20 rules of writing for the Web

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Nowadays there’s no getting away from it, we all need a blog and a website, whatever our profession. I talk to loads of people who say they don’t know where to start, what should they write about –  “I’ve got nothing interesting to say”, they tell me. Writing for the web, writing a blog post, updating your website, needs to be done regularly to refresh it, ensure Google picks you up in a search and more importantly I think it keeps you focusing on your business. Here are some tips. 

  1. Write what you know and have an opinion about. Your reader may feel differently but they will recognise your own passion.
  2. It needs to be ‘of the moment’, readers want topical posts that pertain to what’s going on right now.
  3. Your title needs to be attention grabbing with keywords that will be picked up on a search.
  4. Avoid jargon, your reader isn’t going to share anything they don’t understand and that’s your aim, to get them to ‘share’ with their network to grow yours.
  5. If you quote someone else, make sure you quote accurately and give the source, name, book, date.
  6. By all means base it on another post you’ve read, but make it your own, unique to you.
  7. A good image to accompany your piece is ‘a must’.
  8. Avoid straight sales pitches, add your credentials at the end and a link to where the reader can buy your book or make contact.
  9. Use first person for your blog post and a more disassociated third person for your website.
  10. Check grammar and spelling. You lose credibility with mistakes.
  11. 500 words is the norm for a blog post, break up website copy into paragraphs with sub titles to help the reader navigate.
  12. Get to the point in the lead paragraph and proceed convincingly from there.
  13. Use tags and categories to help people find your post.
  14. Write daily or at least three times a week.
  15. If you are clean out of inspiration, copy and paste an old blog post then go back through it making changes to update it with your new thinking on the topic and hey presto you have a brand new blog post.
  16. If you’re feeling really creative one day, write all the posts for the week and then schedule posting so they are spread over the week.
  17. Respond to comments and engage your reader.
  18. Use the ‘share’ button to spread the word onto Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and anywhere else your target market will see.
  19. Keep your blog and website separate, the tone of a blog is ‘entre nous’ but your website needs to be your business card.
  20. Enjoy! If writing isn’t your thing, you can commission blog posts on Elance, Fiverr, People per hour or use the contact form below!

Self-Hypnosis

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This is a great technique for focusing the mind when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, confused or distracted and want to clear those troubling thoughts and focus on what you need to do or want to do right now. It’s easy to think, “I don’t have time for this, I need to press on and meet my deadline”, but you are way more likely to do that with some focus.

Some people worry about the idea of hypnosis but we’re talking here about you developing the skills to relax and separate yourself from outside distractions so you can focus completely on your writing.This is a truly liberating experience whether you want to tackle a big problem in your life, whether you just want to relax or whether you want to clear your mind of trivia and become more creative.

Before you start self hypnosis you need a goal, a statement that sums up what in NLP we call the ‘desirable outcome.’ This should be expressed in simple positive terms, for example, ‘I want to see my word count at the bottom of my document as 1,000′ or ‘I want to press send’ or ‘I want to be able to tell my client that I’ve finished’. The first is visual, the second kinaesthetic and the third is auditory. Say it over and over a few times to get the words just right so that they express what you really do want. Now you’re ready to begin.

Firstly find somewhere quiet and comfortable and turn off the phone. Ensure you will not be disturbed for about half an hour.

Now close your eyes. If you have a busy life you are bound to start thinking of everything you really should be doing. Let these thoughts come but as each one emerges, mentally pop it into a box and stack this box outside your room. Do this which each of these thoughts and keep going until you are free of them. They will be there for you afterwards but for now you need to put them out of your mind.

Become conscious of your body. Start with your feet. Gently squeeze your toes and rotate your ankles then let them relax.

Now your calves, squeeze and relax a few times.

Your knees need to be flexed a few times then relax them into a comfortable position.

Lots of people hold stress in their stomach. Breathe in deeply right to the stomach, place your hands on it and feel it move. Place your hands higher on to your chest and breathe deeply feeling the air move in and out of your body.

Now for your shoulders. Hunch them up then relax. Rotate the shoulders forward and then back a few times, then let them fall.

Stress is also held in the neck. Rotate your head and rock it from said to side and nod front and back. Then let your head relax back on the pillow if you’re lying down or onto a cushion or the back of your chair.

Some people find music helpful for relaxing especially if it helps drown out any background activity or noises. Others prefer the quiet. Whatever your preference, focus on it and continue to breathe deeply.

You should now feel pretty relaxed both in your body and mind. To increase the state of trance though you need to take one step more. Think about somewhere truly relaxing. This may be somewhere you’ve been on holiday or a walk you enjoy, a picture you love or music perhaps.

Go to this place and state your goal, say over and over again the statement you devised before you started. Really let it be absorbed into your subconscious by hearing the words, feeling them, seeing them and believing them to be true. Imagine you have achieved this goal, how are you feeling? Imagine living the goal, how does it feel. In this trance state your limiting beliefs, those barriers you put in the way of achieving your goal, are removed. You can achieve your goal, nothing is preventing you now.

When you are ready, leave this wonderful place and return to a conscious state. You will feel incredibly relaxed and able to cope with living your goal.

You will still feel a bit sleepy and may need to gradually ‘come to’ so allow time to do this slowly. Once you’ve done this a few times you will find the process quite accessible and you will be able to do it quicker and apply it to all sorts of situations to give you greater balance in your life, relaxation skills and the ability to override those troublesome limiting belief we all share.

Judy Bartkowiak is an NLP Trainer and Coach. To find out more about NLP go to her NLP website or download her NLP app. Her books can be purchased from the website or Amazon.