Trust – Principles of Successful Blogging #2

trust.pngToday I want to continue our series of posts looking at principles of building a successful blog by looking at the topic of Trust.

A Quick Definition of The Type Of ‘Successful’ Blog I’m Writing About

It might be worth stating that the type of blog that I’m talking about in this series is a blog that isn’t purely about profit or traffic – but a blog that has influence in its niche.

It is certainly possible to build a profitable and/or well trafficked blog without Trust – in fact I know a few bloggers who blog purely for Search Engine Traffic who don’t really care about influence, brand or loyal readers but who just want traffic that they can convert to cash.

These bloggers are certainly ‘successful’ on some levels (I guess ‘success’ really comes down to your goals) – but that’s not the style of blogging that I do and is not what this series is on about.

What I’m on about is helping bloggers to not only be profitable and have traffic but to build blogs that have profile, influence, authority, credibility, respect and a brand that opens up opportunities beyond quick profit.

By no means is my approach the only way to make money blogging – but it’s where I’m at and as a result is what I write about.

Why Building Trust is Important

OK – so now we’re on the same page lets talk about Trust.

I’m not sure we need to spend too much time talking about ‘why’ building trust is important as it’s pretty much common sense – but in short – if you’re looking to build influence, to build a brand that is respected and you want a site that is authoritative – you’re going to have a lot better chance if people actually trust you.

Yes with some clever copywriting and good positioning in search engines you can probably convince people to buy certain products – but in order to build lasting influence – trust is going to need to play a part.

On the flip side – many businesses today have seen the way that a lack of trust or even worse, broken trust can hurt a business, destroy reputations and ruin years of hard work.

So building and maintaining trust is paramount for bloggers wanting to build influence – so how does one do it?

One of the best resources on the topic of building influence through trust online is Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. However as it’ll take a day or two for Amazon to ship you a copy (and I recommend you get one) I thought I’d jot down a few principles of building trust online that I’ve gathered over the years both from my own experience of trusting others and building trust with others.

A Quick Exercise Before You Read Any More

Before you read my thoughts on how to build trust – here’s a very quick exercise to do.

On a piece of paper or in a text document – jot down a blogger or blog that you trust. Under the name – list 2-3 reasons why you trust them.

OK – read on.

4 Principles of Building Trust Online

1. It usually takes time to build

I’m a pretty sceptical guy – I don’t really want to be but after years of being bombarded with marketing messages and experiencing disappointment at expectations not being met by people making big promises my guard is up. I suspect I’m not alone.
While I’m sure there are people who are more trusting than others – I’m pretty certain that most people in my generation (and the generations that come before and after mine) are a fairly suspicious lot. We are capable of trust – but it usually takes time to get there.

2. It is Earned

I do have the capability to trust you – but more often than not it’ll only come once I see that you’re worthy of that trust. An example of this principle hit my inbox this morning – it was from a reader who had just bought my 31 days to build a better blog workbook.

Her email included this:

“I’ve never bought an ebook before, partly because I don’t trust people with my credit card information and partly because I’ve always suspected most ebooks are just fluff…. But after reading your blog for 12 months and being on the receiving end of useful information every day over that time I decided you were probably a credible source of information”.

The sense that I got from her email was that she only made the purchase based upon her previous experience of what I do – something that was earned by providing her with help day by day over a year.

The take home lesson for bloggers is to give value, be useful and prove that you have something worthwhile and authoritative to say on your topic.

Look for ways to genuinely and generously improve the lives of your readers – do this over the long haul and your deposit in the trust bank with readers grows over time.

3. The recommendations of others are important

I still remember (but can’t find a link to) a post by Seth Godin a year or so back where he talks about how he sells a lot more books through a blog post when he’s talking about someone else’s book than his own.

It was the perfect illustration of how the words and recommendations of other people promotion you carry a lot more weight than you promoting yourself.

We’re social beings – we make decisions together – we buy things that others recommend – we trust those that others trust….

This means you have a couple of tasks to do:

  1. Build relationships with others. Some bloggers take the attitude that other bloggers are potential competition and as a result they stay clear of them. However a recommendation from someone else in your industry could be gold – build relationships.
  2. Find Ways to use this social proof. If someone does recommend you it doesn’t hurt to highlight it to others. You don’t need to do it in an ego driven or big headed way – but do find subtle and relevant ways to share it with those in your network.

4. Be Yourself

One of the fastest ways to destroy trust is to be caught trying to be something that you’re not.

