Cravings Killer

I was starting to eat potato chips, barbeque ones with that just right sweet salty balance. It started with one or two to dip into my home made canned salsa. Now it was turning into a food fest of grabbing one handful after the next. Forget the salsa with it’s healthy, low-sodium, fresh ingredients. That will be for another time. I was on a roll, eating my most dangerous high cravings food. But I’d learned something over the years. I don’t have to let craving s destroy me – I have the power to do something about it. I had to go for my cravings killer before it was too late – I had to get up and eat some real food.

Cravings come for me under circumstances that are not unusual. Stress, tiredness, nervousness, frustration and hunger. It’s when I want to hit the salty crunchy comfort with potato chips landing in the #1 spot to fill that need. It was a while back I decided to do some self research to find out why I could eat a whole bag of chips at one sitting.  I tried different type of chips to see if that helped. IT might slow me down a bit, but after a few chomps, I was at it again, grabbing handful after handful until I’d eaten far too many.

I tried moving to a new location in my house. Maybe taking a few jumps on the mini-trampoline in the living room for distraction. That didn’t work as I jumped right off the trampoline over to the counter and grabbed another handful. After being a complete nerd and charting this behavior when it came to chips, it hit me; what if I didn’t have any in the house? Well, that worked for a while of course, and I thought I had found the solution.  Until I went to the store the next time that is and grabbed a big bag, tore it open in the car and ate half of it before getting home.

Now you would think a bone fide vegan chef and certified health coach would be very careful sharing this type of information. The correct way would be to claim I had made a stash of dehydrated flax crackers to eat when I got hungry with some freshly made, whole foods hummus. I shouldn’t be admitting that craves took over and I went for the bad stuff I found hard to resist. But why pretend? Cravings are REAL and insidious and ugly.  They make you run and hide out in the bathroom to eat a few things you tell others in you house not to touch for fear you’ll lose your credibility as the “pure eater” in the house. Or they make you leave the house under the pretense of doing something else to just drive around wasting expensive gas or going to a parking lot to eat the stuff you put into your purse to get out. Yes, cravings make you do ugly things.

I have never been good with having a substance outside of myself have control over me. That’s why I’d never make a good drug addict. As soon as I felt the drug was controlling me instead of me controlling it, I would drop it. It’s like when I went on a caffeine detox after developing an eight cup a day habit. I cold turkeyed the stuff over a week’s time going through some kind of awful withdrawals. It was certainly worth it in the long run and the process was so bad I fear caffeine to this day. I’ll drink some decaf coffee periodically or have some naturally caffeinated herbal tea. but I’m still leery of its potential pull on me.

So the salty crunchy pull of chips had me baffled. Then one more day into my research, I got it. It wasn’t that the chips were so great. In fact, I realized I could eat the whole bag becuase theyre is no nutritional value to potato chips. My body continued to crave more and more as it searched for nutrition from what I was feeding it. Since I normally eat pretty healthy, eating junk is a shock ot my system that is accustomed to getting vitamins and minerals from whole foods. It wasn’t that they tasted so good. After a while, they barely had a taste at all, another reason to grab more and more, trying to find a taste. It wasn’t that i needed more, I could feel the salt going through my bloodstream, increasing the pressure in my head that would show up as high blood pressure if I took the test right then. No, it wasn’t that they were so good.

It was much simpler than that. It was that – I was hungry. Pure and simple. Yes, I might have been stressed or nervous but I usually wait until real hunger shows up to eat. I was hungry. I learned taht when I start eating this way, I need to immediately do a switch out to cruncy, healthy foods and fill up on that. That’s why I keep a bowl of the Humungous Veggie Salad around. The crunch comes from carrots, celery green and red cabbage. I add some walnuts for more crunch, maybe some sunflower seeds and eat away. With only a light dressing ov balsamic vinegar, I can eat all I want without worry.

