Keywords & Research Tools

Keyword Research

Whether you are new to working online or have been doing it for some time but with limited results, we are going to show you how to rank better by doing your keyword research. An integral part of online research for successful content creation and ranking.

Keywords

What Are Keywords

  • Keywords are words or phrases used or entered into search engines or search queries if using voice searches that people use when they want to find something online.
  • Keywords are words or phrases that are relevant to your topic, niche or business and are terms searched by people who may become your client, audience or buyers.
  • Keywords can be in website names, titles, subheadings, content, etc.
  • Keywords are what brings organic traffic to your site when people search in google, bing, yahoo or any other search bar online.
  • Keywords are a large part of SEO (search engine optimization) on your website or online business. This also includes Youtube videos, pictures, in social media platforms. Anything that is searched can be classed as a keyword.

The above covers some but not all of why keywords are so important in any content that you create to put online. In essence, keywords are important for you ranking in search pages, thus allowing you to drive customers.

Keywords and Traffic

As I mentioned above keywords are what bring organic traffic to your website, those who get to your site by simply search for a word or phrase then see your site listed on SERP’s (search engine results page), then click into your website.

You see, keywords also help you to get ranked in search engines and the higher you rank the more chance you have of people discovering your site or business, therefore, the more organic traffic you will get. Organic traffic is one of the best traffic sources as it is FREE traffic. It comes straight from results pages, this means that that traffic is drawn straight from search pages.

You can also get free traffic through sharing your work, pages, videos, content through several social media channels too but straight up from search requires less work from you.

So, how do rank high on search engines? Well, this is all about SEO but doing proper keyword research and inserting that into your content is a KEY element in your SEO endeavours.


Why Use Keyword Research

Finding the Right Keyword Tool

So how do you go about doing keyword research? You get a good keyword research tool and use it to the best of its ability. There are many of these tools out there all doing a similar job and when used correctly provide you with valuable information about keywords and related keywords that you can use when you are planning your content that is going to go online.

Some online keyword tool sites I have come across are wordtracker, ubbersuggest, keywordtool and Jaaxy. Most of these can be used as free keyword tools to start with. This allows you to try out what one works best for you and lets you try it before committing to any kind of price plan.

Now Jaaxy is the one I use and have done since starting online. I have tried a few others but I just find Jaaxy the easiest to use. It provides me with all the information I need when doing my research as well as suggestions and an area where I can check rank, check affiliate programmes, brainstorm for keywords and related phrases and save everything for use at a later time or date.

Choosing Your Keywords

Before you start your keyword research you will, of course, have a rough idea of what keywords you are going to be researching. Maybe you have a blog idea, have created a video that you are putting online, created a new page on your site that you wish to rank.

You will start by typing in the keyword you have in mind, enter then you will see a list of results as follows.

 

As you can see I searched the word “keyword” and the results have shown me a list of keywords or related terms to that word. There is a large list I have simply just shown you the top few.

Now with this search, Jaaxy also provides you with other information besides the keyword or key phrase and this is important information that you can use to help you with your keyword research. So let’s see what they mean.

AVG (Average) – This is the average amount of times in 1 month that people search the exact keyword or phrase shown next to the results. So the word “keyword” has been searched 12,264 times in the past months.

Traffic – this is the amount of traffic you could potentially get by using the keyword if you rank on the first page of search results.

QSR (Quoted Search Results) – This is the amount of competition, in other words, how many other websites are ranking or competing for this particular keyword.

KQI (Keyword Quality Indicator) – tells you the quality of the keyword and in Jaaxy this is ranked by Great – green, Normal – yellow and Poor – red.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – A score based on traffic and competition, a score is given between 1 – 100 and the higher the score the more likely it is that you will be able to rank for this keyword.

Note – the results also give you a list of related keywords and the results for those too. This allows you to see other keywords that you can use that may help you rank better when used.

Having all this information will allow you to choose which keywords are going to be more valuable to you and enable you to rank higher, thus gaining more traffic to your site which, should mean more conversions, sales, clients etc depending on the type of service you provide.

A good rule of thumb that I use is QSR, low or under 100 where possible. KQI, great or green and SEO above 80 is I can get it with a given keyword.

related keywords and phrases

Now you want to be ranking for more than just 1 keyword so while you are looking through these results it is good to take a note of other keywords in this section that you may be able to use in your content. You can actually save this on Jaaxy if you check the box besides the keyword it will give you the option to save these.

 

Beside your keywords search results, you will also see a box that shows you related keywords and phrases. These can be taken note of and used when it comes to creating your content too.

If you click on one of these related keywords it will search that keyword of phrase and again give you all the information you need to make a decision whether to use it in your content.

So by starting with one keyword and doing proper research, you are able to see what keywords you can use that will allow or help you to rank. Remember the higher you rank the greater chance you have of driving traffic to your site for free.

This is especially useful when first starting out and trying to build domain authority within your niche or business sector.

Keywords for Ranking

If you are just starting out in the online world please take note and do your keyword research. Many people focus way too much on just creating content and add keywords and tags from the post or the top of their head and hope for the best.

I have done this myself way back when I started. You may get some traffic and think things are going well but you still aren’t ranking in any of the top pages. I’m not even just talking about the first page here, I’m talking about the first 4 or 5 even. You may have the odd post where you do your research that doesn’t quite rank but this may be because there are too many of you competing for that particular keyword. Remember those with domain authority competing for the same keyword will normally always rank higher but you can outsmart most by really researching those keywords and incorporating them into your content.

If you have been in the online world slightly longer but have had trouble ranking and gaining domain authority and seeing your traffic improve, this is likely why. You haven’t researched and tried to rank for set keywords. You have most probably just taken keywords from your content and stuck them in hoping for the best. Am I right?