  • Make a promise that you can’t fulfil
  • Present yourself as someone that you’re unable to be
  • Make a claim that’s not true

All of these things set up expectations in the eyes of others that can’t be met which will lead to disappointment, anger, disillusionment and as a result – broken trust.

Not only that – I find that people are pretty good these days at picking people who are presenting themselves as something that they’re not. You might not even have to get caught out to have people suspicious (and untrusting) of you.

  • As a result it’s best to be yourself.
  • Let people know what you do and don’t know.
  • Be transparent about your motives.
  • Share your stories of failure as well as your successes.
  • Admit your mistakes.

All of these things make you more human, relatable and help to build trust.

What Would You Add?

I’ve only scratched the surface on Trust with this post – there’s so much more to say and I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say on the topic.

  • What bloggers do you trust (who did you write down in the exercise above)? Why do you trust them?
  • How do you build trust with your readers?
  • What stories and experiences do you have to help illustrate these principles of building trust?

Forget the Fatal Flaws of Blogging

confusion.jpgIn this guest post Seth Waite from Blogussion shares some thoughts on two fatal flaws that most bloggers struggle with. Image by helgasms.

Blogging has been a passion of mine now for almost two years. Learning the basics took time and developing my skills has been even longer, but I have learned how to overcome most bloggers 2 fatal flaws, wisdom and effort.


Most bloggers spend tons of time surfing, stumbling, twittering and clicking around each day, but learn very little. Sure they have seen the lists of tips, pictures of cats, FAIL blogs, and a million get rich quick schemes but very little of them actually learn something. This is where the “Blog Tips” industry comes into play.

Designed to teach bloggers about how to blog better, meta blogs offer targeted information for how to actually succeed online. So the the information is definitely available.

A lot of the information is even read by blogging hopefuls. The problem likes in the application of the knowledge. It is not enough to read a post and go back to messing with your plug-ins. You have to apply the information directly to your blog.

The way to do that is by learning the “Act Now” principle. “Act Now” just means that whenever you learn something new, within reason, you act upon it. So today when you read another great post online, follow it through and try it out. With some experience under your belt the knowledge becomes real. Eventually over time this knowledge and experience of application become wisdom.


Other then wisdom, too many bloggers forget the effort that it takes to be successful. I know this is not something you want to hear, but you probably should anyways. Blogging takes serious work. Anything that is worth something does. There is no “instant” money maker, theory, or plug-in that can ever take the place of real effort.

Effort is more then just putting in time as well. Too many bloggers already put in a lot of time. Often I see posts about “Giving Up my Blog, No One Reads it Anyways”.

I always think that is so sad. With more time and effort in the things that are “wise”, we can produce better content and create a lasting impression on other bloggers and our visitors.

Effort is doing something that is difficult but worth it. For example, writing a post with over 2,000 words on 30 Ways to Make Money Blogging was hard. It took a lot of time and effort to come up with the descriptions, find the links and provide a resource worth reading.

But it was completely worth it. Reading comments from visitors to my blog made me see that the time and most importantly the effort in doing the hard thing paid off. That is what effort is all about. Doing the hard thing that is best for your blog. That will be different for every blog, but almost always it will be some way to uniquely provide an incredible resource for your readers.

If you feel like you are doing one of these principles very well, then keep going with that one and work on the other principle. Finding success comes from the proper application of both of them.

You cannot show your wisdom in niche without the effort of providing the resources, and you cannot show your effort without the wisdom to put into your resources.

So to improve your blogging skills and forget the fatal flaws that might stop you from succeeding, remember to focus on the “Act Now” principle and giving 100% effort. When you combine the two you will begin to see enormous growth in yourself as a blogger, and success for your blog.

The Blogger who is furiously trying to fix these fatal flaws is Seth Waite. You can connect with him at the blog he writes on Blogussion and his twitter account Seth1492.

22 Why Reasons People Go Online: Which is Your Blog Connecting With?

This afternoon I came across the results of an interesting study called the Ruder Finn Intent Index which I think makes useful reading for bloggers.

[Read more…]

9 First Step Goals for New Bloggers

baby-steps.JPGMy youngest boy will take his first steps any day now. He’s been watching his older brother (and his mum and dad) run around the house for 12 months now and you can just see in his eyes the desire to be up and doing it too. This week he’s started pushing around the block trolley (right) and is practicing his standing up without the aide of anything to pull him up.

