Three ways to make sure the algorithm is working for you and not against you

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It’s not the writing that you need to be worried about. It’s the algorithm. The algorithm is killing a lot of great content. It’s supporting a lot of great content, too. But you need to know how it works to make sure it draws the right people to you and doesn’t keep anyone away who should be reading.

I used to think that content was king. And it could be when the algorithm is on your side, but it can also work against you and kill your time investment dead. If the algorithm works against you, it can kill your…


Five things the most creative people in history do differently than us

Renaud Camus / FlickrCC BY 2.0

The curse of perfectionism. It’s taken me so long to stamp it out. You want your work to be as good as possible, so you spend hours and hours on a tiny detail hoping for perfection, which doesn’t exist.

How many Picasso artworks have you seen in your life? If you visit museums enough, it does not take long to notice the vast quantity out there in the world. In total, it’s believed to be around 50,000 artworks, comprising 1,885 paintings, 1,228 sculptures, 2,880 ceramics, roughly 12,000 drawings, many thousands of prints, and numerous tapestries and rugs.

How did he…


Here’s what I do when I keep hitting that wall

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You’ve been working hard. You’re finally getting the hang of this content thing, and you’re starting to see some results. But then something happened.

You hit a wall.

Maybe your posts are not generating traffic as well as they used to, or they are even going backward, and your views throttled. Perhaps you don’t have time for it anymore, but whatever the reason, you suddenly find yourself with less free time on your hands than before, too. Nothing seems to work. And nothing will budge.

Suppose these walls keep coming up in your life. What can you do? Two things…


Dear future self, please don’t do this.

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We all know that we should be true to ourselves, but it’s not easy. You’re not going to live forever, and you will never get back the time you wasted being unhappy.

If you want to do something more creative with your life, if you want to express yourself rather than churn out content, I will tell you something now that may change your life.

You don’t need to believe me or take my word for it. Just sit back and let this information sink into your mind like water through a sponge. Ready?

You are not who you think you are.

It’s time to realize what is…


The best career tip from the original Mad Man, David Ogilvy

Plaster heads of Greek philosophers painted in different sizes and colors to. buy at a souvenir shop — orange, yellow, green, pink
Photo by Olga Lioncat / Pexels

“Most good copywriters . . . fall into two categories. Poets. And killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers as a means to an end. If you are both killer and poet, you get rich.” – David Ogilvy (The original advertising Mad Man)

This is one of my favorite quotes by 1950s Madison Avenue advertiser David Ogilvy. As a commercial writer, if you are both a Poet (someone who writes well) and a Killer (someone who knows how to sell) you will make money. Although most people are one or the other.

In practical terms, the Poet and…


Your own paradise, just a step away. (A writing prompt.)

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I’m not sure how I ended up here. One minute, I was walking through the park and then, before I knew it, I was standing in this place. But there’s no going back now; a path has appeared to me, and there’s nothing but white fluffy clouds all around me as far as my eyes can see. All the trees are swaying gently in the gentle breeze with dewdrops glimmering on leaves. They seem to glow under the light of the moon hanging above us.

I look down at my feet only to find silver sand beneath them; the tropical…


How one of the world’s most important performance artists encourages big ideas from her students

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We are afraid of being rejected by others, so we play it safe and don’t take any risks. Here is a simple exercise taught by performance artist Marina Abramović to help you capture your fiercest ideas so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

It’s a way for you to think big without worrying about being rejected first.

Do this to focus more energy on capturing your best ideas — instead of wasting precious time trying not to offend anyone who may or may not share your same vision.

What can an artist tell us how to create original ideas?

Marina Abramović is an artist and author who has been powerfully…


As Kafka may have said, grab that ice ax for your soul

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You know that thing you want to say, but you hold back because it feels too big?

When you don’t write things that make your heart beat faster, then you’re not growing. You’re not learning anything. You’re not daring to try something different, something new. You’re just sitting in this chair or laying on this couch writing the same old thing over and over again.

Most of us spend too much time in our comfort zones. But I’m not asking you to write something that makes you feel uncomfortable just because it’s uncomfortable. …


An open letter on behalf of poets, lovers, and wolves.

Roman Kamin / Pexels

At the post office or the supermarket — doing the usual day-to-day stuff. Then, out of nowhere, dread will creep into my thoughts:

Billionaires want to take over space.

Just as grief can mug you around any corner, it hits me hard from different angles, at strange times, and inappropriate places.

I see a billionaire’s perfect white teeth shining in some desert location, and I want to throw the television out the window. I want to set all the newspapers on fire.

I become a lunatic. Literally.

Do they look through burning embers and fire-tinged sky and wonder if the moon could be their next…


Learn how to trust your intuition, even under extreme stress.

Roman Odintsov / Pexels

Like many people in big cities, I’ve lived under constant high-terror-alert situations for years. We all know split-second gut-instinct decisions are often the ones that can save your life and others.

Before you ever need it, you need to learn to trust your instincts in less extreme situations. On a lighter note, intuition is a superpower in everyday life, too.

There are cultures in the world that have already developed a systematic approach to studying higher states of consciousness and how to apply intuition consistently.

I experienced the power of intuition first hand when I studied Tibetan Buddhism for over…

J.R. Flaherty

Here to develop your rebel wisdom. Better Marketing. Startup. CYMCYL @FlahertyWrites

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