I had coffee this morning with an entrepreneur from Barcelona and fellow member of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation. I spoke about a couple of blog posts that had really impacted me and changed my perspectives on life. He asked me to share my list. Here it is.
5 Blog Posts that Changed My Perspectives
Derek Sivers’ post “You don’t have to be local” was a real perspective shift for me. I have spent many years connecting into the local Barcelona entrepreneur community… and I really resonated with Derek’s perspective. I enjoy writing, blogging, travelling with Barcelona as a base. This post allowed me to feel less need to search for purely local connection.
Paul Graham’s post “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule” helped me make a big shift away from my Accenture lifestyle and manager focus towards a creator schedule. I take fewer and fewer short meetings and look at only taking 2, 4 and 8 hour meetings. This amount of time allows me to go deep into solutions and actually create something new. 15 minute meetings, 30 minute meetings really just make me feel busy, but do not actually lead to anything productive as an outcome.
David Maister’s short ebook “Strategy and the Fat Smoker” helped me take a more helpful perspective on long versus short term goals. In the end, strategy fails because the hourly, daily grind of execution doesn’t measure up to the good intentions. The fat smoker didn’t intend to be overweight and ill at 50, it was due to little daily breaks in the plan.
Leo Babauta writes the blog Zen Habits. His reflection on “Why We Procrastinate” resonated with my personal experience. His post didn’t solve my procrastination problem, but it did set me on the path to practicing focus. My own post on Self-Discipline was inspired by Leo Babauta.
Steven Pressfield wrote “The War of Art” and helped me understand that the little voice in my head that questions why I am writing, who am I to think I have something to say, what will one article change is not me, it is “Resistance“. Each day, the creator must sit down and push through this voice of resistance and “Do The Deep Work“.
Bloggers that I love and read every post, but there is not one single post that I can point out:
I use feedly to keep all the blog posts in one easy to read place.
What else am I missing?
What blog posts have impacted you? What are the blogs that you regularly read?
I’ve been blogging fairly consistently now for about 4 years. I try not to focus on metrics, just spend time writing posts. I try to write for myself, not to write for fame or fortune or impact…
However, there has always been a little dream that sits at the corner of my conscious mind of a massive wave of visitors. Imagine if 100,000 readers found this post today… It was a dream…
Until this month.
24 hours, 100,000 Visitors
Over a 24 hour period between 14 and 15th May, over 100,000 readers swarmed in to this blog to read a specific post.
The post: Amazon Staff Meetings: “No Powerpoint”
Why? Where did everyone come from?
The visitors were sparked by this tweet by Edward Tufte, professor at Yale and data visualization guru:
Following this tweet, a major discussion at Reddit began:
See the Main Discussion: http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/1ebavs/amazon_staff_meetings_no_powerpoint/
Highlights of the Reddit Discussion
- [friedice5005] Powerpoint isn’t the problem. It’s a very useful tool to augment information you are trying to get across. The problem is people people who are bad at it using it as a crutch. Powerpoint should basically be an outline of what you’re talking about with MAJOR discussion points and any images or graphs you need to show. It should not be blocks of text that you read verbatim.
- [via Yajirobi ] if you dont integrate people into it, they just sleep. Forcing them with made up questions is a bad idea too. Getting random questions from the audience is the best way to do it. Its a GIFT. They make the presentation good for you, without any effort from your part.
- [via EngineerVsMBA]I experienced this system, and I loved it. I will use it in every job from here on out. Let me explain why:1.) It requires meaningful preparation by the presenter. They cannot hide behind pretty slides, and you can’t use the usual confusion tactics. If you can’t fit it in six pages, you didn’t prepare enough…
After the Flood
After the flood, what changed?
The real simple answer… nothing much. The blog has gone back to its previous daily visitor numbers. I had a moderate upsurge in email subscribers to my Free Online Speaking Course. I had 16 comments on the post. The post did get 2,200 Facebook Likes, it got 1,324 ReTweets, 821 LinkedIn Shares – so there is a sort of residual flow of new visitors.
It is a strange sensation to watch the visits rack up, and then just float away.
A good reminder that fame is illusive… and not really the goal… and a dangerous distraction 😉 Anyone know what’s up with Psy of Gangnam Style these days now that the frenzy has past?
Maybe I could do a little bit of work on improving conversion of visitors into readers, and readers into subscribers? Anyone got good ideas on how to make a blog into a community, or make it a more “sticky” destination?
Blog about what you are learning about, not what you are an expert in
I think you should be blogging. I know you have something to say.
Start Blogging Now!
13 “get-your-blog-going” thoughts from a conversation with Benedict on the road between Lausanne and Vevey this morning:
- Write about what you are learning about, not what you are an expert in. If you are an expert, then publish your expertise in magazines, “big” blogs and other professional locations. Your blog is to open your thinking and wondering and learning up to the world and allow a conversation to form. Expertise ends conversation.
- Write comments on other’s blogs. (I love comments on my blog. I shouldn’t, but I do. Ego thing I guess. Somehow adds a sense of meaning to this.) It motivates them and might just pull a good idea for a full blog post into your mind.
- Force yourself to hit publish after 20 minutes. Do not leave blog posts unpublished. Start conversations. Do not try for perfection (you can always, always edit or delete a post if you really hate it).
- Write “list” posts every-so-often. People like lists. My top 5 favourite free online tools. My top 10 books of all time. 6 ways to get your emails ignored. 17 habits of a fulfilling life. 6 reasons you should be blogging. If you can think of 3 ways… write 5 ways in the title and then push yourself to come up with 2 more. This brings out your creativity.
- Write interview posts – ask some experts in your area of interest a few questions and post the transcript – or the video – or the audio. This gets the expert pointing people you your blog. If you pick other bloggers, they might send a reader or two over your way.
- Write controversial posts sometimes. If you don’t agree with something say so. If you don’t think entrepreneurship is for everyone, say so.
- Use your own “voice”. Don’t try to be an expert or copy another person’s style. Write how you speak. Be you. If you have a strong opinion, say so. Don’t pussyfoot around and give watered down, two-sided argument versions of your opinion (like I was taught to do when writing my psychology essays in university). If you think education is broke, say it is broke. If you think Tim Ferriss is an ass, say he is an ass. If you love Seth Godin, say you love his stuff.
- Publish a poor post every so often. It makes the next post easier. A blog is not perfection. It is not peer-reviewed academic journal. It is not edited magazine. It is a fun, simple, easy communications medium to share ideas. Don’t ever let it become a chore. Don’t make it hard work.
- Use Twitter to connect to other bloggers and retweet them if you like their stuff. Use a tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdesk to read your twitter feed. I use Hootsuite. Create searches and lists of favourites. Don’t read everything.
- Facebook and Linkedin allow you to integrate your blog into your wall (here is mine in facebook via the notes tab). These are great tools to widen your audience.
- Use Blogger or WordPress. (
I use blogger.) As of October 2012, I use wordpress.
- Don’t try to “monetise”. Maybe when you get really big, but not when you are just starting. You can recommend books on Amazon and earn affiliate commision, or maybe recommend a product you use and like. Blogging builds your credibility, not your income (not directly, not for a while).
- Just do it.
- (bonus) There are 5 and a half benefits of blogging.