Find and Pitch the Perfect Guest Posting Opportunities

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Find and Pitch the Perfect Guest Posting Opportunities

Today ProBlogger Subject Matter Expert Ali Luke is guest posting about guest posting.

So, you’ve realised that guest posting has loads of benefits for you and your blog, but you’re not quite sure how to go about it.

Maybe you’re worried that you don’t have enough experience.

Perhaps you haven’t even got an active blog of your own right now.

That’s absolutely fine. Most host blogs just want someone who can write reasonably well.

(It’s also OK to guest post even if you don’t have your own blog: some authors do this to promote their books, for instance, and freelancers do it to promote their services.)

If you’re worried about whether your writing’s good enough, ask a blogger friend to help you edit your guest post: a second pair of eyes can be invaluable here.

Choosing a Blog to Target

Where should you post? It makes sense to aim for a well-known blog with a big audience, though if this is your very first guest post, you may not want to go straight for the top. (Some bloggers do, though – so if you’re feeling confident, try it!)

Great blogs to guest post for are:

#1: Blogs that you already read regularly. This is definitely the best place to begin: after all, you already know these blogs well, and you may have left comments or shared posts, meaning there’s a chance the host blogger is already familiar with you.

#2: Blogs that are new to you, but well-established in your niche. I’ve been blogging for 9 years and I still keep coming across great blogs I never knew about! Check out the blogs that big-name bloggers in your niche link to (either in posts, in their sidebar, or on social media).

I don’t recommend Googling “list of blogs to guest post for” and choosing a list with hundreds of blogs on it. Guest posting isn’t a numbers game: it’s much better to write one or two great posts for one or two great blogs.

How to Know if a Blog Takes Guest Posts

The first thing to look for is a page on the blog titled something like this:

  • Guest post guidelines
  • Submission guidelines
  • Write for us
  • Submit a post

(Check the navigation menu, the sidebar, the About page, and the Contact page for these. Or you can type into Google: guest post guidelines site:[URL of the blog] to find any page/post on that blog that mentions “guest post guidelines”.)

If there aren’t any guidelines visible, look to see who’s writing for the blog. Are there any recent guest posts? Anything written by someone who isn’t the blog owner / editor might be a guest post … though if the same names keep coming up again and again, they’re probably freelance writers.

Once you’ve found a blog to target, it’s time to come up with your idea.

Coming Up with an Idea

If you generally find it difficult to come up with ideas for blog posts, you might want to check out the six months of blogging prompts (free).

When you’re pitching a guest post, your idea should be:

  • In the right niche. I know this sounds obvious, but there’s no point in sending a post about credit cards to a blog about parenting toddlers!
  • A good fit for the audience. Copyblogger and Helping Writers Become Authors are both excellent blogs with an interest in good writing … but Copyblogger is about copywriting and Helping Writers Become Authors is about fiction.
  • Not too similar to other recent posts on the blog. You might want to find a category on the blog that hasn’t had many posts recently, and come up with an idea to fit that category.
  • Appropropriate for the tone of the blog. Most blogs, for instance, won’t be keen to publish an angry, ranty, sweary post. (Of course, on some other blogs, that would work perfectly.)

I’d suggest coming up with two or three ideas for the blog: personally, I like to offer one main idea and a couple of alternatives.

Note: We’ll be going into more detail about guest post ideas next week and providing extra guidance on how to shape these not only to the blog itself but also to your own objectives.

Developing Your Idea into an Outline

Before you pitch, your main idea should be fleshed out with a brief outline or idea of what you’re going to cover. A list (with or without bullet points) is fine here. For instance, for this post, that list might look like:

Title: Finding Great Guest Posting Opportunities and Pitching the Perfect Post

This would cover:

  • Where to find blogs to post for (and what NOT to do)
  • How to come up with ideas that are a good fit for your target blog
  • A sample email for pitching your ideas
  • The importance of following guidelines

A quick list like this makes sure that the host blogger’s expectations line up with what you plan to deliver.

Occasionally, you may find that a host blogger likes your idea but wants you to cover different or additional points – it’s always easiest to get this clear up front, rather than to write a whole post only to end up making substantial changes.

Should You Write the Whole Post Before Pitching?

Some blogs like to have the pitch alone (title plus outline); others prefer to see a finished post. Check their guidelines to see what they specify.

There’s nothing stopping you, of course, from writing the whole post before you pitch (and just keeping it to yourself): if you’re feeling a bit anxious about doing justice to your pitch, this can help! You may, though, have to make changes based on the blog owner’s response to your pitch.

Writing a Pitch Email to the Blog’s Editor

This is where many would-be guest post writers get stuck! It can be really daunting to sit down and email a big-name blogger who you’d love to write for … what if you screw it up?

If it’s any comfort, that big-name blogger probably gets dozens of terrible pitches from SEO companies every single week.

To stand out from the crowd, just:

  • Present an on-target idea (you should have that already!)
  • Be clear and concise (don’t give detailed paragraphs about your backstory)
  • Use correct spelling and grammar (ask a friend to proofread for you)

You don’t need to have any special credentials … you just need to show that you can write decent English and that you won’t be horrible to work with.