I know it sounds simplistic and maybe even silly, like a fantasy dream that isn’t going to work. But if you’re having cravings and can’t tell why, try it. Plan for what you know you’re going to need. If it’s salty, crunchy, sweet, bitter or another flavor profile, have something around to grab, right at that time where you’re just about to go off the deep end.  Sure it takes discipline, no doubt about that. It take pre-planning. But it can work.  For the sweet crave, have a stash of dates around. even better make a raw chocolate cake or walnut fudge bar. For bitter, add fresh lime or lemon juice as your salad dressing.  Crunchy can be helped with raw nuts and seeds.

You have to find your healthy substitute well ahead of time or it won’t work. But it can work when you work the plan and find your cravings killer foods. Take it from my personal research and try your own. See what happens when you feed yourself good foods when the terrible cravings try to eat you alive.  Then let me know how it worked for you to kill the cravings in the comment section below.

Confidence to Lead #7

Here is #7 of the seven confidence building ideas for women in business and leadership. Women in business need confidence in order to succeed.  Having a strong level of confidence means living a healthier, better leadership life.  

7. Learn to Unblock. It takes confidence to face obstacles and go through them anyway.  Every business professional will face obstacles; this is a normal part of business operations. But not everyone can look at those obstacles and decide to do what it takes to move through them to reach their intended goals. The confidence to do this comes in knowing that the best possible solution can be found. Seeking solutions in spite of the obstacles unblocks the barriers to success. Doing so is a true sign of confidence in business and leadership.

Being a confident woman in business and leadership is available to you when you take the steps to maximize your confidence in business and leadership. You can practice being a powerful problem solver who excels with confidence in your profession. When needed, you can find the mentoring and assistance that will support your business and leadership efforts.

 

 

Confidence to Lead #5

Women in business need confidence in order to succeed. Here is #5 of 7 confidence building ideas for women in business and leadership.

5. Embrace Your Power. Power is a good thing to have when you’re in business.  Power gives you the ability to get things done. A confident woman in business must understand and embrace her power.  Understanding power means knowing how to influence others to get things done.  It also means knowing what to say, when to say it, and whom to say it too.  There are obvious and not so obvious ways to deal with power and a confident business woman learns how these nuances work to increase her effectiveness.

Put Your Experiences In Words

Writing business articles online seems difficult for many people because it can be hard to come up with something to write about.  But that should be one of the easier things to do when you consider the extent of actual experiences you can share.  Your prospects (potential clients) and actual clients will always be interested in learning more from you based on your actual experiences.  Here are 15 ways to share your business experiences to do some great article writing that promotes your business.   

  1. Create a list of your greatest successes.
  2. Talk about what motivated you to start your own business.
  3. What were some of your worse mistakes? 
  4. How did you recover from your mistakes?
  5. Tell how you developed your web presence.
  6. Talk about marketing on Facebook.
  7. Share the Tweets that got the most response.
  8. Share the blog posts that resulted in the most comments.  
  9. Give an outline of one of your best telesemianrs.
  10. What have you learned by hiring assistants?
  11. Share topics you speak about to gain new clients
  12. What methods do you use to build your mailing list?
  13. Discuss how you keep in touch with people on your list.
  14. What is your favorite marketing method?
  15. Identify your top business mentors.

You can share a lot of valuable information by selecting only a few of these topics to write about. The whole idea is to be authentic and provide something useful to your readers.  When you write from personal experiences, you create fresh, original online articles that no one else could possibly provide as no one will have your exact experiences. Let these 15 points jog your mind so you come up with even more topics to share by putting your experiences in words through useful article writing.

SEO Writing Still Matters

If you wonder whether or not search engine optimized (SEO) writing is still necessary, I say the answer is “Yes.”  SEO is one way search engines find information in the mass of billions of websites.  It makes sense that some type of system is necessary for search engine spiders to find relevant content online.  If not, how would they know who to categorize on top pages for a search or not?

It seems to me that Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) has something to do with the whole thing.  Not to get too technical but LSI is a process of analzying word usage in particular  content.  For instance it is a way to see how a particular word is used in the context as well as how many times it is used.  This helps to analyze the relevancy of what has been written. It recognizes whether or not the conent actually addresses what it claims to do.

