those crappy feelings.

Yes, feel the anger, the disappointment, the resentment, the jealously, the envy, the shame, the embarrassment, the grief. Stomp your feet. Hit a pillow. Cry.

Do whatever you need to do to move that energy from your body.

Because that’s the only way you’ll be able to stop feeling those feelings.

Feelings just want to be felt. And, if you don’t feel them, they’ll keep following you around, harassing you, until you do.

So, how on earth will you be able to pick yourself up if you’re still stewing? How are you possibly going to focus on taking action to get yourself back on track when you’re still battling rage or grief or wanting to shrink into yourself and hide under your bed?

The answer — you can’t!

That’s why so many people CAN’T pick themselves back up. They may tell themselves they need to beat this, and they have to get back on their horse and all the other rah-rah inspirational motivational messages.

But, it’s just talk. If they feel like crap, it’s going to be tough to take action. Not only because you don’t feel like doing anything when your emotions are out of control, but trying to keep yourself from feeling your emotions is a lot of work, so you’re likely going to be more exhausted than normal.

So, before you do anything, before you get that plan together to beat this thing, let yourself just feel as crappy as you want to. Go ahead, let it all out. Have a big ole pity party for yourself.

And, when all of those emotions have been felt and have moved through you, you may be amazed at how easier everything looks.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

[Case Study] My Precise Strategy on How to Start a Blog

[Case Study] My Precise Strategy on How to Start a Blog

After all the mistakes I made with my first blog (aka my “starter” blog), I decided I needed a better plan for how to start a blog successfully.

In fact, I would say knowing how to start a blog on the right foot is crucial. Even when you do everything correctly, it can still take months to start seeing results.

And, if you don’t start out right, it will take even longer.

(Of course, the flip side is once you start seeing results, you’ll continue to, even if you aren’t always on top of posting.)

Even knowing it will take time to see results, it cam still be difficult to keep moving forward when you have little to nothing to show for it (trust me, I know, I just went through it). It’s even worse when you’re also listening to a nagging little voice in the back of your head questioning whether you’re doing it right.

Because, hands down, worst of all, is finding out months down the road (after expending all that wasted time and creative energy) that you did, indeed, do things wrong and that’s the reason why you’re not seeing results.

That’s why I’m going to walk you through my precise strategy on how to start a blog today—so you can duplicate it and experience the same type of success I am with my new blog, LoveBasedBiz.com. I started this blog in December 2016, and it took about a year to start seeing results. But now, I’m finally getting the traction and momentum I was looking for.

That said, I think I could have seen results months sooner if I hadn’t gone through a “crisis of faith” about six months in. I started doubting myself and was seriously considering throwing in the towel.

I didn’t let myself stop, but I did cut back on how much I was posting each week.

Looking back, I see that was a mistake—one I don’t want you to make.

Here’s the thing: it’s still totally possible to grow a blog from scratch. It’s also totally possible to still use SEO (search engine optimization) and attract organic visitors to your blog.

AND if you set your blog up right, it’s also possible to make money from it. (In my case, I’m selling books and products with my blog.)

All you need is the right strategy.

(Now, that said, I do want to add that you can always find someone who isn’t following one or all of these steps, and is still rocking it with his/her blog. Unicorns exist. However, I do believe the vast majority of folks who decide to disregard what I say below are likely going to be frustrated with their blogging efforts.)

How to Start a Blog Step 1: Get clear on your message.

Gone are the days when you could create a business around rehashing what other experts and gurus teach, or even worse, relying on “new” to cut through the marketing clutter and give you momentum.

Now, you really need to get clear on your unique voice and message to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Yes, you have one (trust me). If you’re feeling called to change the world with your unique gift (even if you’re not entirely sure what that gift is), you have something to share.

You just have to find it.

Chances are it’s some sort of combination of what you find super easy to do and your personal story and life experiences (including your core wounds and/or your shadows). It’s definitely worth the time and energy to dig in and get clear on what you’re meant to bring forward into the world.

For myself, I knew I needed to get the love-based message out in a big way.

How to Start a Blog Step 2: Get clear on what your blog is about.