It’s not been a fast process and by no means do I expect to see him running around the house soon but he’s almost ready for his first steps.

Many bloggers start blogs these days with the dream of millions of readers and making large amounts of money.

While it is possible to build blogs that are widely read and profitable and there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big – the reality is that it takes time and a lot of work to build these kinds of blogs.

New bloggers would do well to spend more time thinking about their ‘first steps’ than just the big picture dreams and goals that they have..

Yesterday while chatting with a brand new bloggers who had some very lofty goals for this blogging I reflected back to him that I felt that in addition to the big dreams he had that I wondered if he might also benefit from having some realistic goals for the short term.

Here’s a list of 9 first step type goals that I suggested to him that might be a good place to start:

  1. Publish 10 Posts
  2. Getting your first comment from someone you don’t know
  3. Get your first link from another blog
  4. Build your readership up to more than 20 readers a day
  5. Hit a level of 20 RSS subscribers
  6. Getting your blog indexed in Google
  7. Get your blog earning $1 a week (update: only if making money from your blog is one of your goals – it’s not for everyone
  8. First guest post on another blog
  9. Having someone (not you or your mum) tweet about your blog

Note: Others goals might include goals more to do with setting up your blog including those related to design, platforms, setting up metrics/stats etc.

To someone who has been blogging for a while these kinds of goals might seem rather small and insignificant – but for a new blogger they’d be where I would start.

For new bloggers these goals might also seem a little insignificant also (in fact the blogger I was talking to told me I was thinking too small and dismissed my idea) – however I’d argue that to get to your big dreams there is a lot of steps in between – many of which might not be glamorous or as fun to think about. However sometimes it’s helpful to visualize the very next steps that you need to take in order to move towards your goals.

Tangent: I once had opportunity to meet a guy who had travelled the world climbing some of the highest mountains. When I said to him that it must be an exciting thing to do he told me that there are moments of exhilaration and excitement but that the reality is that much of what he does when climbing a mountain is pretty boring. It’s one foot in front of another type activity through foothills, carrying a heavy pack and not feeling like you’re making much progress. Of course once you make it to the top or conquer challenges along the path you have moments of excitement but it all starts with setting out from base camp and with the goal of getting to a point where the climb starts in earnest.

Once you’ve achieved these first goals start to increase them. You might want to double the numbers for the next step (although for different bloggers the numbers will no doubt be different) – then double them again and so forth.

What other ‘first step’ goals would you suggest to a new blogger just starting out? If you’re a new blogger what are your first goals?

Elite Retreat 2009 [NEW YORK] – An Exclusive Learning Experience

elite-retreat.pngI hesitate to promote this due to the price tag but it’s one of the best high level online training experiences that I’ve had – Elite Retreat.

In 2007 I spoke at this event in San Francisco (although got as much out of it as any of the attendees) and it was a fantastic experience. A very small group of attendees and some true experts in a variety of different online disciplines. To attend you apply and then are hand selected to attend (to ensure the most suitable people come).

This year it is happening in New York and the speaker list is again excellent. In fact as I just said on Twitter I’m very jealous not to be a part of this one because keynoting and heading up the speaker list for the event this year is Seth Godin. Also speaking this year will be:

Jeremy Schoemaker (Shoemoney and internet marketing guru), Neil Patel (social media expert), Andy Liu (CEO of BuddyTV), Chris Winfield (social media and search marketing), Kris Jones (affiliate marketing expert) and Stephan Spencer (SEO expert).

Again – this isn’t cheap and nor should it be.

At the event I attended the ratio of attendees to speakers was low and there was plenty of face time available with each speaker. There were also opportunities for interacting with speakers over meals as well as the opportunity to network with other attendees (actually some of the attendees were doing some amazing things too and I know that for a few that attended the event profitable partnerships began).

Only 35 attendees will be accepted and they’re not accepting the first 35, it’s all about choosing people that they believe ‘fit’ what they’re on about so if you do apply put some time into your application.

The other thing about Elite Retreat that made it special was the lack of ‘pitches’ from speakers. The sessions were pure content/teaching, pitches were not allowed and there was ample time for question and answers as well as looking at the sites of those attending to help them optimize them.

If you have the money to invest into your online business I’d highly recommend checking out Elite Retreat 2009.

Why Did Your Last Blog Post Fail? 13 Questions to Ask

FAIL.pngHave you ever had a blog post that you put a lot of time, energy and thought into – that completely flopped?