This relates to any type of writing.  When you reach for a book to read you expect it to address what you think it does. People do an Internet search to find specific information.  I don’t know all the complexities of search engine optimization and how search engines find information but as a writer it definitely makes sense that using keywords correctly in search engine optimization makes sense.

Use keywords people are searching for combined with good, relevant content and that gives the search engine spiders something to find. It makes sense to me and I’m glad it does.  It means more relevant content will be produced to meet the expectations of what people go online to find.

Are you using SEO keyword rich writing in your web marekting?

 

Use News to Build Attention

Being relevant in your field can happen in many ways.  One of those is by attaching your blog posts and business information to current news.  This can be done in ways that highlight either a controversial topic of one that simply emphasizes more of what you do in the business.   There’s ways to do this that can be quite creative.

For instance, take pictures of a fabulous photograher making photo history of hard situations such as the situation in Ferguson.  After months of tension and growing fears of people who encounter police in trying situation, this type of picture gives a new view of possibilities.  How could you comment on this to draw attention to the fact that there are good people of all backgrounds out there. Would it be something of interest to your readers?

Another dynamic event is the freeing of three men after 40 years who had been on death row, convicted of a felony and sentenced to death for a murder they did not commit.  Are you writing on controversial topics? Would a piece on the death penalty and how it could mean convicting innocent people be appropriate for your business at this time?

The whole thing is that the story must have a logical connection to your blog or business.  This tool is a good way to be able to use keywords related to current events to gain readers for your words. These are two potentially strong concepts that you might not want to approach.  So look for celebrities to relate too or find something seasonal such as a Christmas story or another little known holiday to highlight. Use this technique as writing practice or for expanding creativity.

Thanksgiving 2014

Another Thanksgiving Day. This is usually a good day, when we get ready to visit family or have them over for dinner. Today my husband and I go to visit his family. We’re looking forward to it but not with the same feeling of lightness and joy that usually accompanies this day. Today we’re thinking of Ferguson and the sad events that put a damper on America again. Another Black man shot in the streets with not justice for his murder. Another show in this nation of the inequality of citizens based on the color skin alone.

The World Remembers Ferguson

The World Remembers Ferguson

There is a deep sadness that comes with this truth.

* It hurts to know that certain citizens of a a nation are not safe, that just living can be a dangerous activity in some neighborhoods.

* It hurts to know that the act of walking home from the store, buying a package of candy and talking on the phone could open you up to being shot dead, just because someone felt like killing you.

* It hurts to know that being 12 years old, alone in a park by yourself means opening you up to being shot dead within 2 seconds by a police “just because.”

* It hurts to know that you can be talking about Jesus to people in your neighborhood in the morning, then shot dead and left to rot in the street like an animal even though you had your hands up in surrender that afternoon.

* It just hurts to know these things as facts of life in America.

My mother marched with Martin Luther King, Jr in Selma Alabama back in 1965. My sister, brothers and I were raised fighting for civil rights and freedom of ALL people, despite, race, creed or color. Yet, today, I know the fear of consistent worry that a member of my family could walk down a street and be shot, killed, and forgotten like nothing ever happened.

This morning, my daughter in law helped relieve some of the pain by sharing a picture she found of people from around the world who are seeing what’s happening in America. They too are people who know pain of being hurt and having lives that don’t matter – just because. It helped.

It helped to remind me that there are people from all walks of life that actually do care, that honestly don’t agree with the atrocities that are happening, that they really stand in unity with this fight for equality.

The most important thing to remember is that in all of this, while families are getting together to celebrate, there are families that are missing loved ones this Thanksgiving because they were shot dead – just because. We must remember those families in our prayers – remember that despite it all, God is STILL in control. Remember that most of those killed knew the Lord and are with Him this Thanksgiving. They are not being judged by earthly mistakes but by the condition of their heart towards Him. Remember that God has not left or forsaken ANY of His people – we have to remember this, through the pain, through the fear, through the reality of what we live in.

Twelve WordPress Plugins That Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts

If you use WordPress (WP) for your website and blog, then you know how powerful it is when it comes to SEO right out of the box. But, thanks to plugins you can extend the functionality of your WP website easily. It just takes a few clicks and some easy set-up that simply requires that you can follow directions and click a few buttons.