 

If you have done this not all is lost. You could go back over some of your older posts and update them. Using proper keyword research related to your content, add, update or rewrite some of the posts and then see what impact that has on your rankings.

**Remember if you do this, you must resubmit those URLs or that content to Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Toolbox. That way your content can be recrawled and updated in search engines.

This can be a timely process but can be really worth it in the end. If you don’t want to redo old content at least start doing your keyword research for all new content that you create. That way if you start ranking better and gaining more traffic to your site from new content they may still discover that old content while there. Maybe once you see the results from keyword research you will reconsider going back and make changes once you do have time.

 

Remember to Use Keywords or Phrases that Make Sense

Another thing that I feel is worth mentioning is to use keyword phrases that make sense to people. Think of your audience here, if you are using a keyword phrase such as “keyword importance”, how many people do you think would type a simple phrase into a search bar? They would probably be more likely to search the term “why are keywords important” or “the importance of keywords”. This is simply because it makes more sense. We tend to type or search for things using terms as to how we speak and now with Google, Alexa and Siri all using voice search this is of more importance because you want to be ranking in those too.

Use keywords and phrases that you would use in dialogue or conversation when speaking to someone.

 

Why not try searching for keyword here and see how it works for yourself. Have a play around and see what you can come up with and what you would be able to use when creating your next piece of content. Try it for free below.

Onwards and Upwards

Now I have only covered the main use of keyword tools, showing you on Jaaxy and each is different and offer different tools within the keyword tool for you to use.

Once you start using them and gaining experience in whichever one you choose to use you will start to discover more ways you can use these to grow your site and even better than that, an understanding of yours and other sites (your competition), thus giving you the information and sometimes the edge you need to create content that is going to a ahigher rank on search engines. The higher you rank the more traffic you will be driving to your site for FREE.

Remember keywords are everywhere. They are used on ALL online platforms that provide search abilities including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and any other social platform that provides a search bar. Use your keywords here too when promoting your content and products and remember the human element, use keywords as you would speak them.

I really hope this has given you a clearer understanding of keywords and keyword research and taught you the importance of researching and using relevant keywords and phrases in your content when promoting that content through social media channels and in your advertising.

By utilising these types of tools you are giving yourself a far greater chance to succeed in what you are trying to achieve in the online world.

Thanks for reading and I wish you well.

How to Accelerate Your Learning

If you have landed on this post it is because you want to accelerate your learning by learning how to learn faster! Right?

Well, you have come to the right place. In this post, I am going to share my TOP 5 LEARNING SECRETS. That’s right these are tips to learn faster. These are strategies that I use on an almost daily basis to learn things faster. In essence, you are going to learn how to learn faster.

This will work for anyone who is learning something new. Even just using one out of the 5 of these little strategies will help you to start learning what you want to learn, faster.

Whether you are learning a new skill or hobby, starting out in business and are learning what it takes to get your business off the ground and sustain it long term. Maybe you have entered the online world of business and everything is new to you and you are so overwhelmed by information and are panicking about how you are going to learn it all!

Don’t worry, by following these 5 simple strategies you are going to be learning faster than you have ever done before. What’s more, is you are totally in control and can use these strategies to go at a speed that suits you. After all, we all learn at a different pace and sometimes, like me, have to go over things a few times before retaining all of the information. I now don’t lose any time by having to go over things repeatedly as I now learn it as I would going over it once!

These 5 Strategies are a mix of technical and non-technical endeavours to help you get that learning under your belt in super-fast time.

1. Cutting Out Distractions

One thing that slows peoples learning drastically is distractions. You can not take everything in or learn in a fluent manner if you are constantly being distracted by what is going on around you!

Even when learning in classrooms with others there are many distractions and that is why there has been a big move to online learning. Learning online, on your own, can greatly speed up the learning process as you go at your pace. No stopping and starting the lesson or getting waylaid if others in a class are stopping and asking questions all the time. You have your breaks when you want and there is no having to waste time on travelling back and forth to a place of learning either.

So, if like many others, you are currently doing most of your learning at home or on your own you are already speeding up the process. But, what about other distractions? Other people in the house, tv on in the background, outside noise and yip, even your own procrastination.

The best way to deal with all of this is actually quite simple – CUT THEM OUT!

Now I realise that many of you may live in a family unit or have kids that may distract you but you can still do this. Take everything you need to learn to a quiet place, if possible. A room, an office, the car, outside. If you want to learn, you will find a way. I often take everything into the garden on a nice day to work so I don’t get distracted by the other half doing housework or trying to chat to me. There is noise outside but nobody there to distract.

Use earplugs or headphones – if you are reading or writing and wish to concentrate why not pop in a pair of earplugs, they are inexpensive and will cut a lot of the noise out leaving you more able to concentrate and less likely to become distracted.

The important thing is to know what distracts you and cut it out. This will always save you some valuable time by not having to stop-start and maybe even go over things to find your place again.

 

2. Speeding Things Up

Learning these days seems to be much less about reading and more about watching and listening. More people than ever are turning to videos to learn as the visual cues often help them to remember better. Videos are a great way to learn, especially if you like to connect a little more with who is teaching you. You can see what is happening, it is often better to be visually shown something than someone to describe how to do it. If it is a video of someone talking, facial expressions and prompts are clear and can convey what is being said in a much more powerful way. Learning with technology is commonplace now and technology can often make learning more fun.

Now, videos are great and I love to learn this way too but they are also time-consuming, right? But what if you can speed things up? Yes, that is right if you are learning through a video you can indeed speed them up. This is done through the settings button on the bottom of the video screen. This is where you will find the playback speed for the video you are watching.