In case you think I’m setting the bar too low here, this is a real email I received a couple of weeks ago, for my blog Aliventures (my tagline there is “master the art, craft and business of writing”):

Hey,

I am content writer specialized in Health & fitness niche, and I chanced upon aliventures.com. I must appreciate that the content of your website is par excellence and exceptionally useful.

I’ve been a blogger for about 10 years, with special interests in Health & fitness, Ayurvedic counselor, and Sexologist. Today I am a recognized expert in the subject, and over the years, have consistently contributed articles and blogs to top sexologist related sites.

I am looking forward to attaching myself as a guest blogger to your site by contributing an article to aliventures.com. I assure that the article will be highly informative and educative to your audience. While I am not looking at any monetary benefits, instead we could consider the possibility mentioning my site/resource just once within the article.

Do let me know if this sounds good and works for you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

[name removed]

Content Writer & Editor

I’m sure you spotted some of the glaring problems with this pitch:

  • It’s clearly been sent to lots of different blogs. You can tell because it doesn’t address me by name and it has my URL instead of my blog’s name in the first paragraph (which means the writer likely has a long long list of blog URLs that they’re contacting).
  • The topics are completely irrelevant to my blog on writing. I have never posted anything on Aliventures about health and fitness (or sex)!
  • The writer doesn’t pitch an actual topic at all, but they assure me the article will be “highly informative and educative”. I’m not convinced.
  • It’s pretty clear their aim in guest posting is purely to get a link.

Trust me, you can do a million times better than this.

Sample Email to Use When Pitching a Guest Post

Here’s an email you can use for your pitches: just fill in the [bits in square brackets].

Subject: Guest post submission:

Dear

40 Ways to Create Peace of Mind

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“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.” ~Brian Tracy

There was a time when I thought peace was a destination, in much the same way I imagined I’d eventually arrive at happiness or success.

It seemed like something I needed to chase or find—definitely not something I could experience without dramatically changing my life.

I needed to work less, relax more, and generally revamp my circumstances and relationships in order to be a peaceful person.

Despite seeing peace as an endpoint, I also saw it as something passive; after all, that’s why I was so stressed: I had so much to do.

I’ve since realized that peace is always available, and like any desirable state of mind, it requires effort, even if that effort entails consciously choosing to be still.

Sure, our circumstances affect our mental state, but they don’t have to control them, not if we make tiny choices for our well-being.

Admittedly, it’s not easy to choose peace when we’re going through tough times. I still go through periods when I get caught up in worries and stresses, and it can feel like that’s the only available response to things that have happened.

But it’s not. There are countless things we can do to create peace of mind, both in response to events in our lives, and proactively, everyday.

If you’d also like to develop a greater sense of peace, you may find these suggestions helpful:

Meditation

1. Take five to ten minutes for a simple seated meditation.

2. Take 100 deep breaths, counting “and one,” “and two,” and so on, with “and” on the inhalations and the numbers on the exhalations.

3. Take a meditative walk, focusing solely on the physical sensations of walking—the earth under your feet, the swing of your hips.

4. Find a guided meditation on YouTube and let it lull you into a blissful state of presence.

5. Practice alternate nostril breathing. Hold the left nostril down and inhale through the right; then hold the breath. Release the left nostril, hold the right one down, and exhale through the left. Now start on the left with an inhalation, exhaling on the right. This is one set. Do up to five of them.

Communication

6. Write down everything that’s weighing you down mentally and then burn it as a form of letting go.

7. Write down everything you’ve learned from a difficult experience so you can see it as something useful and empowering instead of something to stress you out.

8. Tell someone how their actions affected you instead of holding it in and building resentment.

9. Call someone you’ve denied forgiveness and tell them you forgive them.

10. Apologize for a mistake instead of rehashing it, and then choose to forgive yourself.

Creativity

11. Engage in a little art therapy; grab some crayons, markers, or paint and put all your feelings on the page.

12. Create a peace collage. Include images that make you feel relaxed and at ease. (Google “peace collage” and you’ll get lots of ideas!)

13. Meditate on your favorite peace quote and then write it in calligraphy for framing.

14. Take a walk with the sole intention of photographing beautiful things that make you feel at peace, like a tree with colorful autumn leaves.

15. Write a blog post about what gives you peace of mind. (This has been a calming experience for me!)

Activity

16. Get up and dance to your favorite song, focusing solely on the music and the movement. Get into your body and get out of your head!

17. Take a long walk on the beach, focusing on the feel of the sand between your toes and the sound of the crashing waves. Cliché, but highly effective!

18. Go for a bike ride in a scenic part of town, and immerse yourself in the calm of your environment.

19. Take five to ten minutes for stretching, syncing your breath with the movements (or if you have an hour, visit a local studio for a yoga class).

20. Declutter a cluttered part of your home, creating a more peaceful space.

Acceptance

21. Muster compassion for someone who hurt you, instead of wallowing in bitterness, which will make it easier to forgive them and set yourself free.

22. Set aside some time to actively enjoy the good things about the present instead of scheming to create a better future.

23. Create a list of things you love about yourself instead of dwelling on how you wish you were different.

24. Focus on what you appreciate about the people in your life instead of wishing they would change (assuming you’re in healthy relationships).