Nobody comments on it, nobody bookmarks it on Digg, nobody tweets a link to it…. it’s almost like it was never written.

If so – here’s a few questions to ask yourself about the post to help you learn why it might have failed and to help you improve for next time:

  1. could the title have been improved?
  2. did the opening lines of this post draw readers in to read more?
  3. could I have added an image to give the post a visual point of interest?
  4. could I have added a question to draw readers into discussing the post?
  5. was the topic relevant to my readers?
  6. did I promote the post to other bloggers or my network?
  7. did I publish this post at the right time (of day or the week)?
  8. could I have called my readers to perform some kind of action?
  9. was this post useful – did it fulfill a need or solve a problem for readers?
  10. did the post have sufficient depth? – could it have been more interesting with examples, illustrations, opinions, stories, quotes etc?
  11. was this post unique or just a rehash of what others are writing?
  12. did the formatting of this post help readers to read it easily?
  13. was the post concise or could it have been too long winded?

Of course it is also worth saying that sometimes posts just don’t have the success we hope they will and that there’s no real reason for it. Conversely other posts which we don’t think will really work can soar like eagles!

That’s the way the cookie crumbles some days!

Further Reading: Many of the above questions are fleshed out with tips on how to make them a reality in my series – How to Craft a Blog Post.

Should I Quit Blogging?

quit-blogging.jpgImage by -nathan

“Should I quit my blog and start Lifestreaming, Videocasting, Social Messaging/Networking etc?”

There’s been another round of ‘blogging is dead’ posts doing the rounds of late and as a result I’ve had a number of emails hitting my inbox over the last week from bloggers asking if they should stop blogging.

Here’s some of the advice I’ve been sharing:

  • Blogging is not dead – it’s evolving.
  • You should be evolving too (read Blogs are Out of Beta, But Bloggers Should always be in Beta)
  • Keep being useful, keep solving problems and keep meeting needs – whatever the medium this is key.
  • Keep producing content – people continue to search the web for content in huge numbers. It’s not all about networking and bookmarking – whether it be text, video or audio – keep producing content.
  • Experiment with different mediums – to the best of your ability keep abreast of the ‘new’ mediums that are emerging.
  • Build a ‘Home Base’ – many people flit from one medium to another and end up with nothing of their own (read more on the Home Bases and Outposts that I use).
  • Build a Brand – the mediums are tools. They’ll come and go in time – the key is to build something that lasts beyond them.
  • Don’t be Precious about your ‘Blog’ and be open to change – there’s no one ‘right’ way to blog. Blogs can have comments or not have comments, have full RSS feeds or partial ones, look like a traditional blog or act and look more like a lifestream or portal. The key is to know what you want to achieve and let that shape what you do with your blog.
  • Don’t abandon your blog too quickly – your primary efforts may move into a different medium but blogs can be an important part of the mix of what you do online. Don’t abandon your blog – build upon it, let it evolve, leverage what you’ve already built and use it where appropriate in the mix of what you do.

My last piece of advice is particularly for those with limited time or capacity to fully engage with all of the mediums and tools that are currently at our fingertips.

I get the sense from a lot of bloggers that they feel that they’re being left behind – that all this new stuff that is emerging is beyond them – that it’s hopeless to keep on blogging. My message to you if you’re feeling this way is to keep at it. Even as a full time blogger/web entrepreneur I don’t have time to fully engage with all of the new technologies that are currently emerging. I too feel some of those ‘overwhelming’ feelings.

I think the key is to engage with the new technologies to the point that you’re able but to know when to stop and focus upon what you already have in front of you.

The problem as I see it is that whether it be a blog, a Twitter presence, a podcast or some other kind of website or presence – it takes time to build these things up to successful levels. If you only give a medium a short time before moving to the next one you’ll just end up with a trail of abandoned accounts and sites behind you.

I see a lot of people running from one thing to the next and not really achieving anything. They live in a constant state of distraction and experimentation. There’s nothing wrong with new things and testing them out – but unless you’re fortunate enough to have a lot of spare time or an amazing capacity not to sleep there comes a time where you need to choose a handful of things to do (or even just one) and to do it to the best of your ability.

For me – this means focusing mainly upon building blogs. My blogs are evolving and looking less and less like blogs as I experiment with different ways of presenting the information on them and play with different technologies on them – but I try to keep my focus steady upon the long term goals that I have. As a result I’ve managed to build them into profitable properties.

Yes I’ll continue to experiment with other technologies but for me they are only about adding value to my primary web properties.