Video speed

 

Most often the video can be slowed or sped up. When we listening to someone talking and even showing us certain things through a video we still learn all that is shown when the video is sped up a little. Often I learn the same with the video playback set to x1.5. Using this setting means you shave a huge 25% off the learning time. You can also double the speed of a video, although in some cases this causes too much distortion and becomes a distraction or difficult to take in.

The next time you watch a video, check it out and see if it is something you will use to speed up your learning. If you are doing a video course that lasts 10 hours by increasing the speed to x 1.5 you will complete that course in 7.5 hours. That is a huge saving of time for anyone. Especially if you are learning a completely new skill or undertaking training that you want to put into action fast. Like if you are starting a new business and are pushing forward as much as you can without missing out on what you need to learn to do so.

If you are watching a video just to re-cap as you have seen it before you may even be able to double the speed of the playback so you are getting to the parts you want to recap on quicker. You can change the settings at any point during these videos, so can slow it down for areas you really want to concentrate on or to take some notes on without stopping and starting it constantly.

 

3. Listen Up

A way many of us learn and gain knowledge on a plethora of subjects is through books. But, using books and reading can be a very time-consuming way of gaining that knowledge and learning, especially for those who are slow readers.

Now I love books and will always by books, but over the past few years, I have changed the way I consume the information from them. How have I changed this? By moving to Audible books. That’s right, I listen to more books than I read now. For me, sitting with a hard copy of a book now is for pure enjoyment only, and for that reason, I will always buy books. But, when it comes to learning or business books I choose to listen to them instead!

The reason for this is simply to speed up the process and be able to consume more information in a shorter period of time than I would if I was actually reading the book myself. Reading a book requires you to sit and do just that, read. By listening to a book you can start to consume them while doing other things. I listen to books while driving, walking, exercising, doing housework etc. the list is endless. I now consume 10x more books than I used to and that is simply down to being able to listen.

The other upside of audiobooks is that for me it is more cost-effective. That’s right, listening to my books also saves me money, and quite a bit too when you add it all up throughout the year. I have saved 100’s of £££’s already this year on my books by simply spending my credits wisely and taking advantage of 2for1 sales. So where do I get my audiobooks?




Audible of course. I pay a monthly subscription that entitles me to one credit per month and I always spent that credit on a book at least double the price of my subscription. I also stock up on credits when the platform allows you to buy extra credits. This results in further savings for me. I only ever BUY an audiobook if it is less than my subscription price and I know I will gain knowledge from it. And every book you buy or download (as there are also many FREE books and short stories) is yours to keep in your library forever.

You should give it a go. You can join and get a free book or 50% off your first three months before paying a subscription of £7.99 a month. Try visiting the Audible store and list the books you would like to listen too and see how much of a saving you would make. I promise you will not get a full library cheaper anywhere else.

As well as listening to books to speed up your learning you can also speed up the listening process.

Just the same as you can speed up videos you can also speed up the playback of the books you listen to. This time, however, you can set the speed to 3.5 x the normal playback speed.

For me, this is the top strategy. I can learn on the go, while in the car or even making the evening meal. Once you are able to consume more information in this way you will wonder why you hadn’t done it before. Using this strategy has also allowed me to take back some of my “free time”. Before when learning I got so bogged down with trying to cram everything in there was very little time left free that I could spend with family and loved ones.

Now that I use these strategies, this one especially I learn to double the amount each week and have freed up hours to spend with those who matter again. A win-win in my mind. Again learning with technology comes in useful and is more fun and more productive.

 

4. Organise Your Learning

This one might sound a little straight forward but it is worth every bit of time you spent on it. Your time is one of your biggest assets so be sure not to waste it.

Taking a little time each day or each week to organise your learning and set learning goals is crucial for not only making sure your learning is a very productive process but to also to save you going off into tangents and wasting lots of valuable time.

Set out what you want to achieve, learning wise for the day or week you are organising. Include how much time you are going to spend learning and how you are going to learn.

This can be as simple as setting a time scale for your learning i.e. set 4 hours for learning. Then set out what and how you are going to learn i.e. reading/listening to a book, watching videos, work your way through training or time to practice a skill.

The latter is where you want to really concentrate your time and get quite structured. If this is a new subject you may want to look up what information is out there and make a list of what information you want to consume and how it will be consumed. If it is videos or listening to books, note the times or how long they last. Remember you can speed this up when it comes to viewing or listening. If you are working your way through a training course try to roughly gauge how long it should take you.

Write down your plan once you have organised it and put it somewhere you will be able to see it or check on it throughout your learning so that it can keep you on track.

By organising your learning in this way it helps to keep you on track and makes your learning clear and concise. Organise and stick to it.

Top Tip: if during your learning another resource is mentioned or recommended, take a note of it. Do not simply go to it at that point during your learning unless it has been recommended for you to do so. If you are reading online or doing training online and there is a link to another piece of material or training, do not click the link, simply take a note!

Once you have finished for the day or if there is any time left at the end of learning time, then check them out. All too often people sit down with an intention to learn and then start clicking links or following recommendations and then go off-piste! That is to say, the get sidetracked and look at other things and this results in confusion. I have done this myself over the years and it can result in a whole day being wasted. Not only in learning but at work. The more organised and structured your day is the more productive it becomes.

By taking notes of other learning resources or opportunities you can check them out later and if suitable organise them into another time for learning. This way you will be able to keep hitting your learning objectives each time you make time for learning.

 

5. Putting into Practice

This is another place where jumping to far ahead or going off-piste can be detrimental to your learning. When it comes to putting what you have learned into practice.

It is often best to learn a small piece of information and then put it into practice than try to learn large chunks, then put this information to use. Often when you do this some information is lost or a part skipped and then you are left wondering why it is not going as you thought. Maybe you misunderstood a part of the training or learning or you have gone off and decided you know enough without completing all the training.

