Never Break Another Habit.

Got a habit you’d like to break?

Smoking? Overeating? Drinking? Complaining?

Whatever you’re battling, I’ve got some good news: it’s impossible to “break” a habit.

Now you’re probably thinking, “Hey, Burke, what kind of good news is that?” Or maybe, “If you’ve got some more good news like that, keep it to yourself.”

But hear me out.

Every habit starts out as an effort to accomplish something positive.

Biting your nails? It usually begins as a way to distract yourself from feelings of nervousness.

Drinking? Gambling? Sex? Overeating? Those get a foothold in your life when you’re looking for something to make you feel good. Chronic complaining may be a way to regain a little power.

So the most effective way to deal with a habit is to treat it as a living (or semi-living) entity that has your best interests at heart.

Once a habit is born, it’s not going to just lie down and quit doing its job. Oh no, that habit is there to guard you and improve your life — even if it kills you. (I never said a habit is smart, just alive.)

Napoleon Hill wrote, “In every adversity there is the seed of an equivalent or greater advantage.”

That’s even true for a habit you’d like to be rid of.

And it’s simple to do if you’ll just create a new habit and piggyback it on top of the original habit.

I watched my father quit smoking when he was 43 years old.

After smoking for nearly 30 years, he had a coughing fit one day that turned him purple, staggered him sagging and breathless against a wall, and left him barely conscious.

That afternoon he quietly decided that he was through smoking forever.

All his friends laughed, of course. He’d been a 3-4 pack a day man for as long as they knew him.

But he did quit. Then and there.

Months later, I overheard him explain how he did it.

First, he WANTED to do it… he was motivated. Once he had that, all he needed was a method. A technique.

He kept the cigarettes right there in the same shirt pocket. We wanted to be able to reach for those smokes just like always. So he kept them where he knew they would trigger his habit.

But then — and this is where it gets interesting — as soon as he caught himself pulling out the pack and tapping out a cigarette, he inserted a new habit to piggyback on the old one. With the unlit cigarette in his hand, he’d walk to a trash can and shred the tobacco between his fingers and throw it away.

Then he’d slip the pack back into his shirt pocket.

He could always pull out a second one and smoke it if he wanted to, but he had a choice. That second one wasn’t a habit — only the first one was.

He continued to “use” 3-4 packs a day for a couple of days, but gradually that new, piggybacked habit began to go on automatic. He’d get the urge to smoke, reach for the pack, and then, before pulling it out, he was already rubbing his fingers together, as though shredding the cigarette.

Over the next two weeks, I watched my father become a non-smoker, simply by using his first habit and adding onto it, rather than fighting against it.

Does this give you any ideas for your own habits?

Do you find yourself pulling food out of the refrigerator or pantry before you’re even aware of it?

Why not pull those silly pictures off the fridge door — you know, the ones that are supposed to make you feel guilty? Instead, keep a large supply of something that will fill you up. Don’t stop cramming those chocolates into your mouth. Just make a deal with yourself: you can still have all the candy you usually eat, but first, you’ll eat a raw carrot before you do the candy, the fried chicken and the three pizzas.

You’re not taking anything away from yourself. You’re actually adding new choices.

It’s a way to buy yourself time. If you can stop and come back down from automatic for a minute or two, it’ll give you a choice regarding what you’re doing.

If it’s addiction to sex, make a deal with yourself that when you walk over and introduce yourself to that next gorgeous person, you’ll first do something totally different. Maybe you’ll call your spouse and tell him/her that you love them. Or maybe you’ll ask that blond if they’d like to come home and meet your wife/husband. A simple thing really. Just to interrupt the usual automatic flow.

Gambling? Alcohol? Both GA and AA have excellent programs based on admitting you’ve got a problem, and then building from there.

Whatever the problem, you can change it by using it as a foundation stone.

Maybe it’s complaining. Each time you catch yourself, you might stop and insert a positive statement on the subject: “The boss is such an utter ass … but of course, he’s also smart enough to hire me.”

Is it a constant lack of money?

Some of the most highly motivated business people I’ve ever seen were once destitute. And now they use their former lack as a driving force to keep them moving.

They don’t deny what they’ve been through, but at the same time, they don’t let those experiences be the only definition of who they are. They take whatever block they stumble over, and they climb up on it and keep going.

So instead of trying to break what you’ve got, just figure out a way to use it.

Build on that “problem” and incorporate it as one of your strengths.

Try it today. Start looking for ways to put your energies into building instead of breaking.

You and your habits will be happier for it.

Seven Tips to Transform Your Business into a Fantastic Cash Machine.

Successful people know that in business or in life, there are pointers or road maps to help guide their way. Put these pointers to use and your success, online or off, will be nothing short of amazing. 

Here are 7 simple but extremely powerful pointers that most successful people follow. Profitable online businesses have become so because they routinely use most or all of these pointers.

Do not let the “ordinariness” or simplicity of these suggestions fool you. Sometimes the simplest things are the most profound.

  1. You must have an open mind and be willing to try different  methods, techniques, and approaches.
     
    We’ve all heard the old saying, “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.” If   you want different results, you have to be willing to try different methods.