25. Recognize if you’re judging yourself in your head with phrases like “I should have” or “I shouldn’t have.” Replace those thoughts with, “I do the best I can, my best is good enough, and I’m learning and growing every day.”

Solitude

26. Start reading that book you bought about dealing with the challenge you’ve been facing.

27. Schedule a date with yourself, a time when you don’t need to meet anyone else’s requests, and do something that feeds your mind and spirit. Go to a museum or take yourself to your favorite restaurant and simply enjoy your own company.

28. Sit in nature—under a tree, on a mountain—and let yourself simply be.

29. Be your own best friend. Tell yourself what’s on your mind, and then give yourself the advice you’d give a good friend who had the same issue.

30. Repeat some positive affirmations that help you feel present, peaceful, and empowered.

Connection

31. Tell the truth in your relationships. When we hold in our true feelings, we create stress for ourselves. Be kind but honest and share what you really feel.

32. Catch critical, blaming, or self-victimizing thoughts. Instead of ruminating on what someone else did wrong, express yourself and ask yourself what you can do to create the change you’re seeking.

33. Have fun with someone you love. Forget about everything that feels like a problem and do something silly and childlike.

34. Connect with someone online who can relate to what you’re going through and create a mutually supportive relationship by sharing and listening.

35. Let someone into your self-care routine—ask a friend to join a yoga studio with you, or invite your sister to jog with you on the beach.

Contribution

36. Volunteer your time to help a charity you believe in. Put all your energy into helping someone else, and you will inadvertently help yourself.

37. Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Animals are naturally present, and it’s contagious!

38. Do something kind for someone else without expecting anything in return. If they ask what they can do for you, tell them to pay it forward.

39. Leverage your passion to help someone else (i.e.: if you’re an aspiring designer, design a logo for a friend). You get to get in the zone doing something you love; someone else gets support they need. A win/win!

40. Leverage your purpose to serve someone else, not for money—just because. That might mean helping them pursue their passion, or motivating them to reach their fitness goals. Whatever gives your life meaning, give it to someone freely.

As is often the case with these types of list, this can seem a little long and overwhelming. The important thing is that we do at least one tiny thing every day to create mental stillness. What helps you create peace of mind?

This post was originally published in 2012.

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post 40 Ways to Create Peace of Mind appeared first on Tiny Buddha.


By |October 20th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

How to Smash Your Blogging Goals in Just 5 Days

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Smash Your Blogging Goals

This post is by ProBlogger expert Ellen Jackson of Potential Psychology

Have you ever uttered the phrase, ‘One day I’ll…’?

Of course you have. We all have.

One day I’ll schedule my social media

One day I’ll improve my web site

One day I’ll organise my images (a personal favourite)

One day I’ll start a podcast…

Next we say, ‘When…’

When I have more time

When I have more money

When inspiration hits

When I’ve developed my skills

When I feel more confident

When life is easier….

Here’s a thought: What if life is never easier? What if you never find more time, money or confidence?

What if tomorrow and the day after and the day after that are no different to today? How will you ever achieve your goals and get those ‘one day’ tasks done? What if ‘one day’ never comes?

Procrastination researchers have discovered that our tendency to put things off is a self-delusion designed to make us feel better about today.

‘We think that our future self will be better able to handle feelings of insecurity or frustration with the task,’ psychologist Dr Fuschia Sirois says. ‘That somehow we’ll develop these miraculous coping skills to deal with the emotions that we just can’t deal with right now.’

Oh dear.

The Quick Win Goal Challenge

Recently I challenged my audience to see if together we could make some progress on our ‘one day’ goals. Science tells us that public accountability can help motivate you to achieve your goals, so we teamed up and made a commitment to work together.

We each picked a ‘one day’ goal – something that had been on the to-do list for months or longer. Tasks we’d been avoiding – important but not urgent. Goals that languished in the backs of minds, niggling, without ever launching forth to a point of urgency.

Our aim?

To follow five simple, science-based steps over five days to make major progress on our ‘one day’ goals.

The goals were diverse:

‘Make a plan to buy my first home’

‘Digitise my client files’

‘Tidy my spare room’

‘Write my ebook’

‘Build my potential client base’

We were all filled with enthusiasm, posting images to Instagram each day to share our progress.

The results were gratifying.

“I am well on the way to finishing my ebook. I produced 65 pages of a 100-page book, created the template, designed the cover AND worked out a distribution plan. All in five days! Prior to this I had done… not much for two years.”

“I have officially ticked off everything I set out to do this week. Feeling chuffed.”

And the steps to get there?

Let me share the five science-based steps to making your ‘one day’ today.

Step 1: Know EXACTLY What You Want to Achieve by the End of the Five Days

‘Fix my web site’ is a goal too overwhelming to contemplate. What does ‘fixed’ look like? How will you know when it’s fixed? Will ‘fixing’ one piece break another one?

No wonder you never start.

When you pull a goal apart and specify exactly what you want to achieve, you do two things:

  1. You get clear on all the little tasks involved. This will help you estimate the time you need, and help you figure out where to start.
  2. You paint a picture of what success looks like. A clear, specific goal like ‘By Friday I will have updated the background image on my home page, created links in the menu to my new product pages and rewritten my About Me copy’ feels achievable. ‘Fix my web site’ feels like a task you want to avoid.

