Motivation

25 Posts to Inspire Independent-Spirited Writers Everywhere

25 Posts to Inspire Independent-Spirited Writers Everywhere

You choose your audience.

You choose your topic.

You choose your theme, your plugins, your widgets.

You choose when to write, what to write, and how to write it.

You decide all of those things because you’re the boss, and you answer to nobody.

But let’s face it; few endeavors are as independent-spirited as blogging.

And that’s why, as the holiday weekend approaches in the US, we’re delighted to showcase a collection of outstanding posts created by bloggers who truly embrace that spirit of independence by sharing their ideas, on their terms, with a waiting world.

Some are beginning bloggers tentatively taking their first steps; others are experienced bloggers who continue to hone their craft.

But regardless of where you’d place yourself on that spectrum – or even if you’re only now thinking of launching a blog – you’ll find plenty here to motivate and inspire you.
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26 Posts That’ll Light a Fire Under Your Ass and Make You a Better Writer

26 Posts That’ll Light a Fire Under Your Ass and Make You a Better Writer

“Am I getting better at this?”

It may be the most important question you can ask yourself as a writer.

If  you’ve never thought to ask it before, go ahead and do it now.

And be honest. Are you a better writer than you were three months ago? A year ago? Three years ago?

If the answer’s “No” (or even “Yes, but not by much”) then you face a serious problem.

Because your skill as a writer is key to your success as a blogger.

Sure, skillful writing won’t guarantee your success, but a lack of skill will sure as hell hinder it.

But if your writing isn’t improving fast enough, there’s some good news…

It doesn’t mean you’re a slow learner.

It just means you’re not engineering enough opportunities to improve.

Let’s find out how, shall we?
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The Best of Smart Blogger 2014 (and How to Kick Butt in 2015)

The Best of Smart Blogger 2014 (and How to Kick Butt in 2015)

Let me guess.

Right about now you’re looking back and wondering where the hell 2014 went.

Seriously, how can twelve whole months disappear so damn quickly?

Regardless, it was an interesting year for us bloggers.

In January, Matt Cutts announced the death of guest blogging (although it still seems to be in rude health almost a year later).

In the summer, Google killed off  its Authorship project, which sucked if you wanted more recognition for your content. (But, hey, at least you didn’t write a 15,343 word guide on the topic.)

It was also the year that blogging platform Medium gained some serious momentum (though you know you still need your own blog, right?)

And a brand new social network called Ello created a lot of buzz in a short space of time and then faded into the background almost as rapidly.

But as another blogging year approaches, it’s important to celebrate the highlights of the one about to pass.

So let’s get started.
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22 Posts to Model If You Want to Get the Respect You Deserve in 2015

22 Posts to Model If You Want to Get the Respect You Deserve in 2015

Admit it. You’re sceptical.

Is great content really the answer to all your blogging woes?

Maybe you’ve heard the mantra once too often, but you can’t help wondering…

Even if you do work your ass off on a post, will it get the recognition it truly deserves?

The blogosphere is so crowded and noisy, even the good stuff gets lost.

So is it even worth the effort to try?

Well, here’s the disappointing truth…

You’re right.

Until you reach a certain level of internet “fame”, the quality of your content doesn’t count for much. You’re like an artist hanging work in a gallery nobody visits.

Quite simply, your blog isn’t big enough – yet. You don’t have the right connections – yet.

And until you’ve spent longer on the blogging treadmill, and earned your blogger’s dues, the most likely result of creating great content is the feeling of disappointment when it’s completely ignored.

It’s not fair. But then nobody said it would be.

That’s why you need an unfair advantage. You need powerful friends…
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On Gluttony, Selfishness, and Unleashing the Power Within

On Gluttony, Selfishness, and Unleashing the Power Within

People are getting more selfish every day.

Have you noticed?

In the US, today is Thanksgiving. Traditionally, it’s a holiday about thankfulness and family and generosity, a day to remind yourself of all the good things and people in your life.

But that’s changing.

It’s becoming more and more about gluttony. Not just sharing a meal with your family, but eating until you put yourself in a turkey-induced coma, waiting a few hours, and then doing it again. Or, if you’re really impatient, you just go into the bathroom and make yourself throw up, so you can eat some more.

Oh, and then there’s shopping. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the best deals of the year, anywhere. You can finally buy all that stuff you don’t really need because, hey, you’re getting a deal.

Personally, I find it disturbing. Not the meals or deals, but the change of focus.

Getting food, getting full, getting a good deal, getting a discount, getting a break. Getting, getting, getting.

But what about giving?

What about focusing on other people?

What about selflessness and service and gratitude and appreciation?

It’s disappearing. Not just on holidays but in people in general.

And it bothers me. So today, I decided to take a stand.

I’m not eating a Thanksgiving meal. I’m not going shopping. I’m going to try not to think about myself at all.

Instead, I’m going to be thankful. You know, what the holiday was originally supposed to be about.
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