    More than likely, the rules that governed your past jobs or businesses just don’t work the way they used to. No wonder — this is a different playing field and an entirely new game. Be a bit more flexible in your thinking and you’ll widen your
    scope of possibilities.
     
  2. You must make sure that you have a clear idea of what you
    want your results to be.

    If you don’t know where you want to go, any road would get you there. When I ask new clients what it is they want out of their  marketing efforts, some would say, “More business” or “Less competition.”
     
    “More” and “Less” are relative terms. If you’re selling twenty-two widgets a week, selling three more is an improvement. But perhaps you wanted to sell four times as many as you’ve been selling. Then set that quantity as a goal.
     
    When you have named your goal there is a target to aim at. Without a goal it’s like shooting first and aiming later.
     
    For example, decide what it is you expect out of your marketing efforts. You don’t have to know the exact details. Just get a good idea of what you want the results to be.
  3. Write down your goals.
     

    This is very important. Don’t struggle with the words or the  grammar. Just write them down; a 3 x 5 index card will do. No need to write a novel, just a simple statement of what you want will be enough.
     
    The very act of writing things down brings into play invisible connections. The reasons for this, I still don’t understand. 
     
    It may have something to do with taking action. Perhaps your goal was to sell 100 widgets. Then keep that goal firmly in mind. Write it down.
  4. Read what you’ve written down, once in the morning and once before you go to sleep.
     
    If you want to change what you’ve written, feel free to do so. After all, you are writing your goals and since they’re yours, you can make them whatever you want them to be. But write them down and read them over at least twice a day.

    We know very little about the subconscious mind. Yet, scientists are telling us that the subconscious is responsible for much of our success or failure in life.

    It seems that our conscious mind makes the choices and our subconscious brings to us what we choose. Top athletes and their trainers understand this and thus spend much time practicing mentally before their game or event. Tips For Keeping Your New Year’s.

    Most successful business people are aware of the power of the subconscious. Let your subconscious work for you. You don’t need to know *why* it works. I doubt that anyone really knows why. All you need to know is that it does work and that you can work it. There are many times when gut feelings would lead you to a place that logic couldn’t reach.
  5. You must personally be involved in your business.

    Why? Can’t certain areas be handled better by others? Frankly, yes and no. Your energy is vital to oversee the total scheme, to make sure all the parts mesh together properly.

    No one has the same stake in the success of your business as you do. You see, you are your business. Without your energy,  your input, your dream, and your direction it will flounder helplessly.
  6. Practice to disconnect from the problem for short periods of time.

    The toughest part of the work must be done from the inside out, from the perimeter to the center of our being.

    The hardest part of the job in solving your business problems  is not in market conditions, capitalization, or sales strategies.

    This is a very important concept! This is a mental world and we don’t overcome it in the marketplace — but in the mind.

    Tough as things may be, try to stay in balance. (This can be done with the help of various tools such as “The Power Pause  — 3 Minutes, 3 Steps to Real Success and Personal Happiness.”

    Ask yourself this question: “Is there anything I can do about this problem right now?” If the answer is “yes,” then go ahead and do what you can.

    However, if the answer is “no,” then don’t waste time worrying. Just switch your attention to something else.

    This is not the easiest thing to do but, with practice, you’d be amazed how quickly it becomes a habit.

    This is not about positive thinking, although positive thinking is a worthwhile tool. It’s not about visualization, though that is helpful as well. And it’s not about meditation, although the benefits of meditation have been well documented by the medical establishment.

    It is about getting yourself to a place where you can think clearly without desperation.
  7. Trust the process.

    At first, this might seem really stupid. How do I trust the process when I don’t even know what the process is — and why it works?

    Again, we don’t have to know why it works. You don’t have to know how an engine works to drive a car. Just know that it has  worked successfully for thousands of others and it can work  for you as well. It has been shown that it works even better when we trust it. Ten Ways To Promote Your Site And Increase Traffic.

    Now the seven suggestions given above will definitely help you in getting your business into top gear. I call them the “Silent Seven” because no one has to know you’re practicing a new way. And of course, it costs you nothing but some time and commitment to try.

    Keep an open mind. Try them. You’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TODAY TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS?

Promoting your business on the internet is a never ending process. You cannot afford to place some advertisements and then sit back to watch the results roll in. To do so would doom your business to failure. Instead, each day, you need to be doing something to promote your business.

So what are some of the things you could be doing each day to promote your business? I will run through some ideas for you. This is not a complete list – just some ideas to get you started.

Write An Article.

A great way to demonstrate your expertise and to entice people to your web site is to write an article and submit it to various newsletters. Ensure that you choose newsletters your prospective customers are likely to be reading. Ensure that at the end of your article is a resource box that refers the reader to your site or your ezine.

Place Some Free Classified Ads

Look for places where you can place some free classified ads. A good place to start is the classified ads at Yahoo. This is a high traffic site that is well worth posting to. If you don’t get responses to your ad on Yahoo – then it is likely that you won’t get results anywhere else also. So spend the time to get your ad right on Yahoo before trying other places. Test and test and test until your ad is pulling responses on Yahoo. Then place it in other free classified ad sites.