Step 2: Take Conscious Action

A clear, specific goal is necessary but not sufficient if you want to achieve your ‘one day’ project. You need to know where you’re going, but it’s action that will get you there.

Step two involves two tasks.

Task One: Write it down. Did you know you are 42% more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down? It’s not clear how or why this works, but the evidence confirms that it does.

Task Two: Work on your ‘Why?’ For many of us, motivation comes not just from what we’re trying to achieve, but why. Studies have shown that if we connect our goal to something larger and more important (‘I want to make money blogging so I can spend more time at home with my children’) we are less impulsive, less likely to give in to distractions, and more likely to plan and execute the required actions to reach our goals. When you’ve articulated your goal, spend some time thinking about why you want to achieve it. Who’s involved? How will they benefit? How will achieving this goal improve your life?

Step 3: Stop Looking for Motivation

Motivation: We’re all looking for it. Somewhere along the line someone convinced us that when we find our motivation, goal success will be effortless. We just have to find it, and then making client calls will be easy. We’ll sit at the laptop and schedule our social media. We won’t procrastinate or be distracted. We’ll just get stuff done. Simple.

But motivation isn’t  ‘thing.’ It can’t be found. Motivation, in simple psychological terms, is the desire to do something. You won’t find the desire to do something hiding anywhere. You have to create it.

Here’s a tip from the world’s leading researchers in goal-setting: Make your goal difficult.

Challenging but realistic goals – goals that stretch us but not quite to breaking point – activate motivation. They push us, encourage us and reward us when we achieve them. If a goal is too easy we don’t get the get up and go to… well, get up and go. If they’re too difficult we’re too overwhelmed to start. A stretching, challenging but achievable goal is like Baby Bear’s porridge – just right.

Step 4: Use my Favourite Productivity Tip

It’s called ‘The 15-minute rule’ and it rocks. I know because I use it all the time.

Here’s how it works:

If there’s a task on your list that you’re avoiding, commit 15 minutes to it today.

It could be:

  • 15 minutes of writing
  • 15 minutes of client calls
  • 15 minutes tidying your office
  • 15 minutes on that proposal you’ve been avoiding.

Why does it work? Because getting started is the hardest part of any task. The good news is that once you’ve started, you’re likely to push on beyond the 15 minutes you committed to. It’s called the Ovsiankina effect. Your brain doesn’t like starting a task and then stopping partway through. It will linger on your unfinished business, niggling at you until you get the job done. Get started and you’ll find the motivation to do more.

Step 5: Celebrate Every Step

What do you do when you finish a project or task? Do you tick it off the list and move straight on to the next one? Do you get on a roll, morphing into a task-completion machine? How long can you maintain momentum before you collapse on the lounge with the remote and Netflix?

A critical step in making progress towards difficult goals is celebrating the steps along the way. Yes, a big win feels great. But it’s the small wins – the incremental tasks you nail each day – that sustain your motivation and keep you happy and engaged for the long run.

Day five is all about reviewing your progress and celebrating your successes. Make a list of every little thing you’ve achieved on your ‘one day’ goal so far. Every little tiny thing. Give yourself a mental high five and put your feet up for a while. You’ve made a big start on a long-time goal. That deserves a reward. What’s more, you’re set up to rock on into next week.

Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology  is a workplace psychologist, consultant, writer and speaker. Her mission is to help others to live, learn and flourish. You can join her next free Quick Win Challenge to nail your ‘one day’ goal here.

The post How to Smash Your Blogging Goals in Just 5 Days appeared first on ProBlogger.

      


By |October 20th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Start-ups Talk about Their Biggest Mistakes

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Starting a business can be tough and it’s a nervous time because you’re jumping into unknown territory. Even though you’ve done your research, it’s still a new experience and you have to learn the process as you go through it. Depending on the type of business you start, you’re going to have to engage and deal with customers, marketing, content, products, social media, and other factors in success. However, you can learn a lot from the mistakes of others, which means you try to avoid some costly errors when starting out. It’s important you utilize the resources available to you and learn from them so you don’t have a rocky start when setting up your business.

I went and did some research, compiling a list of effective ways to lower the amount of start up mistakes made during business. The list is from a study conducted by Forbes.com and I’ll narrow down some of the factors below.

Insufficient Research

This has been the downfall for so many businesses and it doesn’t matter what niche you’re starting with. I’ve stated this before and will continue to emphasize the importance of research when starting a business. This was a concept outlined by Ajay Neil from HighQ.com. He said it’s easy to confuse a good idea for a good business so emphasize the importance of execution. The major elements that provide you effective execution are:

  • Research
  • Forecasting
  • Accurate Data

If you can go through making sure all of these are in the positive, then you’ll have a high chance of surviving in your industry. Many people have great ideas but the market simply isn’t looking for it so it’s important to conduct your research, no matter what the niche.