Yes, yes, I’m also disappointed that people aren’t rushing to my blog to read my personal musings on whatever pops into my head, no matter if it’s related to my overall brand and message or not.

But, unless you’re super famous and/or have a big following, that’s life.

Your visitors are coming to you because they expect a certain experience on your blog. Maybe it’s content. Maybe it’s entertainment. Maybe it’s both.

If you don’t provide that experience consistently, they’ll likely stop coming.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. It also doesn’t mean your blog can’t evolve over time. What it DOES mean is that getting clear on what your blog is about, and then aligning your content with it is the key to success.

For myself, this was easy. I knew I was being called to get the love-based message out into the world in a bigger way, so that’s what my blog needed to be about.

How to Start a Blog Step 3: Choose a blog template that’s both mobile friendly and looks up to date. (And, get comfortable with the idea you’re probably going to have to update it in a few years.)

With more and more people accessing the web using phones and tablets, if you don’t have a mobile-responsive blog, you’re just asking to be ignored by a lot of potential visitors.

How to Start a Blog Step 4: Write posts around popular keywords.

If you want to build up your organic traffic (“organic traffic” refers to the posts that will show up organically when your ideal clients are searching the web using those keywords), this is non-negotiable. (I’ll dig into this strategy in more detail in a future post, but in short, find popular keywords that don’t have a lot of competition, and write your posts around them.)

How to Start a Blog Step 5: Write high-quality, longer posts.

I can’t stress this enough. Just throwing up a fast, poorly-written, poorly-thought-out article is NOT going to help you over the long haul. Take time to create solid content, even if it means you can’t post as often as you like.

Also, I suggest writing at least one long post a week (and by long, I mean between 1,000 and 2,000 words). Studies show that longer posts get shared more on social media, and get more SEO love.

How to Start a Blog Step 6: Use graphics and pictures.

I haven’t done a lot with infographics (yet) but Michelle Schaefer, one of the blogging mentors I’ve followed, swears by them. For myself, I’ve definitely found that having unique pictures (I take a lot of my own pictures) encourages people to click and read.

How to Start a Blog Step 7: Consider integrating podcasts and/or videos.

Not all of your ideal prospects like to read. Not all want to listen to podcasts or watch videos.

That’s why offering multiple modalities for consuming your content can make your blog more accessible and desirable to a bigger audience.

In addition, you’ll also open up more platforms to advertise your blog on. If you have a podcast, you can then advertise your blog on all the different podcast platforms. If you have videos, you can build your YouTube channel and presence.

Which leads me to the next step …

How to Start a Blog Step 8: Have a social media strategy in place.

Alas, blogs don’t promote themselves (at least not anymore). Along with setting aside time to write your blog (or have it written for you), you’re also going to have to set aside time to promote your blog (or have a marketing assistant promote it for you).

Luckily, promoting your blog is an excellent way to also promote your business—especially if it’s set up correctly so it reflects your brand and message. When people visit your blog to read your juicy content, they also get a taste of what it would be like to work with you on a deeper level. Hands down, this is one of the best ways to market your products, programs, and services.

People don’t want to be hit over the head (especially on social media) with your sales messages. But providing a link to a meaty blog article or podcast or video is something they may even end up thanking you for.

So, what’s the best way to promote your blog? Social media of course. Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, and Twitter can all be easily incorporated into your marketing strategy. In addition, you may want to take a serious look at Pinterest. I’ve been playing around with it more, and a lot of my research points to Pinterest as being one of the best platforms to promote your blog.

How to Start a Blog Step 9: Be clear on the action you want your visitors to take, and then make sure you ASK them to take that action.

Building your email subscriber list should always be one of your biggest calls to action on your blog. But, I also think you should consider soft selling your products, programs, and services. Now, that doesn’t mean you should expect someone to read a blog post and buy a year-long, high-end coaching program. But, you can certainly seed the results of that coaching program on your blog, which can get your ideal prospects to start to consider working with you.

If you’re an author, blogs are an excellent way to sell books (both fiction and nonfiction), so definitely incorporate them.

So, there you have it—how you can set up your blog for more success. And, if you’d like to dig into even more Internet Marketing (including setting up your online marketing plan), you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

[Video] Flip It: Are You Letting Your Critics Win?