This can be a common mistake by those starting an online business. If they are following a business model to which there are training modules they simply follow the training or model until they reach the part about monetising their business. Then simply go off and try to run that business with what training they have completed and then get disheartened when the money is not flowing in! Often this tends to be less than halfway through the training. The fact is you need to follow the training to the end to get the best possible outcome and the rest of the knowledge to make things work. It is not just about the money but, doing things right, nurturing and growth, building relationships and fine-tuning your knowledge and skills set.

They say practice makes perfect. That is why as you learn ANY new “thing” you should take what you learn and put it into practice. Keep practising until it becomes second nature. There is no point trying to add to your knowledge until you have a good grasp of previous learning. This is another place where confusion can arise in your learning, trying to run before you walk so to speak.

Think of learning like building blocks, you need to lay a good foundation before building upwards. And every level needs to be solid before going up another or it will simply all come tumbling down. You may be able to go back at times and paper over the cracks but it will never be as good or as steady as those who took their time and built it correctly in the first place!

So if you are partaking in some online learning to build a business the ideal way to learn is to undertake a little learning each morning and then put it into practice throughout the day. If you are learning to play the guitar, watch the video and then spend time practising until you have got it down by memory or feeling. Learn a little – practice a lot. Get comfortable and confident with it and then move on.



 

Ready, Steady, Go

Now you have learned a few new ways to accelerate your learning what are you waiting for. Why not go and put some of these strategies into practice for your self and see how much more learning you get done in your day or week. Please just remember to put what you learn into practice and get a good grasp of it before moving on. Don’t confuse learning at speed with knowing it all.

Learning in this way allows you to either spend more time putting what you learn into practice or allowing you to learn more deeply about a subject in the same amount of time as you would learn the basics. Thus giving you a greater chance of success when your learning is put into practice.

Sleep Your Way to a Better Career?

Would you like to sleep your way to a better career, a better life and a better feeling you?

No, this post isn’t about that old adage “sleeping your way to the top” and has absolutely nothing to do with sex. This post is about how getting the right amount of sleep for YOU can help boost your career.

Did you know that the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours sleep per night and the actual amount needed depends on the individual?

Do you get these hours? Are they enough for you? There is a way you can work out just how much sleep you need and we will discuss this later in the post.

In this post, we will talk about sleep patterns and how to train your body and mind to adopt good sleep patterns.

How getting the right amount of sleep helps your body and mind. The fact that sleep is one of your basic needs to survive and thrive should indicate just how important it is yet it is something we tend to deprive ourselves of on a regular basis.

How sleeping well can help boost your creativity and productivity giving you the best chance to push you forward in your chosen career or business.

We will also discuss why all leading athletes make sleeping and rest a high priority activity in their training programmes. Especially before big athletic events.

Do you get enough sleep?

This question may seem trivial when thinking about your business or career but essentially it should be the first place to start if looking to improve yourself, your creativity and productivity.

 

The Impact of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is not just about losing full nights of sleep or having gone without a few nights sleep. Sleep deprivation and ongoing sleep deprivation is caused by losing as little as an hour of good sleep each night.

Only getting 6 hours instead of the seven that your body may need is enough to cause the symptoms of sleep deprivation after even a few nights, and the longer this goes on the more these symptoms will start to take a toll on you and your life.

They say we can never really catch up on sleep that we have lost, but we can start to help our bodies recover from sleep deprivation by starting to get the right sleep and rest that our bodies need.

Sleep deprivation causes many symptoms, some more harmful than others but the longer this continues the worse the symptoms become and the more it will impact not only your day to day life but on your physical and mental health. You can not get used to just having 5 hours of sleep at night as some people think. Actually, you just find ways or get used to coping or dealing with sleep deprivation symptoms and less fulfilling life.

Sleep deprivation symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Day time sleepiness or tiredness.
  • Excessive yawning.
  • Moodiness.
  • Irritability.
  • Low moods and when severe depression.
  • Difficulty completing tasks.
  • Difficulty learning new things or retaining information.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Body aches and pains.
  • Digestive issues.

The Centre for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least 1 in 3 adults do not get the required amount of sleep that they need. They also state that a good nights sleep is critical for your good health! While many studying sleep and sleep deprivation associate sleep deprivation to increased risk of developing health issues such as diabetes, strokes, obesity and heart disease. You can read more about what they have to say here – https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html

The above can all become issues in a very short period of time by losing as small amount as 1 hour per night. Can you see how this can become so detrimental to your life and business? That 1 hour of sleep loss can play havoc with your life very quickly.

This can be a costly mistake for those just starting out on a new venture or trying to build a side hustle that they want to take full-time. You will hear and read many stories of changes that people make in their daily lives to work hard on their side hustle or part-time business while still working in full-time employment for paid wages. I have seen many people get up a few hours earlier or stay up later once family have gone to bed to get the time they need to work on their dream.

Now, I am not saying that this is bad, on the contrary, getting up those few hours earlier if that is when you produce your best work completely makes sense. What I am saying, however, is do not let this impact on the amount of sleep you get each night. If you are going to get up earlier, ensure you go to bed earlier. If this is difficult try to have a nap at some point during the day. This will allow you to still ensure you are getting the rest and sleep your body requires to function at it’s best.

 

Why Getting the Right Amount of Sleep Will Boost Your Business

So now we have seen how sleep deprivation can impact on your daily life how will you get the right amount of sleep need for you to help you boost your career and become better in business?

Well as we have seen above some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation can have serious negative impacts on you throughout your day. Struggling to focus, loss of concentration, difficulty retaining information are to name but a few. Just think for a minute how suffering from just these few symptoms on a daily basis will have you struggling to run or achieve a successful business.

