How Successful Writers Curate Ideas

The blank page.

Writer’s block.

Newer writers often claim to fear both of these. We’ve all been conditioned to do so. (I admit: I still do sometimes too.)

But as I’ve studied writers, successful writers, I’ve found that most of them have found ways to overcome the trepidation of the blank page, and most don’t even consider “writer’s block” to be a real thing.

So what is it that separates these writers from you and me?

Two traits, I’ve found:

  1. They have found a way to channel their fear into productivity.
  2. They have a system for recording and recalling ideas.

And make no mistake, number two has a huge impact on number one.

Because if you know that you always have a catalog of great ideas to fall back on for those days when you wake up with nothing fresh in your head, it completely removes that fear of the blank page from the equation.

So how do you do it?

How do you create, maintain, and use that catalog of great ideas?

That is the subject of today’s episode of The Lede.

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Writer? Answer This Question to Find Out …

Image of Walt Whitman

Let’s say this:

You’ve been a graphic designer since high school, went to college, and got a degree in computer science. During that time you’ve dabbled in writing. You have a blog. You don’t publish frequently, but when you do, you get traction.

Or how about this:

You are middle-aged woman who’s been a successful CPA with a large firm for 10 years. While the pay is divine, you are not entirely happy. In fact, if pushed, you’d probably say you hate your job. You’ve been breaking out the journal before bed each night.

Here’s another one:

You own a business. It’s septic tank installation. One you inherited from your father. Septic tank installing is all you’ve ever known. But a little over two years ago you were involved in a tragic accident. And you think the story needs to be told.

Each scenario above is based upon a real-life conversation I’ve had with someone. I’ve changed the details to protect privacy, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you understand what I’m trying to do.

At some point in the conversation these people ask me: “Should I become a writer? Do I have what it takes?”

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AWeber Now Offering 7 Beautiful, StudioPress-Inspired Email Templates

studiopress-themes1

How do you design an email template that looks and feels like your own website design?

Sounds like it would be hard to do, doesn’t it?

You either need to be a whiz with code, or you need to find an email marketing service that just so happens to have templates that look and feel like your website. Not very likely.

Until now … because AWeber decided to do something about it.

Many of our StudioPress customers now have an email marketing option that will seamlessly extend their website’s branding into their email communication …

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35 Blogging Tips to Woo Readers and Win Business

black and white image from 1910 of three men with pipes looking toward the left edge of the image with intrigued expressions on their faces

Let’s not pussyfoot around it.

Blogging is a lot of work. Hard work.

Generate new blog post ideas. Write weekly content. Promote posts via social media and email.

At times, we all wonder whether our blogging efforts are paying off. Do we need to keep plugging away? Write more? Promote more?

The thought of quitting might even creep up now and then. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop worrying about your next blog post? And have some extra time to go out with friends? Or to read a book?

But the benefits of writing a business blog can be tremendous. Career-changing.

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The 5 W’s of Link Curation

When someone shares a link, and you click on it, and you are moved in some way by it — to action, to inspiration, even to tears — how do you feel about the person who shared it with you?

You likely feel equal parts appreciation and respect. If you’re honest, you might even feel a slight twinge envy. (Damnit, why didn’t I find that link to share first!)

It’s okay.

Being the clicker and the consumer is just fine. Content marketing is an ecosystem, and we all have to play multiple roles to keep it in motion.

But there is no reason you can’t be the link sharer more often. There is no reason you can’t consistently share useful links so that the appreciation and respect of an audience gets directed towards you.

To do this, all you have to do is understand the who, what, when, where, and why (plus the how) of link curation.

Which just so happens to be the subject of this week’s episode of The Lede.

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SlideShare Best Practices: How to Turn Written Content Into a Winning Deck

Title slide of Dave Paradi SlideShare deck

At the recent Authority Intensive 2014 conference, there was a lot of talk from the stage and amongst the attendees about SlideShare.

And with good reason.

SlideShare was the “quiet giant of content marketing” way back in 2011, even before being acquired by LinkedIn. Now? It’s one of the most influential social media platforms for businesses and big thinkers.

But while SlideShare has proven to be a great new medium for sharing content, many people are still asking how to get started with it.

In this article, I want to provide best practices for the simplest way to get started with SlideShare: turning a written piece of content into a SlideShare deck.

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