Invite Referrals

Amend your site or add to your ezine a request that your visitors refer your site to their friends. If you don’t ask people to do this, they usually won’t. It doesn’t take much to add this request. MasterRecommend is a CGI Script that is worth having a look at and testing on your site. More details can be found at: http://www.willmaster.com/master/

Work on one of your web pages to make it search engine friendly

Review one of your web pages to ensure that it is key word rich and attractive to the search engines. A useful tool to assist you with this is WebPosition Gold. For more details on this software, please visit: http://www.roibot.com/w.cgi?R379_WPG. Once you have improved your page, resubmit it to the search engines using WebPosition Gold.

Add Interesting Content

Add a new page to your website that contains content that your visitors will be interested in reading. Ensure that the page is submitted to the search engines also. This page could be an article you wrote for your ezine (or other ezines) or something topical that your visitors will find useful. Again, demonstrate your expertise and through this work on building trust with your visitors. Trust will translate into orders for your product or service.

Bid On Some Keywords

Pay-per-click search engines allow advertisers to bid on certain keywords. The advertiser pays for the traffic sent to their site. For example, if you have a health business and your best key words are “low fat diet”, then you can bid on these words. If no-one else has set up bids on these words, you may be able to bid as low as $0.01 (subject to which search engine you are using) – therefore, for each visitor they send you, you pay one cent each.

The best pay-per-click search engine available is overture.com – they provide a very good service, have the largest audience and are worth checking out. For details on other pay-per-click search engines, visit: http://www.payperclicksearchengines.com

Look For Reciprocal Link Opportunities

Spend a little time looking for places where you can request reciprocal links. These are almost as effective as the search engines in providing free targeted traffic to your web site. Consider sites where you can have your articles appear with a link to your site. Be creative in your thinking and don’t just search for opportunities to trade links. Don’t be afraid to ask for other sites to recommend your site to their visitors.

Review Your Banner Ads

Is there any way that you can improve the click through rate of your banner ads? Consider the design of your banner. Test some improvements and see what difference they make. Look for ways that you can improve the targeting of your banner. Maybe even look at changing banner exchanges or joining an additional banner exchange that could provide you with better targeting opportunities. How to Close More Online Sales Through the Magic of Questions?

The ideas I have discussed above are just some of the things you can do to continually promote your business on the internet. It is important to remember that you need to be doing something everyday to promote your business. This list should help you get started.

17 Magic Words That Can Make You a Fortune.

You might think this strange, but every day, before I start work, I stand up, look to the sky, throw my hands in the air, and shout out loud: “I feel terrific!”

This is what I call an ‘affirmation’ — positive self-talk to charge up my emotions and help me produce my very best work. An affirmation can be as simply as “YES!”…as uplifting as “I’m very happy at this moment!”…or as determined as “I’m willing to do whatever is necessary to succeed!”

Try it for yourself right now. Choose a positive message you want to tell yourself. Then stand up, put your head back, throw your arms up, and shout it out loud. Makes you feel uncomfortable? Good! You’ve just discovered how powerful words can be.

Unlimited Success & Wealth are All In the Words You Use

What’s the single most important asset you and your business possess? Forget money and numbers. The true currency of business is WORDS. Communicating your ideas, your offer, the benefits of your product — using words to achieve your aims is the single most important activity any business ever performs.

Unlimited success and wealth are as simple as using the right words. You can get everything you’ve ever wanted in life, simply by saying the right words — because the words which you communicate determine the quality of your life.

This is true whether communicating with others or with yourself. Especially with yourself.

Words have the power to induce someone to laugh, to cry, to be kind, to be loving, to be cooperative, or to buy. Or be unkind, angry, irrational. Whether words are written or spoken, they have enormous power. Of course, when words are spoken, the added factors of voice timbre, emphasis, emotion…all have the potential to cause even more impact.

Use Words to Achieve a Win-Win Situation

Here is what few businesspeople seem to realize: People all over the world really want to help and accommodate their fellow humans. But they must be approached properly. The magic words I’ll reveal to you in a moment can manipulate a situation to bring you what you want — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Magic Words Can Bring You Riches

The same words, strategies and techniques which I’ve used to get the best results from everyday situations — like renting a Mercedes for the price of a Ford, slashing the cost of a first class hotel room, and buying valuable antiques at huge discounts — can work magic for your business, too. Here are 3 of the phrases which have helped me build a career marketing over $500,000,000 of both my own and my client’s products and services.

Magic Phrase #1 — Attract All the Money You Need for any business venture you’d like to start. The magic words here are “sophisticated investor.” Every successful professional — such as a doctor or lawyer — likes to think of himself or herself as sophisticated. And you can often attract these people to invest in your business.

Run an ad in your local paper, highlighting those two key words. Other magic phrases to include are “Local business person with excellent track record and reputable history”; “start-up business opportunity, limited investment, high potential return,” and “references available.”

Magic Phrase #2 — Receive Free Expert Help for your business. Simply announce, “I have a business problem and need expert assistance” either to a local business group (such as the Chamber of Commerce which you have in practically every town) — or putting an advertisement in the business section of your local newspaper. I’ve been absolutely delighted with the quality of assistance provided to me on several occasions by retired executives. Seek them out in your local area, and you could benefit from this great source of experienced know-how, too.

