Another year moves behind us as today marks the end of our celebration of all things poetry.
National Poetry Month aka #NaPoMo is marked each each year in April through a variety of ways…I chose to challenge myself to writing 30 poems during the past 30 days of celebration…
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my final three…poems 28, 29, and 30 can now be enjoyed here…along with the other 27.
I did it…we made it…and I thank all of you for your interest, support, and ongoing words of encouragement. Enjoy!!!
And be sure to come back every day for the next few days for some more exciting news as this author and poet continues to splash around and play in the wonderful world of words…and just in time for Mother’s Day!!!
I see a big reveal coming your way…stay tuned…
Statistical gurus at WordPress.com pulled together an annual report full of data that will only lead to bigger and better things in 2016…take a look…and stay tuned..
Thank you so much for helping make this an awesome year!
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.
Work–life balance can be achieved by establishing and maintaining appropriate levels of time and energy expended between your “work” (career and ambition) and your “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development).
Having this balance allows you to experience enjoyment, personal fulfillment—not just happiness, but also pride, satisfaction, love and celebration—an all-encompassing sense of well-being.
When your work and personal lives are out of balance, your stress level is likely to soar. Throw in the holidays and all the added demands for your time and attention and you might just feel as though you’ll either explode or melt. Juggling your career and personal life is a never-ending challenge, and the holiday season only adds to the struggle.
Here’s 4 tips for proactively and positively maintaining a healthy work-life balance this holiday season:
- In the workplace: Schedule walking meetings to help maintain an exercise routine. It’s easy to discard your daily workout when your time is demanded upon in a dozen other places each day. A walking meeting will not only keep you well and keep you moving, but will also help to maintain a greater focus on the meeting’s purpose. Those who are in the meeting with you will reap the added health benefit as well, and there will be a lot less opportunity to digress from the meeting’s agenda by those who often do.
- Working from home/self-employed: Continue maintaining your daily routine and schedule, but consider reducing your scheduled productive blocks of time. Rather than five 8-hour blocks of focused time each week, it might serve you better to shoot for six blocks that are 6 hours each. This not only frees up more time in each day for family and fulfilling your holiday to-do list, it also makes sense because your creativeness and energy are being drawn in an added direction for the next several weeks. You will need more blocks of time to re-energize in between.
- Personally speaking: Prioritize where you plan to expend your time, energy, talent and being. Keep rest, down time and sleep at the very top of your list. If you allow yourself to be spread too thin, you’ll end up weakening yourself and your immune system. Your goal for the holidays should be to spend quality, uninterrupted time with those you care about most rather than to end up at home too sick to be around them at all.
- Specifically regarding the holiday celebrations: Rather than being perfect, be joyful and enjoyed instead. Stay home for your holiday meal or visit one side of the family—but not both. If you are preparing the holiday meal, keep it simple; prepare only those holiday dishes your loved ones can’t seem to live without. Or consider making it a potluck, ordering your meal in, or maybe even eating out. Again, it’s all about the quality of the time spent making memories, not about the quantity of the food served or the gifts given. Speaking of gifts…consider drawing names instead of having every person giving (and therefore buying) something for every other person in the bunch.
The best gift you can give during the holidays and every day is one of memorable experiences.
After all, that’s why we celebrate the holidays: to share love and joy among generations as we reflect on past memories and create new ones.
What good is it to spend all your time and energy trying to build a memorable occasion if the later reflection upon it is one that everyone would just rather forget?
One of the most exciting trends for 2016 and beyond is the increased higher demand by companies for specialists in the content writing industry. Specifically, companies will be more interested in working with content development experts more so than those who are good writers alone.
Your professional writer should not only be writing content, but also creating a complete strategy for all of your company’s writing needs. If you’re working with a professional writer, be sure you are working with one that has the skills to do this—strategize and prioritize content—as well as the ability to write.
I’ve acknowledged the advantage of this for years now and have built a business on its very essence. A content strategist like me is often referred to as a content curator as well. A big part of what I do is taking what’s already been created and exhibiting it in the most magical display for my clients’ windows to the world.
Let me dig into this a little deeper.
