Category Archives: Green Room

Ten Ways To Get Over Blogger’s Block

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I probably get the dreaded blogger’s block at least once a month. I sit there, staring at my screen, hoping a brilliant idea will just magically hit me. It rarely does of course, but I do have a number of things I do which help me to wriggle through it.

1. Start a new series or project

Giving yourself a new challenge is a great way to over come blogger’s block. You could do something big like starting a whole new business (!) or publishing a magazine (!!), or you could do something more manageable like kicking off a new regular series on your site.

I did this recently with my Marriage Mantras posts. Setting it as a ten part series give me a feasible goal to work towards (I wasn’t sure if I’d have much else to say past ten articles) and tackling a new topic really stretched me as a writer. It also surprised my readers, and showed a new breadth of content. In fact they loved it so much that many of the articles ended up being my most popular of all time!

It can be very easy to get into a routine with blogging, the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. But changing things up and embracing new ideas not only helps you to re-find your passion, it gets your readers more excited about what you’re writing about too.

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2. Write about something that scares you

It is always the blog posts that you’re afraid of hitting ‘publish’ on that surprise you with their popularity. Why? Because people love to read things that are relatable.

We all have struggles and personal demons, and while I never think you should write about difficult things just because you want some kind of validation, being open and honest about them always garners a big response.

Two of my most popular article of all time where when I wrote about difficult or scary topics.

3. Have a clear out

If you’re stuck in a rut or a blogging slump then have a clear out. Go through your RSS reader and unsubscribe to any blogs that you no longer really read or find inspiring – and then follow some new ones! Same goes with social media. If someone you follow on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook is boring you senseless or being a Negative Nancy, then screw the politics and unfollow them!

Life is too short and new faces will give you a much-needed jolt of inspiration.

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4. Change up your location

It could be a different room in your house, a coffee shop, or even a friend’s sofa! If you’re struggling to focus or to come up with new ideas then a simple change of location can really help you.

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Business Bites: Do You Take a Break Over the Holidays?

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Photography: With Lovely

It’s that time of year where we all start wishing the time away and eagerly awaiting that glorious week between Christmas and New Year where we can all have a proper week off. Unless you work for yourself that is.

However long I’ve been blogging I always agonise over whether I should join the rest of humanity and step away from work completely, or if I should keep up my regular posting schedule. On the one hand it’s nice to lay down, watch crap tv and have nothing to do apart from pour another sherry. But on the flip side, if most of the western world are off work, the likelihood is that they’ll also be spending a lot of time online. After all there’s only so much family time you can take. Plus, Christmas is a time rife with proposals, surely wedding professionals in particular should be putting their very best content online during this time to capture the attention of the newly betrothed.

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How Do You Know If Your Business Idea is a Good One?

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Before we begin, let me give it to you straight. Starting your own business is bloody hard. So hard in fact that most of you reading this will quit before you’ve really began. A slightly harsh way to start an article about success you might think, but that’s really the whole point. Remember, if it was easily attainable, everyone would be accomplishing it. If I told you it was going to be an easy ride, I’d be doing you much more of a disservice.

Running a successful business is not easy. Working for someone else is easy. Letting someone else make all the difficult decisions is easy. Working an eight hour day and taking home a regular pay check is easy. Running your own business is as far from easy as it can possibly get.

When you decide to strike out on your own you will be inundated with people ‘helpfully’ offering you their advice and opinions. They’ll tell you that you’re mad to want to quit your job, and that leaving behind the security of a regular income is crazy… and in many ways they are completely right.

If I’ve kept you this far then hopefully you’re now thinking “Screw that! I’d rather work twice as hard so I can live a life and create something I really want – whatever the cost” and if that’s the case, then congratulations my friend, you may just have a shot.

Yet passion and determination are only one piece of the pie. You first have to have a damn good idea and then the drive, ambition and forward planning to actually make it happen.

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The Idea

For some people, coming up with their business idea is easy. They have a lightbulb moment or a brainwave when they least expect it. But for the rest of us it can take years to uncover exactly what it is we really want to do. So just how do you know if your latest business idea is a ‘good’ one or not?

Of course no-one can give you a definitive answer to this biggest of questions but there are a few things you can do when trying to figure this out for yourself. Firstly you need to obsessively research your chosen field and profession. You need to devour books, blogs, workshops and training courses. You need to take in as much information as possible and then you need to work your butt off practising over and over and over again.