Magic Phrase #3 — Get Capable People to Work for Free. Your magic words here are “piece of the action.” Instead of paying a fixed salary, run ads offering people one of these options:

  • Hourly rate for services rendered
  • Percentage of sales
  • Percentage of profits
  • Royalty on sales
  • Percentage of savings
  • Fixed payment for each unit produce

Anyone with a strong entrepreneurial instinct will be attracted by such an approach. It means there will be no limit on their income, they will be more independent, they can set their own hours — and the harder they work, the more they earn. This is just the type of person you should employ.

Assume The Other Person Has Already Said “Yes”

Ask questions which assume the end result you seek. For example, speaking with your bank manager about setting up a merchant account, you might ask these questions:

1. “How long does it normally take for a credit card charge to be credited to my account?”

2. “What discount or percentage of credit card sales will the bank charge us for your service?”

3. “How long would it take to get the service in place?”

4. “What equipment do we need to buy to make it easier for your bank to process our orders?”

Can you see how the end result — having a merchant account so you can process the credit card orders — is assumed by the very words used in each question?

Magic Words Deliver Power

And this is especially true when you’re speaking to yourself. As I said at the beginning of this letter, I use affirmations every day — standing up, looking to the sky, throwing my hands in the air, and shouting out a positive message I need to tell myself.

Yes, I feel ridiculous when I do this too. But that discomfort is just the push I need to change my emotional state. The magic words in my affirmations give me the energy and determination I need to produce my very best work. And I truly believe they’ll help you achieve your goals too.

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So You Want To Play Golf?

The best advise that I could give anyone wishing to play the greatest game of all is this :

Part I:

I would suggest you go to a range and just begin to hit some golf balls mimicking what you think you saw on TV or what you believe you witnessed your friends doing. Let your own athleticism take you as far as it can. If you still have the need for more punishment, find a facility that offers clinics and supplies clubs. Inquire and make sure the class sizes are small. Between 2 and 5 people is plenty for your first formal introduction to the game. It also insures that you will get some individual attention. You may want to take a series of these clinics. They can be very informative and inexpensive. At this point you may want to get a rule book and see what kind of rules govern this insane game. It will also give you some insight as to what you are getting yourself into.

If the bug has bitten you and the game gets into your blood the next step should be to find someone that you consider a really loyal friend that already plays the game and plead your case as to your probable addiction and talk them into taking you to a local club for a round of certain bliss. I would suggest a par 3 or a course that is not to busy and one that is golfer friendly. (This is where you have to have complete trust in your so-called friend.) While playing ask your friend questions about certain things like:

why you probably have to take a cart,
why they parked the cart where they did,.
fixing ball marks,
the proper way of marking your ball.
These are all things that pertain to helping understand how to get yourself around the golf course.

If you are still convinced that this is a wonderful game then I would begin to get serious about it. Find out what golf professional in your area has the reputation for being an excellent instructor and has the patience of Job. See if you hit it off and understand their concepts of the game. If so, sign up for a series of lessons and make a commitment to set aside some time to begin practicing. It’s not enough just to take lessons you must apply what you are learning. Remember to be patient with yourself as well as with the golf professional. You must practice to get better but its very important that you are practicing using the right information.

For this reason I make my final suggestion. Make sure to see a P.G.A. professional because their goal is to make this game as enjoyable for as many people as possible.

Part II:

So now that you’ve made the commitment to play golf here are some suggestions on what to do next. It would be very helpful for you to develop a good practice routine. Plan your time wisely. Let’s say you have five hours a week to devote to practicing. You should spend at least 60% of that time on the short game, which is chipping, pitching,sand bunker work and putting. This is the area that will allow you to shoot lower scores. Also you will have more success in hitting good shots which will build you confidence. This is the scoring area and no matter what level of skill you achieve in golf it will always be of great benefit to be efficient around the greens.

The other 40% of your time should be divided between the Tee shot and the fairway shots. Golf is one of the those games that should be taught form the hole back to the tee, but most of us don’t do it that way. If you go to any golf course or practice facility you will see the majority of the people whaling away at drivers. Don’t fall into this trap. Yes it is true, you need to be able to drive the ball in play and with some length but ultimately you score with the wedge and the putter.

Feel is a big part of the game also and I believe it is easier to develop feel working on the short shots. The swing is softer and slower so you get more feed back. You hit more solid shots and you can carry this feel over into the long game. During a round of golf you probably won’t hit every shot perfect or hit every green in regulation so you will have to rely or your shot game for help. Learn it and practice it right from the beginning and you will never be sorry.

Even the tour players who are the best players in the world rely on their short game to score. I think that is what sets them apart. They seem to have the uncanny ability to turn a 5 into a 4 instead of turning it into a 6. Although you may never reach their level of ability from tee to green we all can certainly learn to chip,pitch,put and SCORE!!!!

Part III:

Ok, so now your addicted to the game, it happens quite easily. How do you get comfortable playing with other people.