The following plugins are great recommendations to add to your blog. Don’t add all of these at the same time, though. Read about them and determine what you need, and add only the plugins that you really need to help you boost your content marketing efforts.

1. WordPress SEO by Yoast – This is a plugin that helps you optimize every page you create on your site quickly at the time of creation without having to understand anything about code. It even makes suggestions for you.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

2. AtContent – Helps you grow your audience and blog traffic by letting you share your content with other bloggers to help increase your readership.

Link – https://wordpress.org/plugins/atcontent/

3. Inline Tweet Sharer – Allows your site visitors, or you, to easily tweet a quote directly from your site that you choose to highlight with the code.

Link – https://wordpress.org/plugins/inline-tweet-sharer/

4. Custom Content Shortcode – You can use this plugin to develop pages with certain content based on keyword, type of post, category and other custom fields on a particular page, or to provide deeper links after certain content.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-content-shortcode/

5. Content Aware Sidebars – This is very helpful because your sidebars can now change based on what your audience is reading and viewing. That way they won’t see the same thing on every page.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/content-aware-sidebars/

6. Google XML Sitemap Generator – Sitemaps help search engines find your content and will increase your page rank. This generator creates and updates your site map fast.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

7. Disqus Comment System – Help control comment spam and let others know about your blog at the same time by adding subscribe and RSS feed options.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/disqus-comment-system/

8. Slick Social Share Buttons – Making it easy for your audience to share your content is one of the ways in which you can practically put your marketing on autopilot.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/slick-social-share-buttons/

9. Add Link to Facebook – This plugin allows each post you make to automatically be shared with your Facebook page.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/add-link-to-facebook/

10. Pay with a Tweet – This plugin is interesting in that it lets your visitors to your website “pay” to download something by tweeting it out first to their followers.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/pay-with-a-tweet/

11. Tweetily – Send out automatic tweets of every new blog post that is published on your website. That allows the schedule function to work as a sharing function at the same time.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/tweetily-tweet-wordpress-posts-automatically/

12. Editorial Calendar – Keeping track of your content will help you boost your content marketing efforts by keeping it all organized.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/editorial-calendar/

Setting up as much automation as possible will help you boost the traffic to your website through content marketing quickly and easily. What’s more is that most of the plugins are free or have free versions that you can use.

Secrets to Niche Selection

Choosing your niche is often the first thing you’re advised to do by Internet marketing gurus. The tighter the niche, the more effective it’s supposed to be.  But when choosing that niche, you need to be sure you find one that appeals to a profitiable target marke, not just one you love.

Believe me, I know as I’ve tried running through multiple niche ideas before finding what makes my heart pound, which is writing on the web. With selecting that niche, I had to be sure there could be nough people interested to make it worthwhile.

AS you select a nche, study to see how profitable the niche can be. Some niches are more profitable than others because they appeal to more people or because the product or service is more excusive and more expensive. Some aspects of supply and demand fit here, but that’s not all there is to it.

Questions to Consider

In order to choose a popular niche, you should go through a few questions before making your decision:

1. How much money do you need to make?
2. Is the niche large enough to support that amount?
3. Can the numbers support the fees?
4. Are there sufficient products to support the niche?
5. Do you have your own products you can sell?
6. Who is your competition?
7. How can you differentiate yourself from the competition?
8. Do you have the budget to reach the audience?

Why People Start Niches

There are two different reasons why people start niches.

1. The first way is the hardest; it’s when you’ve already created a product and they’re trying to find customers.

2. The second wasy is easier to market. That is, studying different niches until one if found with enough customers, money and desire to buy, and solve a problem the people in this audience have, and then enter that niche. 

It’s very important that, whatever method you choose, you are educated about how much you can potentially earn. The way you study the niche depends on the niche in questions, but you would essentially determine how many potential customers there are who would be interested in your niche, and how much you can devote to marketing.