For example, sometimes it makes sense for your professional writer to write a new piece for you that is inspired by a favorite blog post, but at other times it makes more sense to simply share the original blog with your audience. If you work with your professional writer and add your own thoughts as a part of sharing the essence of the initially inspiring blog, together you will have successfully curated content.
The same is true when your professional writer, aka content strategist/curator, pulls pieces together from a variety of sources—in-house or from external and online places—combining them into a gallery and making you the best in show.
Your content strategist should be continually reviewing all of your content—print, virtual and digital—and working with you to ensure a successful display of your most appealing images and messages. This includes the generation of taglines to be used in a variety of marketing methods as well as your other branding elements and your positioning in the industry and market overall. It includes such things as your website’s FAQ, Bio and About pages as well as your press coverage and so on.
One critical area you may not be thinking about, though, is the rest of your online presence. A content strategist like me will develop a profile for your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages that reflects you in the best light.
He or she will also establish, maintain, monitor and fortify your profile and presence on sites such as Wikipedia as well as those where your customers can share with others their perceptions of you (Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, etc.)
All in all, a content strategist can help make revealing yourself and what you have to offer to the world a lot less scary. A professional writer with the skills and acumen to strategize with you can help your audience understand why choosing you is such a treat—without the need for any tricks along the way! A word wizard like me, working with you, can create some really big magic…
Back in January, Adam Fridman shared his thoughts on Inc.com regarding communication trends for 2015.1
His first point was a discussion of search engine optimization (SEO), and most anyone in business understands its importance.
The other three he discussed are the ones I want to focus on today, because it is these on which I still educate clients and potential clients seemingly every single day. I like to refer to them as the two C’s and the one PB.
No. 1 C—CONTENT.
And the thing that is most important about content is getting the most bang for your buck. Quality, well-written, comprehensible and relevant content that is published through an outlet or source that can reach your audience and share your message most efficiently and effectively is paramount.
Knowing the most effective methods for leveraging your content is critical. If you can also strengthen your position as an expert while capturing their attention—all the better.
The point I am trying to make is this—one mention in the Washington Post is more likely to have a greater amount of influence than 10 mentions in your hometown newspaper, unless your audience is strictly a local one.
No. 2 C—CREDIBILITY.
Credibility is gained with your audience through content that provides them with real reader value. The content you share needs to be specific. The reader needs to understand clearly how knowing you benefits him. No one wants all crust and no filling when they are eating a piece of pie.
So you have some really great content developed. Awesome…now what do you do with it? After all, your audience has to hear about you at all to even know you exist. Of course, you naturally get it up on your website right away.
But that’s not enough. You also build your credibility as an industry leader through a consistent and actively visible presence all over the Web. Your content needs to be present in all the right places—LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, Yelp, Google+, Foursquare and all the other places your audience is searching for the best versus the rest.
and the 1 PB—PERSONAL BRANDING.
You might be wondering, what does personal branding have to do with effectively delivering my company-wide messages? Let me just say, pretty much everything.
While your HR department has stories to tell about the horrors of posts made by employees on their own personal social media pages, personal postings can actually be advantageous with the proper finesse.
Using these online outlets to promote the leaders within your company can help build visibility and credibility for your company and all it has to offer. If you leverage these resources to position your key staff and leaders as industry experts, your company will take the lead in the industry as well.
One of the best tools you should consider for getting this done is YouTube. If your company doesn’t already have its own channel on YouTube, get one. There’s no better way to spread the message about who you are and what you do.
Video captures the eyes and minds of more of today’s audience than any other outreach method. A content strategist like me can help you shape your presence through this medium and gain traction on the otherwise slippery slope of leveraging your online presence to harness industry attention (and media coverage!).
These trends, and those of which we cannot even yet imagine, are expanding much faster sometimes than we can sufficiently gauge. If you are planning to be a player at the table five years from now, you need to start developing and implementing an effective strategy for the cards you are holding today.
French novelist Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” I say that open eyes can become bored quite quickly when staring at a barren landscape…be sure to keep your crop of content growing in the fields looking fresh, hearty and vibrant.
1 Fridman, Adam. “Four Communication Trends in 2015.” 25 January 2015. Published by Inc.com at http://www.inc.com/adam-fridman/four-communications-trends-in-2015.html