[Video] Flip It: Are You Letting Your Critics Win?

When I was a freshman in college, I was accepted into an advanced creative writing class. I admit, at the time I was pretty brash and full of myself (and not in a good way) and definitely deserved to be taken down a peg or two.

And, that’s precisely what happened. The creative writing professor didn’t care for me, gave me a C, and told me it was because I didn’t have much talent as a writer.

Now, for years, I would imagine telling this story on these national platforms, like Oprah, after I was a huge success, of course.

There was only one problem.

I had stopped writing.

Oh, I still had fantasies of becoming a famous author. And I often dreamed of telling this story as a revenge fantasy. But, in terms of putting the work in and actually sitting my butt down in a chair and writing, I wasn’t doing a darn thing.

And it wasn’t for lack of trying. I just didn’t have any ideas. I was completely blocked.

So, why was that? What happened to me?

Well, what I see now is I didn’t allow myself to process my emotions.

I jumped right into “Well, I’ll show her” and “Every famous author was told he or she didn’t have talent” mode, and skipped right over the part where I have a good cry because my feelings are hurt and maybe throw a temper tantrum while I’m at it. (Alone of course. This is not about creating a lot of drama and having people feel sorry for me. This is simply me behind closed doors feeling my emotions.)

I can remember back then feeling out of sorts, like I was a bottle of carbonated fizzy soda all blocked up with nowhere to go. I was literally feeling myself block my creativity, even though I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing at the time. I didn’t understand how important it was to feel my emotions and let them out before I could settle back down and do the hard work of creating.

So, now let’s talk about you. I get it. Being criticized is never fun. It’s even less fun now when social media is lurking right around the corner and people can say all sorts of nasty and hateful things for the world to read.

I understand. You should check out some of my reviews on Amazon. Ooof — a few are brutal. One even compares my writing to a 6-year-old. So, yeah. It happens.

But am I going to let those nasty-minded mean people stop me from getting my message out to those who are looking for it? Absolutely not. In fact, you can check out my fiction brand right here.

And you shouldn’t let them stop you either.

Which is why taking care of yourself is more important than ever.

If you don’t allow yourself to feel bad when you’re criticized, OR if you’re not allowing yourself to feel the fear you might be criticized if you get too big, you’re never going to allow yourself to get big enough to be criticized.

And, if you do that, who wins? You or your would-be critics?

The best part? Eventually the critics will lose their power to hurt you. Honestly. If you do the work and feel the feelings, no matter what they are, you’ll stop being triggered.

And then, who is the real winner?

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

What I Learned from My Blog: 5 Mistakes I Made

What I Learned from My Blog: 5 Mistakes I Made

In 2016, I took a hard look at my blog, my business, and my industry, and I knew I had to make some new choices when it came to marketing and promoting my business. (I share my story in depth here.)

Along with deciding a blog was still the way to go, I also decided my blog (which I now lovingly refer to as my “starter” blog) had so many issues, it seemed the best thing to do was start over with a fresh, new blog.

Mind you, it wasn’t the easiest choice to me. My starter blog was getting a decent amount of organic traffic. Not great, but it was something to build on.

Plus, I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to build my SEO back up. While my research showed it was entirely possible to build up a new blog’s organic traffic, I also knew it was more difficult now than when it had been when I had first started blogging.

In the end, I just felt like I had made too many mistakes with my blog to justify keeping it. It felt like it would require too much work to fix what I had done versus starting over fresh.

So, what were those mistakes? I lay them out for you below.

1. I didn’t keep it up-to-date.

My blog no longer fit my brand. It was built around my old brand, which was “The $Ka-Ching!$ Marketing Strategist!” I had named my blog “Rev Up Your Results!” None of this fit into the new Love-Based Business brand, which is where my business is now.

In addition, the blog theme itself was old and dated. It desperately needed a facelift.

Now, it’s true I could have simply rebranded everything. Put it in a new template and added new graphics. But, that’s actually easier said than done. I had A LOT of content on that blog, and making sure all the content survived the transformation is not only tricky, but a ton of work.