Wrong Model

Many people, when starting out, will have the wrong model or concept in mind. Research should be able to provide insight into your success but you need to pay attention to your audience. You have to find out who your audience is, then shift into what type of products they are looking for. Once you determine this, you’ll be able to find the optimal way to deliver your product to them. Many people make this mistake as stated by Jeff Chen, Cofounder & CEO of Joyride

“One of the biggest mistakes is chasing after the product mechanic rather than the reason for the product. In other words, the model that worked for movies might not work for books.”

Intriguing vs. Compelling

Every business’ bottom line is making money so it’s important you keep this in mind. When you start a business, people are going to have all types of feedback but take it at face value. Don’t get overwhelmed when people give you positive feedback because these people might still not buy your product. It’s important to know the difference between people who are intrigued by your product and compelled. For example,

Many customers will like the concept, but still not see the value in your product. This means they won’t buy it and not invest their money into it. You have to make sure NOT to become pleased too much by positive feedback because your bottom line should be sales. It’s easy to give positive feedback, but not purchase a product, so many people opt to do this instead. You have to know the difference between intriguing and compelling when setting up your business. Your business product or service should be so compelling, people purchased your product. It’s that simple.

Many businesses become overwhelmed by simple positive feedback and fail to understand their bottom line.

Forgetting Your Purpose

It’s so hard for a start-up to lose track of their purpose. When starting out, you had a clear vision of what you wanted to accomplish and how you were going to do this. You’ve performed your research and know EXACTLY what you need to do to create a super buzz. However, with all these things popping up, you lose track of your end goal. One of the biggest mistakes start-ups make in business is losing track of what really matters along the way. Remember, when starting out, you did your research and based success on certain criteria, so moving away from these will harm your business. When you lose track of your end goal, you’re moving away from your bottom line, which can have negative impact on your employees, success, profit, customers, etc.

I know starting a business can be very hectic, but always keep your objective in mind. Try different things like writing it down on your phone or in front of you in large letters to program it into your mind.

How To Make 6-Figure Monthly Online Income! Download John Chow’s New eBook!


By |October 19th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Great Filmmakers Pick Their Favorite Movies of the 21st Century

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Film directors including Antoine Fuqua, Sofia Coppola, Paul Feig, Denis Villeneuve, Brett Ratner and Alex Gibney recently spoke to The New York Times about their favorite movies of the 21st century to date.[1] Below, I highlight 20 of the choices. This is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for great movies you haven’t seen or haven’t even heard of.

Antoine Fuqua’s Selected Films

Antoine Fuqua himself has directed Training Day, The Magnificent Seven, and other films. His selections included:

Fences (2016)

Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the film takes a passionate look at former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. Fences was also directed by Washington. It’s adapted from a play by August Wilson, who Fuqua says “would be proud” of the output.

Watch Fences here.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Fuqua’s comment on the movie,

“It took us into a world that I have never seen before and executed it in a visceral, gritty way. It was not only moving, but it was heartfelt, dangerous and entertaining.”

When a penniless, eighteen year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai comes within one question of winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, a police investigation reveals his amazing story. Slumdog Millionaire won eight Academy Awards®, including Best Picture of the Year and Best Director, Danny Boyle.

Watch Slumdog Millionaire here.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Fuqua on this movie,

“A world undiscovered by some, in our own backyard. And it doesn’t use the tricks of Hollywood.”

Newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis is Hushpuppy, the tenacious six-year-old force of nature in an isolated bayou community. When her tough but loving father Wink (Dwight Henry) succumbs to a mysterious malady, the fierce and determined girl bravely sets out on a journey to save him. But Hushpuppy’s quest is hindered by a “busted” universe that melts the ice caps and unleashes an army of prehistoric beasts.

Watch Beast of the Southern Wild here.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Fuqua notes it does something a lot of movies don’t,

“sustained intensity and tension, even when it was only two people in the room talking.”

For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. It’s the story of that search and ultimate raid/assassination.

Watch Zero Dark Thirty here.

Sofia Coppola’s Selected Films

Coppola is best-known for Lost in Translation, as well as being the daughter of Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola. Here are some of her selected films:

Force Majeure (2014)

Here’s how Coppola commented on the film,

“I loved the little moments, the details that said so much.”

This is the story of a model Swedish family—handsome businessman Tomas, his willowy wife Ebba and their two blond children— on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche suddenly bears down on the happy diners. With people fleeing in all directions and his wife and children in a state of panic, Tomas makes a decision that will shake his marriage to its core and leave him struggling to reclaim his role as family patriarch.

Watch Force Majeure here.

The White Ribbon (2009)

Coppola loves the black-and-white photography.

In a village in Protestant northern Germany, on the eve of World War I, the children of a church and school run by the village schoolteacher and their families experience a series of bizarre incidents that inexplicably assume the characteristics of a punishment ritual.

If you like old-time photography to convey the WW1 sense, this may be for you too.

Watch The White Ribbon here.

The Savages (2007)

Coppola loved the acting of the two main performances, by Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Until recently, all John and Wendy Savage (Hoffman, Linney) had in common was a lousy childhood and a few strands of DNA. But after years of drifting apart, they’re forced to band together to care for the elderly, cantankerous father who made their formative years “challenging.” In the process, both of these aimless, perpetually adolescent forty-something’s may just, at long last, have to grow up!

