Where to get inspiration when you feel like blog posting is a chore

Where to get inspiration when you feel like blog posting is a chore

IF YOU’RE FEELING LIKE BLOG POSTING IS MORE LIKE A MAJOR CHORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE,
I MAY HAVE A SOLUTION FOR YOU TO GIVE IT SOME LIFE, AS WELL AS GIVE IT A FRESH VIBE +
VIEW THE WHOLE PROCESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT.

What if I said treat your blog posts like it’s a magazine? Would that peak your interest? As a designer I seek inspiration from many sources. One of them being from magazines, but it’s not just any old magazines. They are magazines that feature products with the latest colours, patterns and textures. They are usually choker full of images and latest articles on colours for the season, whether it’s for the home or fashion. One in particular I love is a local one called Your Home & Garden. The magazine is full of images of peoples’ homes and what you’d expect on how they’ve beautifully renovated it.   But when it comes to magazines – it’s not only what’s inside the issue but it’s also what’s on the front cover. For solopreneurs who create visual and written content, this is a resource tool worth it’s weight in gold. The front cover can be the deciding factor why people will buy that particular magazine over the others on the mag rack. Usually the front cover has a subject or hero, [whether it’s a cake for recipes or a person for fashion] and usually appealing with latest and vibrant colours or graphic work and stand out titles to grab your attention.

Here’s how you can steal these ideas and use them for your blog posts.

1. USE THEIR HEADLINES

The titles that we see on the front covers are what works. They’ve been tried and tested and approved by Editor of the magazine and they obviously work. Instead of stealing the actual headline use the keywords they have used. Here’s what I mean – take this heading on the Marie Claire cover.

5 rows you’ll have after having a baby (& how to get through them)

Instead try this: 5 xxx [insert your subject/industry pains] you’ll have when having/doing/being xyz [insert another pain point here] (& how to get over it/over come/ deal with it, etc).

 

You will also notice most of their headlines are positive – even though they may address a problem but they provide a solution for their audience + how to overcome the problem.

2. USE THEIR DESIGN IDEAS

Typically the front cover has a distinctive font plus one or two different fonts. For the magazine to be consistent [yep they need to use the same method we do and earn trust with their audience] the magazine will use that font in a different colour and size. This is not to only emphasis a main story, but provides a variety, distinctive character and make it a little more exciting to jump out for the reader.

My biggest tip for this one: use high quality awe-inspiring images.
Use free-stock-photo businesses like
unsplash.com if you have no budget 
or stocksy.com if you have a budget.

Your audience will more likely share and like awe-inspiring and distinctive images from your blog posts and social media if they’re worth sharing. And take a note next time you come across a magazine rack – stand for a moment and notice which magazine stands out for you? Ask, why does it stand out? Is it the subject or hero? Could it be the title? Or maybe the colour?

Let me know in the comments below if you have a #1 resource you like to turn to – I’m always open to new ideas.

Why you need to give a shit about your website

Why you need to give a shit about your website

You know you’re special right? And you know that there’s no-one else in the world like you…or so you thought.

It’s not until you get online and see that what you offer and what you do is not so unique after all. It can be disappointing and a real show stopper. I know because I’ve been there too.

 

 

I’ve got a story that may help you to keep moving forward + explain why you need to give a shit about your website.

Take for instance the case where you’re sitting in a seminar. There are two business coaches standing on stage in a front of you and room of people.

The first woman speaks – she introduces herself, ‘hi my name is Sue and I coach women in business.’

You say OMG my name is Sue too! [I know if you’re name isn’t Sue, just bear with me here]

Now the second woman on stage takes the stand as speaks, ‘hi my name is Sue’  and she too mentions she’s a coach for women in business.

And now you’re thinking ‘ok, how oddly weird’. Suddenly there’s no meaning in it now all three of you have the same name. No big deal.

Back to the first Sue; she stands up and now holds the room. Sue #1 says to everyone in the room “I’ve made $1 million dollars in my business and I’m really successful. I now have the life and dream home to prove it”.

As she sits back down you’re thinking to yourself, Sue #1’s message doesn’t quite resonate but all the same, it’s impressive and open to wanting to know more.

Sue #2 now holds the mic, and she too says the same introduction – I’ve made $1million bucks in my business and I’m really successful. 

You and others in the room see on the presentation slides – fast car and dreamy home.

Assuming this kind of message impresses you and peeks your interest…you say to yourself I must go and check out their websites, and find out a bit more and see what they offer.

If you want to know how Sue #2 managed to clinch the deal, you’ll have to read on…

Now you’re on Sue #1’s website.

It’s an eye sore, it’s one hot-visual mess. You’re quite surprised. Sue #1 hasn’t put much into her website. Her blog posts are a little out dated and she hasn’t bothered with writing in almost 6 months. And when she has bothered doing a graphic they look as if a 9-year-old has done them and they’re not very pro.

 

There’s no visual flow, nothing exciting sticks out
and the image of her looks like a homemade selfie.

 

 

And as you flip through her measly content you’re intuition kicks in…something’s not quite right here…something’s a little off.

Curiosity gets the better of you, so you still jump on to the “work with me” page.

You just about fall of the chair when you the $10k price tag, not to mention what’s included in the package. You see a couple of quotes from others who have “worked” with her. Emphasis on the word work here.

They don’t mean anything to you. And you’re thinking I find it all too hard to believe Sue #1 and what she’s saying.

Something’s way off and anything she has said to you before now has fallen by the way side. It doesn’t resonate and you may now be thinking right about now, $1million – really?

While you’re on the web you might as well jump on Sue #2’s website. But you don’t have any hope or expectations with her website, but you jump on anyway.