The truth is we all want to be successful and put our best work out there. We want creativity to come easily and have super productive days where we breeze through most of our work in a happy and fulfilled manner. We want to make positive impacts on the people we deal with through our business, and sustain these relationships longterm.

I bet there are very few who can honestly say they get the most out of themselves each and every day whether in business or their personal lives. Juggling a successful business and person commitments can be difficult at times and this becomes all the harder when you simply don’t have the energy to sustain one let alone both. If you are putting all your energy into your business it leaves you with very little to put into relationships with your friends or family.

This can be a reason why so many fail in their personal relationships or at least put a heavy strain on the relationship when starting or growing a business. It probably has less to do with the time spent on the business and more to do with how you are when you are meant to be present with family. The fact that sleep deprivation makes you irritable and have mood swings and have low levels of energy. The truth is it is normally those that are closer to you, such as partners, children and immediate family that will feel the impact of this more. They will be the ones whom you are short-tempered with or short with. Not the people you are dealing with through your business. The fact you are putting all into that business or work leaves you even more tired and unable to give what is needed to sustain and nourish the relationships you have.

 

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

So as stated before it is understood that different people need different amounts of sleep. Yes, sleep really is as individual as you.

The one way to find out just how much sleep you and your body does need to is to set a time for going to sleep and wake without an alarm. If you can do this over a week and then take an estimate from there it will help you in trying to find the correct amount of sleep for you. When awakening in the morning don’t be tempted to just roll over and have another half-hour as that will impact on your results.

So if you do this for seven nights and the pattern is as follows:

Monday – 7hrs, Tuesday – 7 hrs 40 mins, Wednesday – 8 hours, Thursday – 7hrs 10mins, Friday – 8hrs 5 mins, Sat 9 hrs 25 mins and Sunday 7 hrs 35 mins.

Add all 7 nights hours of sleep up, get a total and then divide that total by 7. This will help you to get a rough estimate of the hours that your body needs sleep. So the above equates to around 8 hours of sleep per night.

Another good way to track your sleep is by using a FitBit or similar style of fitness tracker watch. These again are maybe not always 100% accurate but will give you an idea of how you are sleeping.

Now this will be an easier task for some than others as there are many people who do not sleep well or suffer from sleep conditions such as insomnia. If you are one of these people please don’t be disheartened, there are many things you can also do to help improve your sleep too and allow you to start getting more sleep and feel more rested.

You may have to work at getting into a good sleep pattern for a little longer than some others but I am sure it will be worth it when you start to see the benefits it brings to your life. Including your work and productivity.

 

Good Sleep Patterns

The best way to ensure your body is getting the rest and sleep it requires is by working our the amount of sleep you need and then developing a good sleep pattern.

There are many things you can do to enhance or even get a good nights sleep. Your sleep should be as important to you as working out or eating healthily to maintain good mental and physical health. In fact working out, earlier in the day where possible will also help you to get a better nights sleep.

So where should you start in creating a good, healthy sleep pattern? Well firstly by setting a time for bed and sticking to it. This should be individual to you as you know when you work best. If you work best in the morning, set a time to allow you enough sleep before getting up and starting on your work. This may mean being in bed by 9 or sometimes even earlier if you are wanting to put in a few hours before going to a job. If you work better later in the day allow for this. However, please remember to give yourself time to unwind before bed. You can have a different time at weekends but try not to make the difference too substantial that it interrupts your pattern and again allow for enough sleep as a later night means a later rise the following morning.

Now that you have set a sleep time it is time to start thinking about a routine for settling you and helping you to relax before going to bed. This is a routine will help you to unwind before going to bed. Things like listening to music, reading a book, journaling or relaxation and stretching exercises.

The one thing you should avoid is being in front of a screen. Whether that is your computer, phone, tablet or television. These electronic devices emit what is known as blue light and is said to interfere with your sleep. This is because blue light can delay the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps induce sleep. The National Sleep Foundation believes that with the melatonin being delayed this also helps shift the bodies natural circadian rhythm by a few hours meaning you will not fall asleep until later.

So if you are going to make reading a part of your bedtime routine try to read from paper, like a book or if you always read from a tablet invest in a blue light filtering screen. These can be purchased from here, on Amazon. It is also worth noting that while the Amazon Kindle Fire has an option to turn on the blue shade, it will only reduce the blue light emitted and not completely filter it out.

Another good way to relax with a book is by listening to it. Many people have started using software and apps such as Audible to listen to books. This can be a real time saver as you can also listen while driving or working. This is how I chose to consume most of my books nowadays. I tend to listen to business books at night and although they may help you to have ideas or think of concepts for your business because you are listening you can simply pause the book and write your idea down. Writing it down is a good way of getting it off your mind before bed and not having the worry of forgetting about it.

Journaling is a good way to unwind too, writing down what you have accomplished that day and even making small notes of what you want to work on the following or ideas that you have. Get them down on paper so you don’t forget about them and also help free some space to help your mind relax.

Often some of the best ideas we have are while we are relaxing, so no matter what you are doing to unwind on an evening before bed I would recommend that you have a pen and paper nearby to write those ideas down.

 

Sleep and Top Performers

As I briefly touched on at the start of this post I want to talk about how athletes use sleep to stay at the top of their game. Now it is not just athletes that do this it is all top performers in life. People may be able to sustain short bursts at being at the top without paying attention to sleep but those who really know what it takes and the importance of sleep remain at the top for longer. I have chosen to use athletes due to them being physically active and that seems to give us a clearer understanding of them needing sleep, however, they simply know sleep is a basic need for good health.

Top athletic performers and coaches pay much attention to sleep and rest. Some to the point where it is classed as an activity on their training schedule.