If that was the only mistake I made with my blog, I may have attempted it. Alas, there was more to come.

2. There was no clear focus.

When I started my blog years ago (I’m not even sure when I first started it), I did it because at the time the “new” marketing strategy that was getting all the attention was BLOGGING.

Throw a blog up! Get thousands of visitors! It’s the new, hot thing!

Okay, I could do that. Plus, I was already writing a weekly ezine (well, nearly weekly, maybe three times a month), so I had content I could post.

Made perfect sense.

Needless to say, while I do believe having a blog is better than not having one, this isn’t the best blogging strategy. Having a clear focus, goal, and plan for your blog is essential, if you want it to be successful.

And, that lack of initial focus ended up being reflected in the content I posted over the years.

Now, before I get into all my wanderings in the blogging wilderness, let me put things in perspective.

I started my business as a freelance copywriter in 1998. Since then, I’ve morphed into a copywriting company and further morphed into the Love-Based Copy and Marketing Company. I’ve published a non-fiction book series (the love-based business books) in addition to fiction books (I have two novels published and a three-book series due out later this year), plus I have a lot of other plans in the works.

This type of shift in business focus over a twenty-year time period is pretty normal.

After you’ve been in business for a few years, you’ll start to see that your business is a living, breathing entity. It grows and changes just like you do. (And, just like other living things, sometimes it dies, too.)

So, expecting your blog to have the exact same focus when it’s over a decade old isn’t realistic. And, if your blog IS that old, I don’t think it’s a problem if some of the older content is different from your newer offerings.

That said, my content problems were bigger than normal “growing pains.” Mine stemmed from not having a clear vision for my blog other than attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. So, when I didn’t attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, I would vacillate between tinkering with my plan to ignoring my blog in frustration for weeks (or even months) at a time.

Needless to say, that’s not a plan for success. (For anything, not just blogging.)

But, looking back, I feel like a lot of what I did was a necessary part of my journey. In some respect, I used my blog to help me find myself and get clear on my message and what I stood for. I posted some beautiful tributes (the ones to my mother and my dog, Roxie, are two that come to mind). I also posted some very odd, more personal posts that really had no place on a business blog (like one about tequila during my Cabo vacation that still attracts a visitor every now and then—needless to say, those visitors aren’t my ideal clients).

Overall, though, my “starter” blog gave me the freedom to explore my creativity and test what worked and what didn’t. And for that I’m grateful.

I was able to see which posts worked better than expected, and which ones flopped. That was priceless information.

Unfortunately, however valuable that creative experimentation was, in the end, it still led to the bigger problem, which was my blog felt disjointed. It didn’t hang together right. And, just liked the branding issue, it felt like too much work to tinker around to try and fix it. (Especially since I wasn’t even sure precisely what to do to fix it.)

But, even this paled in comparison to Mistake #3.

3. I wasn’t sharing very good content.

Ouch!

Yes, I’ll fully admit it.

Okay, so to be fair, pretty much all of my “not great content” happened over approximately a two-year period where I had tried not one but two different strategies to boost my number of visitors to hundreds of thousands.

It started with me joining a 30-day blog challenge and deciding to post every day.

This was a mistake. A big one.

Not because posting every day won’t work. It can. But, there’s a catch.

You need to be posting good, solid content.

And, I wasn’t doing that.

You see, for years I had a problem with the concept of speed. I had bought into the hype to move quickly, so I did. But, unfortunately for me, part of how I defined “quickly” was pretty close to “sloppy.”

On one hand, the blog challenge was a success. I posted every day for a month. I even extended the blog challenge for a few months (although I didn’t quite make every day, I was definitely posting four to six times a week).

Some of those posts were good. But, others were crap—something I simply threw up so I could check off the “yes I posted” on my to-do list.

Eventually, the “nearly-every-day-blog-post” started to wear on me, so I switched strategies (again) because I still wanted multiple blog posts a week and I thought if I changed my system, it would be easier for me to create them.

Unfortunately, the bad habits I had picked up during the blog challenge stuck with me, which meant some sloppy content still got posted.

In addition, because I was trying to move quickly, I didn’t have my editor edit my posts, so that contributed to a further decline of quality.