If this sounds like a lot of work then you may not have uncovered your brilliant business idea just yet. However if this is something you’ve already done or you can’t wait to get stuck into then you might just be on the right path.

If you’re not obsessed with your chosen idea then drop it and move on. You have to really love what you do, and be willing to do it for free (or at least very little money) for a significant amount of time before you really make any traction or even a sniff of profit. If you’re not willing to work for free then you’ll likely give up before you’ve even really got started. If you don’t completely love what you plan to do then working for a regular pay check is always going to be an easier route to take.

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Business Bites: Get Over It and Get It Done

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Late one night this week, as I was battling the jet lag and working way past 3am, I was simultaneously having an email conversation with Paul Jarvis: web designer, writer and all round awesome dude, If you haven’t obsessed over Paul’s work yet by the way, where have you been?

Anyway he sent me a copy of his latest book, Everything I Know, and while flipping through it I was met with an uneasy feeling of dread. It wasn’t dread knowing I had to read it (I promise!) it was an impending feeling that I’m not sure if I’ll ever match up. I haven’t said this publicly anywhere before but next year my grand plan is to write and publish a business book. ARGH.

I’ve been procrastinating on the whole thing for months because I’m shit scared. Scared that it’ll be rubbish, scared that people will point and say things like “What the hell does she know” and scared that I’ll tell you all about it and then never actually get it done.

Paul replied with possibly the best piece of advice I’d received all year, “Get over it and get it written” he said. And so that’s what I’m going to do.

So let’s all be honest with each other today. It is seriously scary to share your plans in public, especially if you’re not really sure if you have the ability to follow through, but let’s be brave and do it together. If I can share then you certainly can do. So tell me, what have you been procrastinating over recently? What do you need to get over and just get done?

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The Secret of Success

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I kinda hate it when people ask me what I do for a living. It’s not that I’m embarrassed, but when you reply with “I’m a blogger”, it’s usually followed by a million other questions like “Is that like Facebook?”, “What’s a blog?” and “How do you make money?”

Another round of questions that I seem to get asked a lot are about how I became successful and profitable at something so many others try, and fail, to do. Like I have a secret that others haven’t quite figured out yet or something. People always want to know if there was one defining moment or a turning point that took my blog from a small hobby on the side to what it is today… but I’m sorry to report that the answer is always no.

Like anything in life, there is no quick fix or easy answer. The reality is that there is no single trick or technique to making your blog or business become ‘successful’. There is no ‘one size fits all’ guide or single path you can follow for guaranteed prosperity.

However when I think about it logically, there probably were three main things that I did that helped me become (however you might define it) successful in my field.

Determination

For three years I blogged without making a penny. I did it because I loved it. The thing about working for those years without thinking about how to make a living from it was that I had plenty of time to practice. I didn’t have the pressure of earning a crust to contend with. I was able to just learn and create without any pressure.

I had a full time job where I worked nights. I’d start at 6pm and work on until 2.30am. The only way I could blog too was to get up in the morning and do it – all day – before going to work again in the evening. Am I going to pretend it was easy? Of course not, I was bloody tired all the time, but it wasn’t even a question for me. I loved blogging so much that I kept doing it, even when I wasn’t seeing and rewards.

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Business Bites: What Goal Would You Set Yourself If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

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Photography Credit: Janneke Storm

With my adventures down under soon drawing to a close, this week I’ve really started to think about my goals and plans for 2014. While, yes, it may be a little intimating to ponder a whole new set of tasks and things that need to be achieved, it is one of my favourite things to do. Someone in our Auckland workshop this week asked me why it was important to set yourself goals and commented that she was scared to do so in case she didn’t achieve them. I told her what I’m telling you now.

Goals are great because they not only set your head in the right space and give you something to aim for, by committing them to paper (whether publicly or privately) you are also much more likely to achieve them… and if you don’t, well that’s OK too, you have something to keep aiming for next time. Without goals we simply plod along aimlessly, having a concrete benchmark to hit is a massively powerful tool in our business arsenal.

As the latter part of the year creeps up on us, and if you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to set some 2014 goals for yourself and your business.

So tell me, what goal would you set yourself if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Why creative people sometimes make no sense
What you fail is more important than if you fail
Does my business idea have potential?
Success is for the lucky

“In business or entrepreneurialism especially, more luck and serendipity is required than anything else. So the only way to reduce the probability of loss is to try experimenting with new ideas as often and as publicly as possible. This is the only common thread with successful entrepreneurs: they keep trying different ideas until one sticks”

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