You see athletes know the importance of sleep for them to be able to perform at their best and train efficiently on a daily basis that is why it is scheduled into their training plan. Rest is the other big factor for them. See it is not just sleep but rest that athletes need to enable their bodies to recover from training. As easy as it may sound resting can often be a difficult task for people who are so active but in order for them to gain the most from their training and ask their bodies to repeatedly perform at such levels resting and getting proper sleep is a major role in them being at the top of their game or becoming successful.

Sleep deprivation would mean that there training would suffer. They would not be able to put as much into training due to being tired and equally, they would not get enough out of training to allow them to grow and become better at what they do. Most top performers see sleep as the starting point to all things great, to all they can achieve as they know with the right sleep they can perform at their best no matter what they are doing.

If you would like to go deeper into understanding sleep amongst both athletes and top performers I would recommend reading or you listen to Peak Performance by Steve Magnius and Brad Stulberg.

You can purchase this from Audible.

 

Make Sure You Prioritize Sleep

Now that you are aware how sleep deprivation can impact negatively on your life and business and how you can, in fact, sleep your way to a better career and life make sure you make it a priority in your life.

It may take a little while to find out what amount of sleep you need and get a good sleep pattern in place but once you figure it all out you will certainly reap the rewards.

You will be more alert, more driven, more focused and have more concentration, tasks will become easier and ideas and concepts that you can implement in your business will flow easier and quicker than they did before.

Once you prioritise your sleep and start getting enough you will find that other areas in your life start to improve and you start to manage your business with more proficiency and gusto than you now do. Not only will your business, career or work improve all other aspects of your life will improve too, but you will also become more present in everything you do allow you and others to get the most and best from you.

Remember that sleep is a basic human need the same as food, water and shelter and you should prioritise it as such.

Becoming A Writer

Create a workspace

Have you ever fancied becoming a writer? Don’t know where to start? Don’t know what type of writing you would like to do but you have that feeling that it is something you want to do?

Don’t worry, many writers start here. The one thing that is important is that you want to do it and the easiest way to get to where you want to be is to simply start writing.

Yes, start writing now, today, every day!

The thing is you are very unlikely to become a best-selling author with your first piece. Writing for many takes lots of practice, very few people can just sit down and write something to be consumed happily by the masses, it takes time. Time to build your confidence, time to build your audience, time for you to learn just what type of writer you are.

This being said there are many ways you can start your writing career and start to get your words out there without delving straight into writing the first book. Many people write books and never have them published. If your dream is to be a published writer you can grab that dream and make it happen in the next week if you want to.

See writing is not just about writing large pieces or books, it’s about getting what you want to write about in front of readers, getting your stuff out there, taking a chance on starting to build an audience and seeing what works.

Get Writing

 

Where To Start

Where to start can be different for many people. Some people may want to take writing courses first before putting their work in front of others, something to build their confidence.

Others like me started writing on a blog, either their own or someone else s (guest blogging), some write on writing platforms such as medium, some try their hand at writing for magazines and websites. All of these ways can be monetized so you can start to earn money while learning and perfecting your writing skills.

You may actually find you are very good at a style of writing you never even gave a thought. And this is one of the reasons I recommend trying out more than one of the above when getting into writing.

Not all at once. But, once you have settled into a routine of writing on a regular basis and have had some work published on one platform maybe look to diversify and try something new. Finding your writing style is key to both enjoying and getting the most from your writing. If you enjoy your writing and are good at it, chances are you are going to engage your audience more and keep them interested or even captivated until t

When to Write

When should you be writing? Many people just will tell you to write every day. Set a writing goal and try to reach it every day, even if it is only 500 words. So until HERE!

Yes, the word “HERE” in the previous sentence was exactly my 500th word. See how little writing that is. It is a goal that is easily accomplished each day and depending on the speed of your typing only takes between 10 and 20 minutes and what’s more, you don’t even need to be at your desktop or laptop to achieve this.

You could do as I do and download the KeepNotes app to your phone and use this for writing on the go. You can write on your phone and then log in to Keep Notes from google once on your laptop or desktop and simply copy and paste it over to whatever you are working on.

Often I will have an idea for a blog post while out and use this to start the post or at least create an opening paragraph and rough layout or list of what I think I should cover or maybe notes of what research I may need to do to put the blog post together. If I didn’t take notes at the time of the idea or as soon after I get it as I can I would most probably forget. Even if in socially company,  a quick trip to the bathroom to take notes can be a lifesaver when it comes to not passing up good ideas. Although, make sure you don’t take too long!

The next thing to take into consideration is when to actually write. Try writing at various times of the day to see when your writing and creative skills are at their best. This is different for everyone so there is no point getting out your bed super early if your mind just isn’t up to the task at that time of the day.

I do write better first thing in the morning and can be up and writing within half an hour some days. This is when I function at my best but this is not the case for everyone. I have a friend who functions better at night, with everything she does. After tea time is when she is more focused and able to work better without distractions and with a deeper level of concentration.

I know there are lots of business gurus and entrepreneurs out there that believe and teach that getting up super early and working out before you start working and writing is key to being successful, and yes, maybe that is what works for them, but it is not what works for everyone.

Take your time to try different times and methods of writing and really learn what suits you. There is no point getting up half an hour earlier each morning to write when you simply aren’t at your best or able to mentally function at your best just to write to a 500 word a day goal. You may find that spending the same amount of time after dinner writing actually produces double the words and better quality writing from yourself.

Start writing

Where To Write

Where to write is just as important as when to write. Some people need a quiet area like an office or small quiet corner of a room where they are not going to be disturbed too often or by much. Others can write just about anywhere and are able to simply “zone out” of what is happening around them and all the noise. Some people like to write with music playing in the background, some need to have silence. Again, this is something you are going to need to learn about yourself.