What do you think? How are you approaching what you do in this ever changing web?

Perseverance Will Save Your Blog

Robby G is a blogger from and explains the benefits of pushing your blog through good and through bad.

I was doing some research recently, wondering if my blog would ever take off and what it really depended on. I was a little bit discouraged about writing lots of content for two months on my blog, but having a significant amount of less traffic than on my friend’s blog which is only two months older than mine.

To see if my blog would ever receive any readers that would get interested, and hopefully raise my hopes, I went on ProBlogger. I looked through his much older posts and went through the comment list. I clicked on a bunch of commentators’ names that took me back to their blogs and recorded how many of them were still blogging today. Their comments were from 2006 and I noticed that most of the bloggers had either just abandoned their blog or quit paying for hosting completely.

Now the interesting stuff I learnt from my research was that the ones that actually held on to their blogs and kept posting through good and through bad on topics that they found dear to them, they in fact had a pretty decent following with many RSS Subscribers and were receiving quite a few comments on each post. I also ran their blogs through a Link Checker and saw that the older the blog, the more backlinks they had.

The great thing about perseverance when it comes to blogging is that the longer you push your blog, the more you get out of it. It doesn’t matter what topic you write about, because there are a lot of people out there that have the same interests as you no matter what they are.

Perseverance gives your blog backlinks, it gives your blog a higher rating on search engines, and it gives people time to learn more about you and spread your blog’s name through word of mouth. If you read this blog and a bunch of other “making money online” blogs, it opens your mind out to how to market your blog properly, and if you connect perseverance to marketing, there is no stopping you. All that’s left is time to allow someone big and famous to come along and mention your blog in a review or just mention a little bit about your post to really help you explode onto the Super Blogger level.

So all in all, in my opinion, there are really just two things every blogger should keep in mind when either starting a new blog or whenever they’re discouraged about their own blog:

  1. Make sure you’re blogging about a topic you really love (I know this one has been said before by almost everyone, but it’s true. Shite I Like is my second blog for a reason.)
  2. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep blogging and blogging, and reading, and blogging. The more time you put into it will really come back to help you 100 times more in the long-run. And you just might never know when your blog will turn huge.

Also, if you’ve got the time to blog on a topic on an almost daily basis, you more than likely have the time to do research of your own on how to market and make your blog popular without having to really spend much money on it.

Many people’s biggest flaw in life is entering into something thinking that easy money will just flow their way, and once the going gets even a little bit difficult, they abandon ship. For example, when I was going to University and Real Estate College at the same time, I thought I’d become a Real Estate Salesperson in no time and start selling houses in the summer time while everybody from University would be working some landscaping summer job. Becoming a Real Estate person was harder than I thought and took much more time than initially planned. At many points I thought about quitting that and just focusing on Univ, but perseverance got me through College to get into the field of Real Estate as a part-time job while still continuing with my Univ studies. I’m happy I pushed myself, because now I see that if I could keep a weekend job while going to University and College all at the same time, while also learning about blogging, then I can push myself to blog on a regular basis.

Keep those 2 points I outlined above in mind and make sure to always keep pushing yourself, because without perseverance you’ll never see any glory. I hope this post really gave you a motivation to keep blogging and reading and most importantly believing that all you need to reach your goal with blogging is constant determination, time, and a little bit of luck.

Watch How I Spend My First 20 Minutes Online Every Morning


This morning I tweeted this question – ‘what are the first 3 things you do when you get online in the morning?

You can see many of the answers to the question on this twitoaster thread.

A number of people asked me to answer the question for myself – so I thought I’d do so as a blog post as it is pretty relevant to how I run my business. Of course I couldn’t just stop at three – here’s some of my morning routine:

Firstly: I liken most of what I do in the mornings to a Triage in the emergency room of a hospital. It’s about assessing what happened over night, identifying urgent things that need immediate attention and less urgent but important things that I need to prioritize and then mapping out how I’ll use my day.

Note: Preceding all of what follows is Coffee…. without it I find very little of it works.

1. Check Blog Stats

The first thing I do in the morning is to check the stats of my blogs. While this might seem like a bit of an egotistical thing to do first thing in the morning I actually do it because it gives me a very quick overview of any problems or opportunities that might need my immediate attention.

I am particularly looking for any spikes or lulls in traffic.

