The Busy Blogger’s Guide to Creative, Compelling Images

My Top-5 Resources for Blog Posts, Social Media, and More

If I told you there was one thing you could do with your blog that would boost your traffic by 94 percent, what would you say?

A young editor deciding on images to use in her publication

Courtesy of iStock/PeopleImages

I recently blogged about seven mistakes bloggers cannot afford to make. No. 2 was failing to use compelling imagery.

Some bloggers don’t use images at all. That’s a miss. Others use low-quality, unprofessional images. And that’s a miss, too, because it trivializes their brand. Using subpar images on your blog is like saying, “Readers, don’t take me seriously!”

It turns out a large number of Americans have no idea what the Fourth of July is all about. That’s tragic!

Almost thirty years ago today, President Ronald Reagan gave an address for the Fourth of July. Whatever your party or politics, I hope you’ll find it both inspiring and informative.

Season 4, Episode 9: Don’t Bite That Apple [Podcast]

4 Temptations Every Leader Faces

Welcome to Season 4, Episode 9 of the This Is Your Life podcast. Stu McLaren is filling in for my regular cohost Michele Cushatt. In this episode, we discuss four temptations every leader faces.

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Power amplifies who you are—the good, the bad, and the ugly. That means leaders have to be on their guard about certain temptations. I don’t know a single leader who has not dealt with at least one of these four.

Listen to the Audio

Update! Help Us Pick the Winner of the Next Platform University Makeover

We Have 5 Finalists. Who Deserves to Win? You Decide

The votes are in, and Mike Berry has won an official Platform University makeover. See the winning video below. I am thrilled to award him a full-service, bumper-to-bumper branding overhaul. Congrats, Mike!

One of the things I love most about Platform University is our ability to help platform-builders at all levels reach more people and create a bigger impact.

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Courtesy of iStock/mattjeacock

One way we’ve done that is through platform makeovers. Last year we received an incredible response to the work we did with Jackie Bledsoe. Now we’re ready to do it again.

Why the Place You Live Determines Your Success

3 Reasons You Should Call the Movers if You’re Serious about Following Your Dream

Everyone knows the old line from the real estate business, “Location, location, location!” But did you know it can have a direct impact on your professional success and satisfaction?

Traffic on a street at night, long exposure.

Courtesy of iStock/-aniaostudio-

I’ve lived just outside Nashville for almost thirty years. It’s been a major center for the music business for decades, but Nashville is now a major hub for mediapreneurs of all stripes.

Publishers, podcasters, bloggers, photographers, authors, agents, designers, marketers, musicians, filmmakers, speakers—you name it, and they’re here. So why aren’t you?

5 Reasons Publishers LOVE Bloggers

Why Blogging Might Be Your Fastest Way to Secure a Book Deal

This is a guest post from Chad R. Allen, a blogger and entrepreneur who serves as an editorial director for Baker Publishing Group. In Spring 2016 Baker will publish my next book, coauthored with my friend Daniel Harkavy, titled Living Forward. Find out more about it here. You can follow Chad on Twitter, Facebook, and his blog.

If you have ever known a clean-shaven man who quickly grew a beard, you have a clue about changes in the publishing industry over the past five to ten years. Publishing today looks very different from how it looked a few years ago, and the transition can catch you off guard.

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Whether it’s the decline of bricks-and-mortar retail, the advent of ebooks, the audiobook boom, the democratization of media channels, or any of innumerable other changes, the shifts have been rapid and dramatic. Even the nimblest publishing professional can have trouble keeping up.

But among authors one group in particular has been able to capitalize on upheaval in the publishing world: bloggers.

"Do one thing every day that scares you." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Click here for my complete collection of quote card images.

Why You Don’t Have to Be a Jerk to Win at Work

4 Ways Kindness Can Give You an Edge in Business

We sometimes think we have to be jerks to win at work. Standout leaders like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos are famous for their tough approach. And we all know raging meaniacs set impossible standards and get amazing results, right?

Male boss yelling at his office worker

Courtesy of iStock/mediaphotos

I spent most of my professional life in the publishing business. While I was president and CEO of Thomas Nelson there were a couple of executives working for another major publisher. These two were like blowtorches with business cards, they sometimes clashed, and they were legendary across the industry for their egos and attitudes.

Like Jobs and Bezos, they were also successful.

Season 4, Episode 8: Goal Setting for Beginners [Podcast]

5 Principles for Setting Goals That Work

Welcome to Season 4, Episode 8 of the This Is Your Life podcast. Stu McLaren is filling in for my regular cohost Michele Cushatt. In this episode, we discuss how to start setting goals that actually work.

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When I speak, I’m amazed at how many people in the audience recognize the value of setting goals. I’m also surprised by how few actually do it. I’ve been setting and achieving big goals most of my life, and I’ve identified five simple goal-setting principles that will help you get results.

Listen to the Audio

No, You Don’t Need to be Great at Everything—and Why You Shouldn’t Even Try

One Belief Holding You Back in Business and Life

If you’re an entrepreneur at heart like me, it’s tempting to wear every hat in the business. This is especially true if you’re cursed with being halfway good at all those jobs.

Businessman asleep at office desk with finance sheet calculator and coffee.(concept for overworked)

Courtesy of iStock/jes2ufoto

That’s not a compliment, by the way. I should emphasize the word cursed. Think of it this way: Would you intentionally hire someone who was halfway good at their job? Of course not. You want people who are fully competent.

And yet it can be hard to let go of those hats, right? But here’s the reality. If you want to wear all the hats, you’ll have to pull out more than a rabbit to be successful.

9 Reasons You Need More Fishing in Your Life

How to Reconnect to Your Heart, Your Purpose, and More

Ever since I was a boy, I’ve enjoyed fishing. But the older I get the more I realize I don’t just enjoy it. I really need fishing.

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Courtesy of David Braud

I recently went fly fishing on the Bighorn River in Montana. I was lucky to go with several other guys. Some were old friends, others I had just met. We had guides to help us, and we spent hours and hours on the water every day. It was fun, restorative, even magical.

Some of my favorite moments in nature have been on the water with a rod and reel. I wouldn’t call myself a rugged outdoorsman. I just love being outside, testing my luck, and hooking my lunch. It might sound like a humble time, but there’s hardly anything better.