So, again, trying to sort through all that mess just gave me a headache. Plus, since I had switched strategies and visions so often, the whole blog felt energetically confusing, and the thought of putting my beautiful and powerful love-based message on a discombobulated platform sent shivers down my spine.

While this was probably my main reason for rolling the dice and starting from scratch, there were a couple other mistakes that turned this decision into a no-brainer.

4. I was dealing with broken plugins.

For whatever reason (maybe the technology was reflected in the content mess), I had a few strange technical issues with my old blog. The podcast plugin never worked, so I never did get my first, “starter” podcast on iTunes (or any other platform). I added one of those Tweet plugins, which worked for a little while and then stopped. It just seemed to be a never-ending battle with apps and plugins that just wouldn’t work right.

This was more annoying than anything, and maybe if my heart was more into saving that blog, I could have landed on a satisfying technical solution. But, I was also missing a vital piece.

5. I had no call to action.

Now, this wasn’t entirely true. I did have a CTA at the end of each article to sign up for my free gift.

But, part of where I wanted to go with the love-based platform was to also wrap the articles around one of my books. Selling the love-based business books was most definitely part of the overall vision for the new love-based business blog.

And, if I used the old blog, with the old posts, I would either have to go in and edit a whole bunch of articles OR live with the fact that my older articles (i.e. the ones getting organic traffic) didn’t have a CTA around the books.

Again, it felt like a much easier and less stressful project to simply start fresh.

So, now that I’ve walked you through the mistakes I made with my blog, check out this post where I walk you through what I did to set the new one up for success.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can be more effective with your Internet Marketing (including your blogging strategy), you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

[Video] Flip It! Why Becoming an Overnight Success May be the WORST Thing to Happen to You

[Video] Flip It! Why Becoming an Overnight Success May be the WORST Thing to Happen to You

I get it. I, too, have dreamed about becoming an overnight success. Still do, in fact.

But, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to believe that NOT becoming an overnight success may be the best thing to happen to you.

To illustrate, let me start with a story.

Over twenty years ago, a freelance writer wrote a book called Simple Abundance. This book ended up catching fire. Oprah had the author on her show a few times, the book was on the New York Times bestselling list for over two years, and by the time all was said and done, the author ended up selling over 7 million copies (5 million in the US and 2 million oversees).

Fast forward to today. While you might have heard of the book Simple Abundance, you likely haven’t heard of any of the author’s other titles. You might not know that she ended up losing all the money she made from Simple Abundance, and even declared bankruptcy.

She’s far from the only one. How many singers in the 80s had a massive hit, only to sink into oblivion? It was so common we even had a name for it: One-hit wonders.

How about people who win the lottery only to lose everything they won (and more) a few years later?

What do all of these stories have in common?

In my opinion? Success happened too fast for them.

Too fast? How can that be?

You see, every time you reach a big milestone, maybe it’s breaking the 6-figure mark or quitting your job to start your business or finally publishing your book, something shifts inside you.

The bigger the milestone, the bigger the shift.

And, if we’re not emotionally ready to accept the shift, we’ll unconsciously sabotage ourselves. Hence all the one-hit wonders.

Gay Hendricks has a name for it in his book, The Big Leap. He calls it an “upper limit problem.” We all have unconscious limits to how much success or happiness or money or joy we can accept. When we get more than what we can tolerate, we do things to bring ourselves down. That’s why after a particularly close moment with our spouse, we may start a fight or after we experience a big windfall of money, an equally big expense rolls in.

It takes both time and work to raise our upper limits and expand our capacity to receive. Which is why the journey to success is just as important as the success itself. What we end up learning on that journey is what helps us mentally and emotionally accept our success when good fortune does decide to smile down on us.

Look, I get how difficult and discouraging and frustrating the process can be. Waking up every morning and taking action even when you’re not seeing results yet, and worse, not having ANY idea when or IF you’ll see results is tough.

But, here’s the thing. The discipline and perseverance you develop during that process will serve you well when success finally does comes knocking on your door.

(And yes, it WILL come — maybe not how you thought it would arrive or when, but it will come.)

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.