If a niche is really awesome but there are only 100 people that you can reach who can afford the product, you’d have to charge $1000 each just to make six figures before expenses. This doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but can the audience you attract support that cost? For some people and businesses there are actually customers who can happen that price range. But you really need to know the strategies to find and convince them to bite.  You might try: 

  • Keyword Research – One of the best places to start is with keyword research. Choose a few keywords that you think that your audience will use and start from there. You are looking for high demand, low supply keywords.
  • Determine a Monetization Strategy – How can you earn money in this niche? There are plenty of niches that will have high demand, low supply keywords, but that have no discernable way to monetize the traffic.
  • Find Affiliate Programs – If your niche is in high demand, there should be some product already created for your niche. If there are no products created for your niche yet, you may want to reconsider the niche.

Keep in mind that in business school they teach students that the best business to open is one that already exists and what’s more, open it across the street from the other business. They use a Coffee shop as an example, but the same example can work for online business.

Choosing a niche that is already popular that you can serve in a new and more creative way will be easier than starting up an unheard-of, brand new niche. But, it’s up to you how to proceed. The point is, it takes research and understanding of the research to identify a profitable niche.

Create Your Own Newsroom

get-involvedYou may or may not have heard of a newsroom for a business as a great marketing tool for your business.  It’s a great place to develop social media attention, list events, press releases and other news journalists and thoses interested in your business can learn more about you.  Traditionally, a newsroom was the place where journalists, reporters, editors, staffers and others worked together to craft the news. Today, social newsrooms work about the same except they are designed to work online instead of a physical location.  A web based business has often built a media page or prepared a media packet. Now, it’s a bit more extensive. To stand out in the competition and display your entire range of assets, create your online social newsroom as your media center.

Design your social newsroom to help people find information about you that can be used to craft their stories about you and the business or to know if you meet their criteria to be a part of their media story.  Your  newsroom will have a distinct personality and set-up to reflect who you are and your business in the best light.  Generally, you should offer a variety of information to answer questions from a diverse audience. You can visit newsrooms or create one of your own to help people find your information to use in their stories.

Here are elements that you could include in your social newsroom:

1. “One Sheet” Information – Speakers use these; if you are open to speaking at events, it’s good to have one so that they know what subjects you speak about and how to contact you.

2. List of Press Releases – Use this area to make a repository for all your press releases. This is a good way to keep it them all organized and to let the media see the news that’s out there about you.

3. Event Lists, Past and Future – Not only should you keep a list of your past events, it’s important to slip in announcements for future events too. Of course, link to pages with more information about these events.

4. Images the Press Can Use – Headshots, product shots and more are good to be housed here too in downloadable form, with permission to use for the press.

5. Collection of White Papers – White papers are most commonly use in larger businesses to help customers understand a topic better.  They are becoming more popular with entrepreneurs and can be displayed here.

6. List of Publications – Great place to list anything you’ve published, including links to articles off site such as guest articles, books, kindle books, information products and so on.

7. Links to Videos – This can be videos that you’ve produced, interviews you’ve done, or those related to your content in some way.

8. Streaming Related Content – Your Twitter feed, blog feed, and other related content will work to help disseminate information about your topic.

9. Other Items of Interest to Insiders and Outsiders – Anything that can work to educate both insiders and outsiders about your business will be useful to put in your social newsroom.

10. Social Media Share Buttons – This is the start of what makes your newsroom social; the ability for others to share what they find.

11. Discussion Forum – Engagement is an important component of a good newsroom. Starting a discussion forum for those who might be interested can help improve engagement.

12. Contact Form – Even if you don’t want a forum, having a way for people to easily contact you, such as a special email address that you check often, is needed in your newsroom.

13. An Organizational Chart – If you have employees, this is good to have. It is similar to what any larger organization should have listing the people who work with you, their position and line of responsibility.

This new concept of a social newsroom is something for every savvy business woman to consider as a part of her website.  It doesn’t have to include all of the listed elements or be too elaborate. You want to be sure to give journalists and those interested in your work a sufficient amount of information about you and your business. It’s another place to house all the information in one place for easy distribution for you and the media. It provides for even more content for your website and no one will have to ask you for the information unless they want a special quote. They can just write a story based off the information they find on your social newsroom.

What do you think about this concept?  What elements would you include your Social Newsroom?