Spikes indicate that something has happened to bring me traffic on some other site. This could indicate a social media event (front page on Digg or a hot link on Twitter) or could indicate something more controversial that someone has written about me. Either way – I want to know about it – either for damage control or to see if there’s a way to extend the positives.

Lulls in traffic indicate potential problems with servers or other problems on my blogs including broken design, posts not going live, newsletters not going out that should have gone etc.

What flows from analyzing stats could be leaving comments on another blog to respond to what they’ve written, tweeting a hot link to extend it’s viral qualities, fixing an error on my site, checking server errors etc.

2. Scan Twitter Accounts

I find Twitter is another great source of being able to assess what I’ve missed while I slept. This is particularly important for me because I’m in Australia and actually sleep during the peak times on my blogs when most of my readers are online.

I scan three main things on Twitter – my Direct Messages, my @replies and trending topics (via Twitscoop).

Twitter quickly reveals any topics/stories/news that has broken over night that could be relevant to my blogs. Many times I have links that have been DM’d to me by my followers alerting me to these stories.

I am also on the look out from any problems with my sites that readers are reporting (I find that if one of my blogs was down even for 5 minutes that I’m told about it on Twitter).

Lastly on Twitter I’m looking with interest at what people ReTweeted overnight – particularly posts on my own blogs. If I notice a post I’ve written is doing well on Twitter and has a lot of RT’s it can be worth me giving it a second push. It might also indicate to me that it could be worth writing a followup post on the topic to keep the momentum going.

If a story has not been RT’d much at all it’s an indication that perhaps the post needs reworking or that it wasn’t a topic that connected with my audience.

3. Scan News Alerts

This is a quick one but can be important. I have a number of alerts set up in Google News and Blog Alerts that I quickly scan each morning (it’s my ‘vanity folder‘). Each of these alerts is either an alert to anyone using my name, blog URL or a keyword relevant to my niche in a blog post or news article.

It’s important to know what has been written about you and about topics you’re writing about as this can lead to all kinds of opportunities and interactions (not to mention damage control). I generally don’t respond immediately to these unless they’re urgent but they’re good to keep in mind as I plan my day.

4. Scan Email

Are there any urgent matters in my inbox needing my immediate attention? This is a real challenge as most mornings I wake up to around 100 emails in my inbox (this is after another 500-700 emails are filtered automatically in Gmail using techniques that I talked about in this post on clearing your inbox.)

I don’t reply to many emails at this point – I’m just scanning them looking for important stuff (I don’t always see it unfortunately). I come back to email later in the day.

5. Scan my A-list of RSS feeds

In Google Reader (my RSS reader of choice) I have a folder called ‘A-list’. In this folder I have around 20 feeds from blogs and news sites that I read religiously each day. These are feeds I want to read because they have important news, stories or posts that are directly relevant to my niches.

They are from thought leaders or news sources – I want to know what they say and I want to know it as soon as I can after they write it.

Many days what I read in these feeds will lead me to a post that bounces off their stories, informs me of new products that have been released overnight or alert me to controversy or hot topics in my niche.

Then What?

The above process usually takes me around 15 minutes (on a normal morning where there’s nothing that needs an immediate response).

Remember it’s simply about scanning rather than stopping to respond – unless there’s something important.

At the end of this process I generally have a list of a number of things that I need to achieve in the day ahead. I then attempt to plan my day combining the list I’ve compiled with other tasks that need to be done.

Usually at this point I identify posts that I want to write and publish for the day, schedule in other marketing or admin tasks etc.

I tend to ‘batch’ my tasks together so that I’m not flitting from one thing to the next but instead am setting aside chunks of time for different activities.

Once I’ve got a plan for my day (that usually takes me 5 more minutes to compile) I get to it and start to knock off the things on my list.

One More Tip

I use Firefox and have a number of bookmark folders set up. One of these folders is called ‘start up’. It contains the following bookmarks:

  • All my stats packages
  • TwitScoop
  • Google Reader
  • Gmail
  • A couple of news related sites

Each morning I simply hit ‘command/startup folder’ and each of these sites opens up in a tab of its own. I have them in the order that I’ve mentioned above and simply work through the tabs one at a time. This way I don’t have to think about what I need to do next – all my stats are there ready for me to take a look at first, TwitScoop is open next so I can look at that…. etc

Of course I have to open my Twitter client (I’m using Tweetie at the moment primarily) to check my twitter accounts but apart from that everything I need is open in a tab of its own for me to work through. I simply close down tabs and move on to the next ones as I move through the list.