But this time you’re blown away! WOW, you say to yourself. The energy that oozes from Sue #2’s website has electrified all your senses.

You see that she’s put a lot of thought into her website, it’s up to date, it’s modern and the colours are vibrant; her energy and personality permeates.

Her brand + visuals are gorgeous &

help give off her personality and vibe.

 

 

 

Ahhhh – you’ve connected [yep it can be as simple as that] – like a long lost friend.

And because she oozes confidence and seems like she knows what she’s doing, you dive into reading her frequent and recent blog posts. In fact you’re lapping up everything she has to say.

A gentle pop up box quietly interrupts, but you don’t mind and you quickly and delightfully give her your name and email address because the freebie she wants to give you is exactly what you need.

Wow! You say to yourself. This vibe that Sue #2 is quite delightful, she really seem to know her stuff. You love what you see and now you find yourself having clicked on the “work with me” page.

And this time you really do fall of your chair [but in a good way].

Sue #2 has packaged her offerings. Three lovely ways that you can work with her. The first package seems generous, it’s a no brainer and it’s affordable without breaking the bank. You can actually get to work with her.

The pricing for the middle package is a little stretch but you don’t mind saving for that over a couple of months it’s doable.

And the third package, is so much worth the value for the price tag of $10k. It’s an investment and a whole year commitment. But hey, you say to yourself, it’ll be worth it.

Something to look forward to down the track, and besides, I’m on her email list, so I’ve connected and will lap up every email she sends to me and I’ll get to know her some more and gain trust over time.

So do you see how two people with the same name,

say the same message + offer almost the same service

and one can triumph over the other?

 

And how the two Sue’s can look and seem like they know what they’re talking about yet we believe one and not the other?

Sue #2 has validated her message by showing to her website audience, that she means business!

She’s taken the time and invested back into her website and clearly see that she cares. Her brand and website does a lot of the communicating for her. She stands out with her gorgeous visual vibe and she is magnetizing. It seems like she’s thought of you.

Side note here: in all honesty Sue #2 probably wouldn’t have introduced herself back at the seminar with that kinda message as Sue #1. But hopefully you get my point and the moral of this blog post.

What can you do this week to add some of your energy to your visual vibe on your website?

Turning Pro. Is it time for your website to look professional?

Turning Pro. Is it time for your website to look professional?

As a global citizen and hustler, every day I’m all over the web from New York to LA to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. While I’m globetrotting, I get to see some fabulous well designed websites and blogs with beautiful layouts, fonts and gorgeous images and I admire the effort that has gone into them. But on the flip side I also come across the not so great sites. Different colored fonts, yellow highlighted text [remember those when websites were first around?] and not so fabulous images.

Then the other day I came across my mentor Marie Forleo interviewing Steven Pressfield on his book Turning Pro.

So I wanted to take this opportunity to explain this concept and how you it can be integrated into your little business – and if not your business, then your blog or even your marketing materials.

What does the term Turning Pro mean?

Steven encourages you to make that switch in your mind. Think as if you are a professional – act like a professional. He uses a fantastic example of which a friend of his was taking golf lessons. She was fanatical with golf – learning and playing it every day. He goes on to say that she turned up about a month after starting and was all decked out in her ensemble – sporting from head to toe with the latest golf outfit, shoes and accessories. He asked her why she has done this. She replied I want to play like a pro so I need to look and act like a pro.

How do you Turn Pro?

Our businesses and blogs have to start from somewhere. Often entrepreneurs start out as DIYers, we’ll throw up a quick and easy website or cut corners by using templates through a cheap online printer for business cards or marketing materials. I get that – and understand why. But there is a time when you have to deal with the consequences of doing this from your first year in business. I bet that first print run of business cards are now redundant!

Well, maybe it’s time to review your website or your blog. Does it represent you and your brand still? How are the colors and those images – do they need updating – still using clip art? Crikey – if you happened to have answered yes to at least two of those questions then it’s probably time to start thinking like a professional – and Turn Pro.

Upgrade your website or blog

Do your little business or blog a favor and take it to another level. Make it smart, sexy, savvy and make it rock! I urge you to take some time and look around at other websites and see what is available. Or perhaps you just need to tweak a few things on your existing site? Here are some examples that you could probably do with 5 minutes to tweak and ‘freshen’ up your website or blog.

  • Change your colored background to white – I’m a huge fan of a clean white background as there are not many restrictions that you get with a colored background. Images can be easily placed without have any layout and design problems
  • Integrate some new fonts – You can download Google fonts or upload through a WP plugin Google Fonts.
  • Images – either get out there and take your own photos [and only if they’re super fabulous] or make your own images. Use a text box in PowerPoint – use a downloaded funky font and save as an image. Nothing to it. Or if you don’t have PowerPoint use a Google Chrome app – you can find these under the www.chrome.google.com/webstore. Under Google’s Categories select Productivity then choose Creative Tools. Go to town and paint it red!

 

Start thinking like a pro

Unleash your full potential and turn your little business into a professional little business. Or turn your blog into a well thought out beautifully designed and professionally looking blog.
Get your mindset in the game as a professional and ask yourself from time to time what would a professional business or blogger do? Would turning pro buy the cheap option for new business cards – hell no! But turning pro doesn’t mean costing you the earth. There are ways to get your website looking a million bucks without costing a million bucks.

If you happen to be at a time where you think now is the time to Turn Pro but don’t have a clue where to start then head over to my page here to check out if need a Website Stylist.

If you have a Q or a fabulous suggestion on how you can Turn Pro, of course I would love to hear it in the comments below.

 

 

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