I can’t have music on or I will often type the wrong words, usually the lyrics, rather than what my brain is trying to compute to the keyboard. I also like my own space for writing. Somewhere I can just leave everything set up and go back and forth to it as it suits me throughout the day.

So again, this can be trial and error, but most importantly it has to suit you and allow you to produce your best work. So whether it is at the kitchen table, your own office, a garden shed or a cafe, find what works for you and use this as much as you possibly can for when you are writing.

 

A Writer’s Mindset

Another important part of a writer’s day is being in the correct mindset to write. This is especially true as you grow as a writer or are taking on the task of writing full-time. Just like athletes get into the right mindset before an event or an actor before performing, you will also have to have a shift in your mindset before writing for the most part.

It is often difficult going from being a parent or being out socializing to coming in and sitting down to write, there has to be a shift somewhere in your mind. You need to clear your head of what you may have been doing and be able to settle into a more focused mind for you to sit and write.

It is often good to have small cues or routines that you complete before you sit down and start writing. The more you perform these the more your subconscious mind will start to recognise them and start to shift preparing you and your mind for the forthcoming task. It is like having a little ritual you perform before bed each night. Having a similar ritual before writing also has its advantages.

This is where I really appreciate having a small office in the house where I do almost all of my writing. This is on my desktop rather than on my laptop although I do have to use my laptop if I am away for a few days or wish to work in the garden. But even I can see the difference in the work I produce between the two. I am around 30% more productive when I am writing on my desktop computer.

My little ritual is to grab a drink from the kitchen, normally this is a bottle of water that I have had in the fridge, I will log on to the computer, quickly check all emails, deleting any I am not going to read and taking a mental note if there are a few I need to go back on and read when finished. I then log out and turn off all notifications, close all tabs apart from the one I am writing on. This helps me limit the number of times I am disturbed and saves a lot of distractions, as I can be very easily distracted and this can lead to a lot of procrastination if I am struggling a little with the piece I am writing at that particular time.

Create a workspace

I will read through the previous few paragraphs where I finished writing the last time or If starting something new I will read through any notes I have taken and then I am ready to start.

This small 5-minute ritual or routine makes it much easier to transact into a good mindset for my writing. This also comes quite naturally and wasn’t a forced routine but one I simply fell into overtime, well a few months of starting writing. The turning off notifications simply came from endless distractions and I recognised how counterproductive this was for me. The water is simply to keep me hydrated and stop a caffeine slump that I would get be taking a coffee into the office.

I also have strict rules about not eating while I am at the computer, this means if working for longer periods of time that I actually go and sit and enjoy a meal rather than it being consumed mindlessly leaving me feeling hungry earlier or worse, snacking.

You have to find what works for you, this may come through trial and error or you may know yourself well enough to put together a basic ritual or routine that is going to work for you. You can always make adjustments as you go or overtime as things may change.

 

Getting Your Work Published and Building an Audience

Now that you know when to start, where and when to write and have developed a good mindset for sitting down to write you are also going to want to think about getting your work published.

Every writer wants to have their work published and have an audience that likes it, anyone who says otherwise is lying. It can be terrifying putting your work out there for the first time. Lots of questions and worries will run through your head.

What if no one reads it? What if people don’t like it? What if it’s rubbish?

Firstly someone will read it, even if you have to print it off and give it to your partner or send it to a friend at least one person will have read your work.

Next, not everyone will like what you write, that is simply a fact. Your writing will not be to everyone’s taste or level of comprehension or understanding. Don’t sweat it! There will also be people out there who do get it and do like what you are writing and that is where you are going to find your audience, the people who understand you and what you are trying to communicate through your work.

publsihed

And Yeah, maybe your first piece will be rubbish, then maybe not. All writer will tell you, they have looked back at some of the stuff they wrote when they first started with some mixed feelings, some of the embarrassment, some laughter, some even question “What the hell was I thinking?”.

The thing with anything in life is the more you practice it the better you become at it!

Depending on the writing you do, will depend on where and what platforms you use to get your writing published. Some research online will help you with this. If a blog is what you are looking to start I would highly recommend you check out Wealthy Affiliate, I use this site myself and it has the most amazing support network and training for bloggers. From getting a website to monetising it and beyond, everything is covered on this platform.

You may also like to check out writing platforms such as Medium, Scoop.it and Freedom With Writing.

Whatever you decide to write about, start today, just get started and work on the rest as you go. The more you write the better you will become and the more your confidence will grow.

Who Influences You and Your Business?

Business People

InfluenceWho are Influencers?

If you are a businessman, entrepreneur or just someone who likes to continuously learn throughout their lives you most likely take some of your learning from other people, through other people or with other people.

These “other people” are often what we call our influencers. People who influence the way we do things in our lives.

Whether they influence the way we eat, exercise, style our homes or do business the people we choose to follow, listen to, watch, read from, work with or under or look up to are the people we choose to let influence us.

As children, we had little or no control over who influenced our lives as mostly it was parents, grandparents and other family members and who they chose to have around us. But as we grow up we start to have more of a say or a choice over who these “influencers” are.

It is also worth remembering influencers can be both good and bad.

If you look back on your teenage years you will be able to remember times where you were following some fashion of another, listening to or experimenting with different genres of music, doing things just because our friends were doing them, both good and bad?

How many of us can say we tried things we wish we had not just because our friends were doing it?

Smoking, drinking, sexual relationships etc the list can go on and on.

And the younger generation or younger people will often be told that some people are “bad influences” on them. You’ve maybe heard this from your parents, family members or partners, and you have maybe even made statements such as this to your own children or family members. In our younger years, we hear more about people being a bad influence rather than being good or positive in our lives.

You see who we choose to surround ourselves with at any stage in life can and will influence us. If you have children or younger family members it is worth remembering this and trying to point out the positives when it comes to influencers too. You too will have influence over other peoples lives too whether you like it or not.