If you love good acting, this is a good film to try out.

Watch The Savages here.

Paul Feig’s Selected Films

Paul Feig is considered one of the best comedy directors working today — especially for women — having helmed Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters, among others. His selected films are:

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Feig on the movie,

“One of those movies I could watch over and over again, because it was just so out of left field. In comedy, we feel that we’ve seen it all and done it all, but then an original voice comes in and you go, damn.” It is truly an original movie.

From the rural town of Preston, Idaho, comes Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). With a red ‘fro, his moon boots, and illegal government ninja moves, he is a new kind of hero. When his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) decides to run for class president, it is Napoleon to the rescue to help him triumph over adversity.

Watch Napolean Dynamite here.

This Is The End (2013)

Feig says,

“They pulled off all those elements that seemed like they couldn’t work — it was emotional and funny and they did it playing themselves.”

While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse. Kevin Hart and others make appearances.

Watch This Is the End here.

Amelie (2001)

This film was nominated for five Academy Awards, and Feig says,

“it’s so literal and yet stylish. You fall in love with her immediately.”

A painfully shy waitress working at a tiny Paris café, Amelie makes a surprising discovery and sees her life drastically changed for the better. From then on, Amelie dedicates herself to helping others find happiness…in the most delightfully unexpected ways.

Watch Amelie here.

Denis Villeneuve’s Selected Films

Denis Villeneuve is most recently the director of Blade Runner 2049. He has also worked on films including Arrival. His selected films are:

A Prophet (2009)

Villeneuve pulls out one scene for The New York Times, 

“The deer being killed in slow motion by a car in “A Prophet” (2010) remains one of the most powerful cinematic shots of the last decade.”

An impressionable and vulnerable Arabic man gets thrust into a hellish prison, and ironically discovers greater opportunities for success than he ever possessed outside of the bars.

Watch A Prophet here.

Dogtooth (2009)

Villeneuve says,

“The madness in “Dogtooth” (2010) is the most refreshing thing I’ve seen in a long time. Yorgos Lanthimos may be one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. I’m still laughing at the crazy adults running to catch airplanes falling into their garden, because their father convinced them that they were fruit dropping from the sky.”

Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.

Watch Dogtooth here. 

Dogville (2003)

Villeneuve on the movie,

“The idea of making a set without walls to show the cowardice of a community was genius.”

When a beautiful young Grace (Nicole Kidman) arrives in the isolated township of Dogville, the small community agrees to hide her from a gang of ruthless gangsters, and, in return, Grace agrees to do odd jobs for the town’s people. But as the search for her intensifies, they demand a much better deal. What they don’t know is that Grace has a dangerous secret, and their quiet little town will never be the same.

Watch Dogville here.

Brett Ratner’s Selected Films

Brett Ratner is famous for working on the Rush Hour films as well as Hercules and other big box office movies. His selected films are:

The Kid Stays In The Picture (2002)

Ratner simply calls this “one of the greatest documentaries ever made”.

Success. Scandal. Sex. Tragedy. Infamy. Robert Evans knew them all, and in this provocative and compelling documentary, he reveals how one of the greatest winning streaks in Hollywood history almost destroyed him. From his early acting days to his stellar rise as head of production at Paramount and involvement in a well-publicized cocaine sting, Evans’ meteoric career reveals the moviemaking industry during one of its most glamorous and scandal-filled periods.

If you enjoy documentaries, consider it.

Watch The Kid Stays in the Picture here.

The Pianist (2002)

Ratner on the movie,

“It will go down in history as one of the greatest Holocaust motion pictures ever made.”

The Pianist, stars Adrien Brody in the true-life story of brilliant pianist and composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman, the most acclaimed young musician of his time until his promising career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. This powerful, triumphant film follows Szpilman’s heroic and inspirational journey of survival with the unlikely help of a sympathetic German officer.

Watch The Pianist here.

Borat (2006)

Ratner calls it legitimately “one of the best comedies ever made.”

Sacha Baron Cohen brings his Kazakh journalist character Borat Sagdiyev to the big screen for the first time. Leaving his native Kazakhstan, Borat travels to America to make a documentary. As he zigzags across the nation, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences.

Watch Borat here.

Alex Gibney’s Selected Films

Alex Gibney has directed the film Taxi to the Dark Side. These are some of his selected films:

City of God (2002)

Gibney references the opening scene, featuring a chicken and a knife, as classic.

The streets of the world’s most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro’s “City of God” are a place where combat photographers fear to tread, police rarely go and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. In the midst of the oppressive crime and violence, a frail and scared young boy will grow up to discover that he can view the harsh realities of his surroundings with a different eye, the eye of an artist.

Watch City of Gold here.

Michael Clayton (2007)

Gibney makes an interesting point about what you can learn from this film,

“Great take on corruption. My favorite scene is when [George Clooney] takes care of a client who is too arrogant to know how much trouble he is in. Want to understand the 2008 financial crisis? Watch this scene.”

Clayton cleans up clients’ messes, handling anything from hit-and-runs and damaging stories in the press to shoplifting wives and crooked politicians. Though burned out and discontented in his job, Clayton is inextricably tied to the firm.