Well, most seasoned golfers have compassion for the plight of the newly afflicted player. Most of the time they will be eager to play with you and to encourage you. They will also want to impart their wisdom upon you. This is always well intentioned but not always good for you. At this stage of your golfing career it is easy to get confused, so you’ll have to listen politely and decide what fits you and what doesn’t. Tell them you are taking lessons from a golf professional and that may be all the input you can handle for now. Its easy for a new golfer to try and digest to many suggestions, stick with the professional.

Most new players are a little apprehensive about playing with people whom they think play well. If you learn to get yourself around the course quickly and are aware of the rules to some degree they won’t mind playing with you regardless of the score. Slow play seems to the one thing that gets everyone on the course upset. You can avoid this misery by being aware of what’s going on and be ready to play when its your turn.

Don’t worry about how well the other people are playing, just enjoy yourself and try and learn something about managing your way around the course every time you play. It will get easier each time out. Stick to your practice routine but remember you have to practice but have to play also. The playing is just as important to your improvement. That’s the measure of the effort you put into practice.

Remember – golf is a game and it has got to be fun, before you will ever get better.

What We’re Doing When We Blog?

Every day it seems another article about weblogs appears in the press. At first, most of these stories seemed content to cover the personal nature of blogging. But more and more I’m seeing articles that attempt to examine the journalistic and punditry aspects of weblogs prominent in many of the so-called “warblogs,” or sites that began in response to the events of September 11th.

The articles’ authors are rarely webloggers themselves, which places them in the unenviable position of describing and defining weblogs based on observation, not experience. Given the vast number of blogs, it can be very difficult to understand the breadth and scope of blogging when an editor wants 750 words in 48 hours.

I’ve noticed this has resulted in a variety of ideas about and definitions of the weblogs — from statements that blogs are personal journals filled with the (often dull or trivial) minutiae of daily life to a belief that blogs are right-wing responses to the liberal media establishment. Witness the recent article, “Online Uprising” by Catherine Seipp in the American Journalism Review:

“In general, ‘blog’ used to mean a personal online diary, typically concerned with boyfriend problems or techie news. But after September 11, a slew of new or refocused media junkie/political sites reshaped the entire Internet media landscape. Blog now refers to a Web journal that comments on the news — often by criticizing the media and usually in rudely clever tones — with links to stories that back up the commentary with evidence.”

In her article, Catherine forgoes the more traditional weblogs-are-links-plus-commentary definition to carve out a new meaning for the word, limited to the type of blogs she reads. But Catherine’s analysis misses some of the very subtleties that distinguish weblogs from other writing. Rather than rant that Catherine just “doesn’t get it,” it seems to me that her article, and others that are similar, are perfect opportunities for the blogging community to talk about our own evolution.

Our Commonality

If we look beneath the content of weblogs, we can observe the common ground all bloggers share — the format. The weblog format provides a framework for our universal blog experiences, enabling the social interactions we associate with blogging. Without it, there is no differentiation between the myriad content produced for the Web.

Whether you’re a warblogger who works by day as a professional journalist or you’re a teenage high school student worried about your final exams, you do the same thing: you use your blog to link to your friends and rivals and comment on what they’re doing. Blog posts are short, informal, sometimes controversial, and sometimes deeply personal, no matter what topic they approach. They can be characterized by their conversational tone and unlike a more formal essay or speech, a blog post is often an opening to a discussion, rather than a full-fledged argument already arrived at.

As bloggers, we update our sites frequently on the content that matters to us. Depending on the blogger, the content varies. But because it’s a weblog, formatted reverse-chronologically and time-stamped, a reader can expect it will be updated regularly. By placing our email addresses on our sites, or including features to allow readers to comment directly on a specific post, we allow our readers to join the conversation. Emails are often rapidly incorporated back into the site’s content, creating a nearly real-time communication channel between the blog’s primary author (its creator) and its secondary authors (the readers who email and comment).

And we’re united by tools, whether we use Blogger, LiveJournal, Radio UserLand, Movable Type, or a custom job that’s a labor of love. Webloggers often use tools to facilitate the publication of their sites. These tools spit out our varied content in the same format — archives, permalinks, time stamps, and date headers.

A Native Format

When the Web began, the page was the de facto unit of measurement, and content was formatted accordingly. Online we don’t need to produce content of a certain length to meet physical page-size requirements. And as the Web has matured, we’ve developed our own native format for writing online, a format that moves beyond the page paradigm: The weblog, with its smaller, more concise, unit of measurement; and the post, which utilizes the medium to its best advantage by proffering frequent updates and richly hyperlinked text.

While a page usually contains one topic, or a portion of a single-topic item spans several pages (an opinion piece, an essay or column, a technical document, or press release), the weblog post is a self-contained topical unit. It can be as short as one sentence, or run for several paragraphs. And it’s the amalgamation of multiple posts — on varying topics — on a single page that distinguishes the weblog from its online ancestor, the home page.

Freed from the constraints of the printed page (or any concept of “page”), an author can now blog a short thought that previously would have gone unwritten. The weblog’s post unit liberates the writer from word count.

The Posts Collection

What distinguishes a collection of posts from a traditional home page or Web page? Primarily it’s the reverse-chronological order in which posts appear. When a reader visits a weblog, she is always confronted with the newest information at the top of the page.

Having the freshest information at the top of the page does a few things: as readers, it gives a sense of immediacy with no effort on our part. We don’t have to scan the page, looking for what’s new or what’s been changed. If content has been added since our last visit, it’s easy to see as soon as the page loads.

Additionally, the newest information at the top (coupled with its time stamps and sense of immediacy) sets the expectation of updates, an expectation reinforced by our return visits to see if there’s something new. Weblogs demonstrate that time is important by the very nature in which they present their information. As weblog readers, we respond with frequent visits, and we are rewarded with fresh content.

The Anatomy of a Post

A weblog post can be identified by the following distinguishing characteristics: a date header, a time stamp, and a permalink. Oftentimes the author’s name appears beneath each post as well, especially if multiple authors are contributing to one blog. If commenting is enabled (giving the reader a form to respond to a specific post) a link to comment will also appear.

The Links

Links, and the accompanying commentary, have often been hailed as the distinguishing characteristic of a weblog. The linking that happens through blogging creates the connections that bind us. Commentary alone is the province of journals, diaries, and editorial pieces.

The Time Stamp

By its very presence, the time stamp connotes the sense of timely content; the implicit value of time to the weblog itself is apparent because the time is overtly stated on each post. Without the time stamp, the reader is unable to discern the author’s update pattern, or experience a moment of shared experience.

But if I visit your site at 4:02 p.m. and see you just updated at 3:55 p.m., it’s as if our packets crossed in the ether. You, the author, and I, the reader, were “there” at the same time — and this can create a powerful connection between us.

Moments of shared experience can be powerful connectors. They happen in the offline world when two strangers on the subway chuckle at the same funny billboard, and make eye contact as they do so. In the online world, they happen when I’m thinking about buying an iBook and I read on your blog that you’ve just bought one, at the same time.

The Permalink

The permalink (the link to the permanent location of the post in the blog’s archive) plays a critical role in how authors participate in distributed conversations across weblogs. The permalink allows for precise references, creating a way for authors to link to the specific piece of information to which they’re responding.

If your blog has ten current entries, four of which are about cats and only one of which is about the release of Mozilla 1.0, the permalink provides the means by which fellow Mozilla bloggers can reference the correct post, and in doing so, create a loosely-distributed Mozilla conversation. Without the permalink, the conversation is drowned out in a sea of irrelevant cat chatter.

A Communication Evolution

When we talk about weblogs, we’re talking about a way of organizing information, independent of its topic. What we write about does not define us as bloggers; it’s how we write about it (frequently, ad nauseam, peppered with links).

Weblogs simply provide the framework, as haiku imposes order on words. The structure of the documents we’re creating enable us to build our social networks on top of it — the distributed conversations, the blog-rolling lists, and the friendships that begin online and are solidified over a “bloggers dinner” in the real world.

As bloggers, we’re in the middle of, and enjoying, an evolution of communication. The traits of weblogs mentioned above will likely change and advance as our tools improve and our technology matures. What’s important is that we’ve embraced a medium free of the physical limitations of pages, intrusions of editors, and delays of tedious publishing systems. As with free speech itself, what we say isn’t as important as the system that enables us to say it.

Why Authors Should Blog?

While watching the presidential conventions I was struck by the fact that blogs had totally revolutionized the publishing industry. Sitting right alongside the major news agencies were the bloggers frantically typing on their laptops. Even seasoned veterans who had covered past conventions mentioned the power of this new media.

Due to the dynamic nature of blogs, the bloggers with their laptops could report in real time, thus getting their stories online long before the morning newspapers would hit the streets. Commentators even mentioned that many of the breaking news stories had been reported first by bloggers.

Think about this for a minute. Gutenberg revolutionized the publishing industry by letting writers mass produce their work.

The next phase of growth was the Internet. Finally anyone could publish their work and have it sent around the globe in seconds. When the digital publishing revolution hit, it seemed too good to be true.

With the digital revolution anyone and everyone could now spread their message. Writers could bypass the traditional publishing industry and save time in getting their work to the public.

They no longer had to fear that dreaded rejection slip. They could succeed or fail on their own merit. No one had control over how or what he or she could write.

The Internet was a writer’s paradise.

It seemed as good as it could get.

Well, we hadn’t seen anything. Web logs, or blogs as they are called, have propelled publishing to the next level.

Not only could writers publish in real time, they could have it online instantly.

As powerful as that may be, the real power lies in the ability to syndicate your writing by plugging your content into an RSS feed.

Imagine the possibilities. You can now become a part of a targeted network of like-minded blogs and have your content spread through the entire network in the twinkling of an eye.

You’ve got the ability to tap into the ultimate in viral marketing and branding. You can build an audience overnight.

So, how can you get started?

The first thing you’ll need is a blog. Don’t let the concept of a blog intimidate you. I’ve got a blog and trust me; I’m not the sharpest axe in the shed when it comes to technology.

To get started you’ll need a blog. Here are a few sites you’ll find helpful.

FactoSystem Weblog (ASP based)
     http://sourceforge.net/projects/facto/

InstaBlog
    http://instablog.hit.bg/

OpenJournal
    http://www.grohol.com/downloads/oj/

GeekLog – The Ultimate Weblog System
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/geeklog

Blogger
    http://www.blogger.com/

Your goal when creating content for you blog, is the same as it would be when creating a website. Your content will be designed to attract the audience that would be interested in your books.

The same idea applies when adding your blog to an RSS feed. You want to have your content syndicated to individuals that have an interest in your writings and are willing to buy your books.

Your content gives them a taste of your writing style and expertise. The feed makes sure you get maximum exposure.

An added benefit is most blogs allow visitors to post comments about your site. By posting their comments and having you reply, they get to know you are a real person.

The ability to have a give and take with your visitors is an extremely powerful tool. Your readers will feel comfortable doing business with someone they know.

Your next step is to plug into an RSS feed. Your goal when syndicating your content, is the same goal you would have when building the traditional ezine list.

The feed will drive targeted traffic to your blog, but it’s your ability to provide quality content that will keep them coming back.

So where can you learn more about RSS feeds? An excellent place to start is RSSTop55 – Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites.

This site is just what the name implies. The top 55 blog directory and submission sites. You can find a feed for any subject.

If you’re serious about you writing, grab your blog. Plug into an RSS feed and become an expert overnight

Blogs And Your Work From Home Internet Business.

As a work from home internet business entrepreneur you have several really good tools on the internet you can take advantage of in order to build your work from home business. A blog is just one of those tools that you can use and should be taking advantage of.

In recent months blogs have become more and more popular all over the internet. A blog, or weblog, is a personal Web site updated frequently with links, commentary and anything else you like. People maintained blogs long before the term was coined, but the trend gained momentum with the introduction of automated published systems, most notably Blogger. ( http://www.blogger.com ) At blogger.com Thousands of people use services such as Blogger to simplify and accelerate the publishing process. This makes it very simple to create several 100 pages within a site all with the same look and feel but with different content. This of coarse is exactly what the major search engines are looking for.

There are several reasons why a work from home internet business entrepreneur like my self would use blogs in their arsenal of marketing tools. The number one reason for me is to gain better search engine exposure. I have several blogs already started. Two are merely work from home business article databases. Every time I write a new article or find a good one someone else wrote, I submit it into my blog which crates a new page in my site. The search engines will find and spider this new page. I also have a work from home tips blog which I try to post several good tips to each week. This is all great content for my work from home internet business web site that my visitors will hopefully want to read.

Blogs also create opportunities for more search engine submissions. Recently with the popularity of blogs special blog search engines have started to emerge. The only way you can submit to one of these special blog search engines is if you have a blog yourself. Blogs create a special rss or xml files that these search engines will look for.

Setting up your blog may initially take some time and effort but it’s made much simpler if you use blogger.com. But do not use bloggers hosting service. Be sure to use your own domain and hosing service. This will get you the best results with the search engines. Once you have chosen your main template look and feel of your blog all you need to do is keep posting new and good content that your readers would be interested in to your blog. Eventually over time you will have 100’s pages of great content that your visitors will enjoy reading all spidered by the major search engines giving you more traffic and exposure.

Blogging: The New Exhibitionism.

By now most of you have heard of the new internet superhighway craze called blogging. If you are not the most computer savvy person in the world, don’t worry, you don’t have to be. Everyone is blogging these days from the techno-chic to the cyber-geek, from the carpooling soccer mom to your own children in grade school.

For you first timers out there, a blog is a weblog. A weblog is an online diary or journal in which you may write your daily thoughts and ideas in. You can decide to keep a blog private, announce your name, let whoever you want read it or allow only particular people to view it. There are oodles of websites out there dedicated to servicing blogs and the majority of them are free. You just sign up and voila: you have your very own blog with your own web address where you can feel free to write whenever you want and as much as you want.

Blogs are used for a variety of reasons. Scores of small businesses are now finding blogging to be very useful as a free form of advertising for their own company. Many people use blogging as a convenient way of keeping a diary since they spend so much time on the computer at work. I have bumped into countless cubicle moaning blogs online. Aspiring writers are utilizing weblogs as a way to show off their work and gain free critiques. Perhaps the most interesting use of blogs, and which is by far the most popular, would be the personal blogs of sexual orientation and desire.

Since blogs are normally private in nature, people are rapidly finding out that blogging is a great way to share your dirtiest thoughts and secret fantasies with the rest of the world. This way, people are finding it much easier to find other like minded individuals in a very upfront way.

Most importantly, they have a new venue to express sexual thoughts openly, without being censured and without feeling vulnerable. These weblogs are usually very private with only an email address so that interested viewers can contact them. Some do not even include an email address but have an online chat box installed instead for even more privacy. Most all weblogs have the ability for any reader to post a response to a particular blog entry online. With all of this confidentiality, the once shy and lonely individual feels more willing to come out of the closet and be a shameless exhibitionist of sex and promiscuity. People now have a way to articulate themselves sexually even if they are the sheltered type.

Some webloggers create sites to explain their sexual curiosities. Some dictate their favorite wild and crazy fantasies. Others even go so far as to post nude and erotic pictures of themselves alone or with partners. Much of the time, you come across the usual gratuitous pornography.