So now we have a better idea about influencers lets look at this term in a sense of us growing personally and growing our business.

Business People

Influencers in Business

As adults and adults who have decided that we want to make our own path in life or business rather than being caught in the 9 till 5 wheel or trading our time for money as most people do. Where do we look for inspiration, for ideas, for guidance and learning opportunities? From other people, people who have gone before us on a similar journey, people who have greater knowledge than our own.

So, when we talk about influencers we talk about multiple people. It would be no use simply following just one person, listening to just one person, copying just one person, speaking to just one person.

If we chose to do this, we would probably just end up a diluted version of them! And at the end of the day, no one person has all the answers.

Instead, we should take influence from many people in many ways. Yes, there will be people who you resonate with more than others and that is fine. If certain people strike a chord with you in one aspect of your life you may want to give them a little more of your time or listen a little more to what they have to say.

But who and what influences you should never come from just one source? You need many points of view, you need many people who will give advice, make you ponder or question yourself and your belief system.

 

The more you learn the more you can assess various parts of your life, see the changes that you want to make, be the changes at times, map out your own path to success.

You may read, listen or watch several people talk on the same subject for many hours and you will no doubt learn a lot from each person but what you must do or will naturally do is take the information that you have learned and think about it, dissect it, question it and test it out. You see they all have knowledge on the subject but no one person has “all of the” knowledge. No one person knows everything and there will be many varying points of views or thought processes on how each person views a subject.



Your job is to take all the information and decide what you need, what sits right with you, what works for you, find your own point of view on the subject you are learning about.

Start Wide then Go Deep When Learning

What do I mean when I say stat start wide then go deep?

This simply means that at first, especially if you are learning about a new subject you should allow your influences and knowledge to come from a wide field or range of people. Then, as you start to gain more knowledge yourself you can start narrowing things down to what you really want to know or learn more about. You may then narrow down who you gain your knowledge from or take influence from.

Maybe this is because certain people resonate more with you than others and you will continue to follow and learn from them or that a part or section of a new subject grabs your attention more and you want to delve deeper into gaining knowledge in this area, you would simply follow on from here in your learning and whoever can best pass on this knowledge.

Well Known Influencers in Business

In business or in the field of success many people are influenced by or at least want to know what some of the bigger names and successful people in this world have to say.

Many people can be influenced in one way or another by some of the greats or those who provide what we call a staple knowledge base.

People such as Jim Rohn, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Robert Kiyosaki along with some of the newer age business influencers such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin, Jack Ma and Elon Musk. All of these people are worth listening to and easily accessible via Audible, YouTube, Social Media and the good old physical book.

These people are all successful in their own definition of the word and have shared that knowledge using various methods. All you need to do is look them up online to learn more about them and where you can find out how to learn from them.



 

Personal Influencers

Personal Influencers are those people we know on a more personal level. These can be people we are close to or even those who are merely acquaintances at the moment, but you can change that, maybe you can turn those acquaintances into mentors or influencers. Many people who are successful are only glad to share some of their knowledge with others.

Maybe your partner influences you by supporting you or by helping to keep you grounded and focused on your goals and they are often the people we like to share our wins and accomplishments with too.

It could also be a parent or older relative who has their own business or business experience that you admire and strive to be more like.

Have a think about who you know, who you look up to or admire and would like to learn from. Find a way to spend some more time with these people. Invite them for dinner, meet for a drink or join them on a walk or at the gym. Be frank with them and tell them you would like them to help you reach your goals or give you some guidance.

Remember they don’t all have to influence you in a business sense, maybe you would like them to help you get into shape or follow a healthier lifestyle as this also helps you stay sharp in business and deal with any stress that comes along during your journey to a successful life.

 

Becoming an Influencer

As I stated earlier, you too will influence others throughout your own life. Especially as you start to change your life and strive for better and become successful. Just as you notice how other people are where you want to be whether in a business, health or success sense other people will start noticing the same about you. YOU may now be starting to influence others. Your friends, your children, your partner, colleagues, other business people.

If you share things on social media, strangers may be influenced by you. In fact, the internet has really come alive with influencers and they are followed, admired, looked up to and loved by complete strangers.

Online influencers are now making big bucks when they do it right. They influence what people buy, how they think, how they look, our homes, our hobbies and interests. They may also become paying clients or students of these influencers and in business, if you can collaborate with an influencer with a large community of followers to share or endorse your business you could see a huge surge in your business, your profits or both.

Likewise, if one of these influencers gives negative comments or feedback about you or your business it could leave you really feeling the effects for a while.

The lesson here is to be careful of what you say and do when in company, online, in business and even down the pub as you never know who may be listening or watching you. Always be mindful, especially around those you love as they more than others will be affected by what you do, both in positive and negative ways.

I hope this article gives you a better insight into influencers, how to find yours, how to use these people to improve your own life and how you can influence others. Remember influencers can be both good and bad so choose who you spend your time with care and remember you do not need to spend time with them personally for them to have an effect on you and your life.

Conclusion

So who does influence you and your business? Do you already know and seek out their work and advice actively to apply it to your life and your business?

It may be worth sitting down and thinking about this. List who’s work you have read, who’s advice you have taken and who has really struck a chord with you. Then you may want to think about reading more of their work or learning what makes them tick in business and in life.

Who else would be interested in learning more about? Seek them out, read their stuff, see if they too might be able to positively influence you and what you do.

I love an audiobook as I can listen while doing other non-work-related tasks like housework and shopping. I start to learn about people in this way and then if they get my attention I will look to find out more about them and what they do and see if there is anything I can learn from them.

We hope this post has given you something to think about in terms of who influences you and who you may influence and that it also puts a new perspective on the word influencer.

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