Watch Michael Clayton here.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Gibney argues that this movie can make you think about major societal issues,

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about torture. This film gets deep into the horror of it all and the imagination that’s needed to survive it.”

Following a bloody civil war, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer. Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother. But soon, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and before Ofelia can turn back, she finds herself at the center of a ferocious battle between good and evil.

Watch Pan’s Labyrinth here.

No Country for Old Men (2007)

Gibney gives it high praise,

“The ultimate post-9/11 film that has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or the politics of the Iraq war. It’s about a brutal force of terror that can’t be bargained with and can only be understood with the wisdom of a lawman philosopher.”

When a man stumbles on a bloody crime scene, a pickup truck loaded with heroin, and two million dollars in irresistible cash, his decision to take the money sets off an unstoppable chain reaction of violence. Not even west Texas law can contain it.

Watch No Country for Old Men here.

There’s a good chance you haven’t seen all these films, or even heard of them. But people who love and respect the craft of filmmaking as their own career point to these as stellar movies made since 2000. Give them a chance. You may even learn quite a bit about history or new parts of the world in the process.

Reference

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By |October 19th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too

posted from https://addicted2success.com/motivation/how-i-spent-the-last-3-years-becoming-minimalist-and-why-you-should-too/

It started after a record few years of earning more money than I could spend.

I accumulated junk and things I didn’t need.

I’d buy ten pairs of black shoes, a new shirt for every birthday party I attended and every piece of audio software that some guy I didn’t know told me to get. It got out of hand quickly. It was a time in my life where I hadn’t begun working on myself and I was pretty down a lot of the time.

Buying useless junk numbed the pain but only for a short while. The lies I’d tell myself about my bad habit were incredible. I’ve been having a serious go at becoming minimalist for the last three years. I actually started a few years prior and ended up having a few false starts.

Here’s how I became minimalist (I’d suggest doing the same if you can):

 

Start with the big stuff.

That BMW had to go. It was taking up so much of my time and money to keep on the road. It was like a screaming child, always wanting something. Unlike a child, I had no passion or drive to take care of this European piece of crap that society told me I needed to be successful.

I put the car online for sale. It was a painful process and every person that came to see it found problems with what I thought was a spotless car.

It was a negotiation tactic and it was stopping me from beginning a new life with this whole minimalist dream.

I ended up selling the car for much less than it was worth. I did the numbers and no matter what, even losing a bit of money on it still made sense. Once the car was gone, the process of becoming minimalist began.

 

You can easily forget how out of control you are.

At the start of this minimalism process I had 4 computers, 5 microphones, 2 laptops, 5 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 2 soundcards, 2 large sized wardrobes of clothes, more than 20 pairs of shoes, multiple spare car stereos, and a whole pile of CDs and DVDs that were overflowing from my draws.

As I read back the list I just wrote, I now see how out of control I was. Oh and I even had an old VCR with heaps of old cassette tapes that I kept telling myself I’d watch one day even though I hate the idea of having to fast forward through in real-time to find out what’s on the tapes. I was delusional about my junk habit, to say the least.

 

Trying to give stuff away is useless.

The delusion that is giving stuff away is why you are still not a minimalist. The key lesson I had to learn time and time again was to stop trying to give stuff away, Some of the stuff I wanted to chuck out was valuable to someone, somewhere.

The trouble is that it’s hard to find the right person, at the right time who may have the space for your item. I thought about all the time wasted giving stuff away. I thought about the effort it took to deliver my junk to people’s homes. I thought about all the space my junk took up in my life.

 

It just wasn’t worth it. If you are serious about becoming minimalist and the benefits that come with this lifestyle, you’ve got to marry the idea that you’ll need to throw things away.

 

Not used it in 12 months? Chuck it.

This question sent my minimalist quest into hyperdrive. When I looked at how much stuff I had that in some cases hadn’t been used for more than 5 years, I figured out that these were things that I should discard. We tell ourselves that one day we’ll use a particular item.

That one day never comes and these items become a burden the longer we hold onto them.

 

Support charity where you can.

You may be reading this blog post thinking “Who is this a**hole who’s so disrespectful to the environment?”

Well, you’d be wrong. I did consider the environment and people less fortunate than me. Where possible, I gave away lots of clothes, shoes and electronic items to charity. If you want to be minimalist, then I’d strongly urge you to do the same.

The cool thing is you get to clear out your junk, feel good, and help someone in need. There are just so many good reasons to become minimalist. Jump on the bandwagon!

 

Get some external motivation.

While going through the journey of becoming minimalist, I coincidently interviewed a blogger named Joshua Becker. He runs a blog called Becoming Minimalist. Joshua taught me so many awesome little hacks to clear out junk and he changed the way I was thinking about material possessions.

 

It’s not just the physical junk.

I was trying to be the next big music producer before my minimalism quest started and so I kept buying more audio gear. I somehow thought that the more gear I had, the more cool sounds I could create. The trouble was I always had to learn how to use new gear, so I never mastered one instrument or audio effect.

Meanwhile, back in France, Daft Punk would brag about how old their computer was and how they always used the same small number of instruments. No wonder they had such cool music.