Absolutely anything goes on your own online blog. There is no censorship and no mediator telling you what you can and cannot write. I came across a fabulous personal blog recently written by a very young and very beautiful woman. Her blog became a source of power for her. She is a dominating sort of woman who enjoys being a master to her male slaves. In her blog, she assumes the role of a Goddess and encourages very submissive males to beg for her affections and even send her gifts. And with the sexy revealing pictures she likes to post, her response is phenomenal. She might not have been able to express this sexual nature so powerfully without the help of the blog, especially at such a young age.

I can feel you asking now, “Is this a good thing”? The answer is: Absolutely! The more you are able to express yourself (in any sphere of interest), the better you can express yourself to others.

Many people fear expressing their sexual thoughts and ideas to others thereby preventing their own true happiness. The desires stay bottled up with nowhere to go. These blogs provide a way for the inhibited person to say what they really want to say. Once they can get it out somewhere, even if it is written online, they stand a better chance of relating these ideas to other people.

10 Ways To Create Content For Your Weblog.

You know that feeling… the awful sensation that you just can’t possibly blog about anything. Nothing inspires you enough. Everything seems too mundane. And, the more you think about blogging, the less you are inclined to blog.
Indeed, if writers can get writer’s block, then bloggers can get blogger’s block.

What do you do in moments like these?

Here are some ideas on how you can create weblog content during ‘dry times’ when you feel as though anything under the sun isn’t worth blogging about.

1) Check your Inbox. It’s a great place to find fodder for blogging. Answer an email or two in your blog. React to a piece that you read from an email newsletter. Review a link or product that was recommended to you.

2) Start Blog Hopping. We all do it on a regular basis – reading blogs from our blogroll.

However, this time, read your favorite blogs with the purpose of finding ideas to write about. Also, try to follow links to weblogs you don’t usually visit. Start asking questions like: “What are my fellow bloggers interested in at the moment?” or “What is the most popular topic that people blog about? Do I want to write about it too? Or perhaps, I can blog about something that is not too popular.” Doing these things may spark something in your ‘blocked’ blogging brain.


3) Comment in Your Own Blog. Yes, this idea is related to item #2. When you visit other weblogs, use your own blog when commenting on another blogger’s entry that catches your attention. Or, if you post a short comment on someone else’s blog, think of ways on how you can expand the idea. Oh, and don’t forget to use trackback, if your blogging system allows you to do so.

4) Read, Listen To, or Watch the News. Even if your weblog is not about news, politics or current events, you will still benefit from finding out what’s going on in the world. To give you a refreshed view, why not check out news sources that you don’t usually refer to? For example, if you’re a CNN person, check out BBC this time around. You might even want to try watching news in a foreign language.

5) Give Memes or Collaborations a Go. Even if you’re not too crazy about memes or collabs, you might still consider trying it out. Give it a different spin if you like. Say, instead of creating “100 Things About Me” – you can write “100 Things About My Neighbor’s Cat.”

6) Create Lists. This is an endless source of blogging ideas. Some possibilities: “Top 10” lists, “Favorites” lists, “Worst of the Bunch” lists, “Things To Do” lists, “Wish” lists, etc. These lists may be on any given topic such as movies, books, music, people, paintings, food, sports, and activities, among many other things.

Also See: Web Logs Meme #3: Ten Top 10s

7) Play Games, Answer Surveys, or Take Quizzes. If you’re not the sort of person who likes posting quiz or survey results as weblog entries, remember that you’re not limited to the “usual route” of blog quiz-taking (i.e., find a quiz, respond to questions, and post the results as a blog entry). For example, if you take the quiz: What’s Your Blogging Personality?, you can write about particular items asked in the quiz. Or, you can write about other ideas you may have for a game, survey, or quiz for bloggers.

8) Blog at Random. There are different ways you can blog at random. One way to do this is to pick up a dictionary or encyclopedia, open to a random page, and then write about a word, phrase or sentence that you find on that particular page. Another way is to flip through one of your photo albums (or boxes, if they’re not in albums yet), and pick a random photo to write about – be it a memory, a fictional idea, or a non-fiction piece. You can also turn on the TV or the radio, then write about the first thing you watch or hear about. Another thing you might like to try is to find a journal writing software and/or book with creative writing prompts and pick a topic at random to write about.

9) Be a Sleuth! Are there things that you’ve always wondered about but never found the opportunity to get the facts? You might have asked yourself one or more of the following questions at one time or another: “How do you build an igloo?” “What are the different species of spiders?” or “Who is the richest woman in the world?” Well, now might be a good time to get your detective or research skills in to action. Check search engines, almanacs, and other sources of information. Then, start blogging your findings!

10) Do Something New. If not something new, any activity other than blogging or computer-related stuff will do. Sometimes, all you need is a little break. Go to the mall, watch a movie, go for a walk, visit the beach, or call a friend. Just get out there and live your life.

There are other ways to come up with blogging content other than the ones mentioned here. Go ahead and experiment! Just remember that living a full life is a surefire way to kick bloggers block out of the picture.