“Daft Punk went for minimalism that led to mastery, while I was dabbling in being a master of everything”

 

The other point to consider is that junk is not just your material things. We also collect digital garbage now as well. I still have more than 10 TB of data to sort through. This excess storage on our computers slows our operating system down, makes it hard to find stuff and requires us to keep buying more storage.

Having lots of data also makes it difficult to back stuff up because storing things in the cloud becomes an expensive pursuit for a data hoarder.

 

Some of us like the idea of becoming minimalist but never do.

Is that you? It was certainly me. Having dreams of taking action is what’s holding you back. It may be affecting more than just your goal to get rid of junk. Don’t think about taking action: commit to it.

Here’s how:

Aim to throw away one piece of junk every week.

I did this little hack and it’s how I’ve now been able to free up space in my life for things that matter.

 

Minimalism allows for more of the good stuff.

Once I had heaps of room from clearing out my junk, I noticed my mind was less busy. One of the key pieces of junk that was very hard to throw away was my old Mac Pro computer. I kept telling myself I may need it in the future even though my current Mac laptop is more than good enough.

I’m dumbfounded at how much time I would spend every day thinking about whether I should throw out my very old 2009 Mac. Finally, I got pissed off. The thinking time wasted on this idea could be used to do other stuff. Ultimately, what convinced me to throw it away was the time I’d get back to keep blogging for all of you.

Having space in your home and mind allows you room for the stuff and ideas you actually want in your life. You feel so free when you get to this point.

 

It’s a long journey.

Keeping junk out of your life becomes the next challenge once you are free of all of your garbage. Every holiday I go on I’m tempted to collect souvenirs I’ll never look at again.

“Every trip to the shopping centre makes me feel like a gambler trying not to place a bet”

The temptation at these giant concrete shopping centres is to buy more clothes, more shoes and more things that will supposedly make you happy.

I’ve learned through minimalism that less is more and that’s what leaves me space to be happy. I can’t be happy when I’m simultaneously pissed off with all of the junk in my life.

 

Junk sucks up our time and that’s the one thing we should never waste.

Do you want to waste time thinking about and maintaining your junk or would you prefer to live a life where you have room for what personally matters to you?

Not being minimalist is costing you more than you think. It’s leading you down a path that makes other people big profits while keeping you both broke and with a mind not focused on your goals.

Get a divorce from the material world. Marry the empty space of what you love instead.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net


By |October 19th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

25 Rihanna Quotes About Self Confidence and Being True to Yourself

posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/motivationgrid/~3/Migw8nCFkBc/

Rihanna is an exceptional pop idol. Unlike many of her glamorized colleagues, Rihanna has always stuck to her authentic Barbadian roots.  Due to brand deals with companies such as Puma and her very own Fenty Beauty, she is often characterised as a successful entrepreneur, singer and fashion idol. However, this wasn’t always the case. Growing […]

The post 25 Rihanna Quotes About Self Confidence and Being True to Yourself appeared first on MotivationGrid.


By |October 19th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments
,

Would you be interested in a guest post titled

? It would cover:

  • [Key point 1]
  • [Key point 2]
  • [Key point 3]

If that’s not a good fit, would either of these suit you?

I blog at [name of your blog] and I’ve also written for [any other blogs you’ve guest posted on, if applicable].

Many thanks for your time,

[your name]

If there are specific guidelines about how to submit, make sure you follow those: for instance, if you’re asked to include links to samples of your work, do that!

Tip: Some blogs have quite detailed guest posting guidelines, and I find it helps to print those out and go through them point by point so I don’t miss anything.

Following Up on Your Guest Post Pitch

If you don’t hear back (and there’s no Out of Office reply or similar), follow up after 2 weeks. Anything sooner looks a bit pushy – remember that big bloggers will get a LOT of requests, and if you press too soon, it’s easier for them to say “no” rather than take the time to review your post.

Don’t leave it forever to follow up, though: it’s embarrassing for a host blogger if they lose your email and only find it again two months later. (I’ve had this happen not only with guest post pitches but also a magazine article submission: trust me, it’s best for you and for the editor if you follow up politely rather than assume that they didn’t want it…!)

Here’s an email you can use when following up:

Sample Follow Up Email

Dear [name],

I just wanted to check if you received my guest post pitch on [date]? I’ve copied that email below just in case it went astray.

No problem if it’s not quite right for you, or if you need some time to think about it.

Thanks very much,

[your name]

(Make sure you do include the original pitch. Don’t expect the blogger to trawl through their inbox for it… and there’s always the possibility it ended up being eaten by a spam filter.)

Guest posting is one of the best ways to boost your blog’s traffic and to build your own profile within the blogging world. Pitching can be a little scary – but once you’ve done it a few times, it does get much easier!

Have you written any guest posts yet? If you’re nervous or if you’ve got questions about finding opportunities, coming up with ideas and pitching your post, just leave a comment below.

Guest Posting Series:

Next week, we’ll be covering writing the guest post itself: making sure you’ve got an idea that’ll work for your host blog and for you, using your bio wisely, including links, and even including visuals.

So far:

7 Powerful Non-SEO Reasons to Try Guest Posting

The post Find and Pitch the Perfect Guest Posting Opportunities appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

By |July 6th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments