Great Christmas Gifts For Writers

What types of gifts would writers like? Books on writing? Writing supplies? Here are some ideas for gifts any writer would love to receive.

Writers aren’t the easiest people to live with, but they are easy to buy gifts for when Christmas, Hannukah, birthdays, or other special events arrive.

Books for Gifts

Here are some ideas to add to your writer’s library:

* Elements of Style, by Strunk and White (a must-have for any writer)
* A good thesaurus. For a real book (as opposed to a computer thesaurus), try Rodale’s The Synonym Finder.
* Market guides. Writer’s Market, Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market, Children’s Writer’s Market, etc.
* Basic books on the writing craft, including plot, character, dialogue, etc., or genre-specific, such as a rhyming dictionary or how to write fantasy/mystery/romance, etc.
* Informational books on your writer’s favorite subject: historical details, murder methods, dog show rules, or any other topic of interest.
* A writer’s journal, whether leather bound with glossy pages or a simple supply of spiral notebooks.

Magazine Subscriptions for Writers

Magazines specifically for writers, filled with how-to and inspirational articles, make great gifts. But don’t limit your subscription ideas to writing only.

* Writer’s magazines, such as Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Poets & Writers, etc.
* Genre-specific subscriptions, such as Children’s Writer, Cross & Quill, or Romance Writers Report.
* General literary magazines, such as Glimmer Train, Zoetrope, or Storyteller.
* Magazines your writer is trying to break into, such as Redbook, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Analog, Cricket, etc.

Writer’s Supplies

While they’re much more mundane, supplies are necessary and can squeeze a writer’s budget. Here are some ideas to help:

* Printer ink
* Reams of 20-lb paper
* Stamps
* Envelopes: 9 x 12, 6 x 9, and business size

Novelties

What writer can resist a mug that says, “Will write for food” or a clock that reminds her to “Keep Writing?” An internet search for “writers gifts” will load you up with possibilities, such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, wall art, pens, journals, and even teddy bears.

The Gift of Time

Time is precious, and there isn’t a writer out there who isn’t swamped with other responsibilities. Give your writer the gift of time to write.

* If he or she has young children, offer to take charge for the afternoon and send your writer to a coffee shop (too many distractions at home) to work on their novel.
* Take over daily chores for one hour a day for a week, but only if your writer will use the time to write.
* For the ultimate gift of time, send your writer to a weekend or week-long writer’s retreat, or at least to a motel for the weekend (with TV removed).

Other Dream Gifts for Writers

If you’re feeling generous and have the financial means to do so, consider these dream gift ideas for your writer:

* Tuition and/or travel expenses to a writer’s conference
* Computer or computer software upgrade
* Laser printer (very clean copy, and cheaper to run than an ink-jet printer)

Some observation or a few well-placed questions will tell you your writer’s preferences. And after all the tangible gifts have been unwrapped, don’t forget to give your writer the support and encouragement he or she needs.

Mastering the Concept of Work-Life Balance in 2022

It’s possible to have a positive personal and professional life, and still feel as if there is an imbalance between the two. What usually happens, though, is one part of your life overshadows the other, resulting in frustration and conflict that only grows until you decided to address it.

It may not be something you can achieve the first time you try it, but eventually, you will develop the balanced life that you seek. Once you’ve gotten a good grasp on the type of work-life balance that works best for you, and you know how to implement it, you’ll be able to have such a fulfilling life.

Sometimes, it’s an issue of not having your priorities straight. Other times, it’s a simple matter of poor time management skills. There may be things you need to cut from your life completely in order to deliver the stability you crave for both your personal and professional worlds.

Work-Life Balance Is More Than a Catch-Phrase

The term work-life balance seems to get thrown around an awful lot. It tends to be discussed as if it were some mythical creature – something unattainable for normal people.

However, it’s very real and very much achievable. When people start discussing the idea of having a better work-life balance, they don’t really get much farther than the idea process.

The actual steps that you need to take in order to get there never get brainstormed or implemented, and the dream remains a dream. You shouldn’t think that work-life balance is something too simple, either.

It wouldn’t be true to say that you’ll get it by just changing a few minor things. This is usually a pretty big adjustment that’s going to need many small changes and a few large ones.

However, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s unattainable. It just means that it’s going to take a lot of planning and a lot of effort. The result of all that hard work is a life where you have enough time to do the things you want to do.

Gone are the days in which you had to choose between a successful job and a happy life. Nowadays, you can be perfectly happy with your family and friends, while still maintaining a job that earns you plenty of money.

This is more easily accomplished in some jobs more than others. One of the biggest factors in that is whether or not you work online, or if you really do have to work in person for your job.

Over the course of 2020 and 2021, many workers saw just how much they could get done from their own computers, laptops and phones at home. Offices full of workers weren’t nearly as necessary as they seemed.

There are so many jobs that can be done right from the comfort of your own home, as long as you have Internet and a way to access it. These kinds of jobs are the best ones available for maintaining good work-life balance.

Obviously, there are certain jobs that can’t be run from the Internet. There are things like owning your own restaurant or owning a factory that can’t be recreated digitally, so naturally those will be more difficult.

However, you might be surprised at just how many jobs can be altered to be fully done online. Take personal training, for example. Typically, these trainers work with individuals at gyms to give them advice and exercise routines.

This would seem impossible to do online, and yet it’s done online very frequently. Trainers either sell access to online videos detailing exact information, or they video chat with their clients live to talk them through the workout.

The vast majority of office jobs can be done online. Things like handling clients and managing files can be done digitally fairly easily, as everyone learned during the 2020 lockdowns.

Work continued for many people despite not having offices open. Working at home is so important for achieving work-life balance because it allows you to typically have more flexible hours – plus it cuts the commute.

If you don’t need to be directly communicating with people, and just need to get the work done, that can be done at any time of day. With more flexible hours and not having to be anywhere at a certain time, you’re free to work more at night when an office would normally be closed and enjoy personal time during the day with your friends and family.

Think of all the opportunities available to you online and on your own schedule. Instead of having to wake up early and drive out to some office to try to find parking and working until you went home, it could be so peaceful.

You could wake up whenever it felt right, have some breakfast and relax a bit, get some work done, and relax a little more after that. You’d be able to get your work done at your own pace, and never have to stress about anything that a typical job structure brings.

Once you start working on your own time and making your own schedule, you won’t settle for anything less ever again. You won’t let someone tell you that you’ll have to spend all day in one spot working away.

Having flexibility in your schedule is like having a car for the first time, when you’re allowed to go wherever you want to. It’s freeing not having to rely on someone else to tell you where to go and when.

By taking steps to open up your schedule, you’re making genuine progress towards having true real work-life balance. It won’t just be a concept anymore, but rather a real thing that improves your life.

Being Your Own Boss Is No Longer an Unachievable Dream

Decades ago, it might have been a bit hopeful to think about starting your own business and becoming your own boss. While it wasn’t impossible, it was just very unlikely since you needed so many resources to start one, and many people didn’t have that.

Nowadays, it’s so much easier to start your own business, both online and offline. However, there’s still a bit of a stigma around it, and many people either don’t take it seriously or don’t think it’s feasible.

They should, though. The old days of having to know someone specific or having to go into a ton of debt to start your own business are over. This is especially true with online businesses, but in person ones are still easier than they used to be.

One of the reasons so many people have become interested in becoming entrepreneurs has been the events of 2020 and 2021. When lockdowns began and businesses started to close, employees drew the short straw.

Employees were not cared for, not helped, or anything. They were told they couldn’t work, and to go apply for unemployment. This made it clear that most employers don’t care about their employees in the slightest – they have to look out for themselves.

If you were at the mercy of an employer when the lockdowns began, you were likely given nothing much when your business closed. These massive corporations didn’t want to waste money supporting their employees of decades.

However, those that worked on their own, particularly in online business, were able to remain operational and employed. For many, this was life-saving. Being able to maintain a steady income when so many were on unemployment is a big deal.

Obviously, being properly taken care of is a great benefit of being your own boss, but the benefits don’t stop there. Another major benefit is deciding your own schedule, which is particularly important to achieving work-life balance.

When you’re your own boss, you get to choose exactly what to do, when to do it, and how it should be done. It does depend a bit on the job you take, but many jobs just require a project to be done by a certain deadline along with various daily tasks.

In cases like this, you could have as many days off as you wanted as long as you got the main projects done and tended to the smaller daily requirements. If you did work in advance and got everything completed that you needed for the next day, you could take the next day off.

You don’t have to run it by your boss and hope it gets approved, and you don’t have to submit a request for the time off weeks in advance. You simply decide that you’ve worked enough and move along with your time.

One of the advantages you have when it comes to starting businesses now as compared to decades ago is the amount of resources available to you. Years ago, you wouldn’t be able to find information on exactly what to do and what not to do.

Now, however, it’s a different story. You can find so much information online from other entrepreneurs that have made mistakes before, and learn so much about what not to do or what they wish they would’ve done sooner.

You can connect with other entrepreneurs, even in the same field. You can share experiences and difficulties and get advice from them on how to proceed if you’re not entirely sure.

Connecting with other entrepreneurs can be as formal as buying a course from them and learning how to do what they do, or it can be as casual as adding them as a friend on Facebook and talking about bad customer experiences.

These are tools that you simply wouldn’t have been able to access before the Internet and social media came to rise. You would’ve been stuck with whomever was local to you, and hope they’d be willing to talk about it.

Another huge benefit of being an entrepreneur is the lack of an income ceiling. With most jobs, you look at them and one of the first things you judge them on is their salary. Whether it be an hourly job or an annual salary, the money matters.

With any job salary, there’s the average, the minimum, and the maximum. If you took on a job with an average salary of $40,000 and a maximum salary of $80,000 you would have a pretty good job, but you’d never be able to make it to six figures.

Being your own boss, you make as much as you strategize your business to make. While this can be scary initially, when you’re still getting your footing, it means in the long run there’s no limit to what you can do.

If your business takes off, you could easily end up earning a seven digit salary. That would almost never happen in a standard job, no matter how hard you worked and how much you wanted it.

It’s also nice just to be able to do such a variety of things in your own business. If you hate having to be so formal with clients at your job, you don’t have to run things that way at your own business.

You can do things exactly as you want to and nobody is going to stop you from doing it. You might have to adjust the way you operate to maximize your own profits, but you might think it’s worth it to work a certain way even if it means a bit of profit loss.

What Are Your Current Pain Points in Life?

In order for you to make the changes you need to help yourself have a healthier and more fulfilling life, you need to be able to clearly identify what things you want to be different in your life right now.

Everyone has something that they’re unhappy with in their lives. Whether it be something at work or something at home, there’s a good chance that something needs to be changed.

Just because you’re unhappy with one aspect of your life doesn’t mean you aren’t generally happy. People will be quick to dismiss minor sources of unhappiness if they’re otherwise fine.

Don’t be afraid to look at your life a bit more critically. It doesn’t mean that you’re not grateful for what you do have, it just means that you want the best possible life for yourself and for those around you.

There are many common physical problems that people have in their lives that are partly caused by a poor work-life balance. Exhaustion and poor physical health are frequent results of excess work.

If you’re constantly having to eat fast food and get little sleep due to your work conditions, you’ll quickly develop physical health problems due to a lack of proper nutrition and a lack of ample rest.

Don’t be so quick to dismiss mental issues, either. Things like stress, depression, and anxiety are more frequent than you might expect, and are another side effect of a poor work-life balance.

While mental health holds its own great deal of importance, it can also directly affect your physical health. Mental issues create hormone imbalances, which can cause many different physical problems.

Often times, jobs and the conditions in which they put workers don’t allow you to take good enough care of your physical and mental health. They tend to see workers as disposable, and don’t really respect you.

Becoming an entrepreneur is a great step towards being able to take care of yourself more. Without a boss that tries to ignore your issues, you’ll be more free to take care of them as they arise.

Another issue in many people’s lives is time. There’s never enough hours in the day for most people, and they’re constantly trying to juggle time with friends and family along with long hours they spend at work.

Typically, people aren’t happy with the amount of time they spend at work. You might not get enough time to yourself or spend enough time with your family. Things like spending time with your kids is crucial, but most jobs don’t care.

Be honest about where you’d like to have more time in your life. Even if it’s not totally feasible in the moment, think about what parts you’d like to have more time for. This lets you know what’s important to you, and you can sort the details out later.

One issue that’s often seen at any job you look at is a lack of enjoyment. While work isn’t always meant to be fun, it should at least be stimulating somehow. It might be difficult and still interesting, but never boring.

You can ask just about anyone you know if they like their job and their answers will be mediocre at best. They’ll probably tell you that it’s not too bad, or that they get decent benefits from it.

But the day to day work is never enjoyed by most people. This is because most jobs are borderline busy work, or they tend to have employers that don’t respect their employees.

You might need to find a job where you can really feel fulfilled, like you’re doing something that not only makes a difference, but is also interesting and keeps you occupied.

In many cases, this might require you to go on and become an entrepreneur. If you wanted to do something your way and on your time, becoming an entrepreneur is much easier than dealing with an array of bosses who might not give you the tasks you want.

Figuring out these pain points in your life is an important part of the healing process. You might think it’s better to ignore them, and in some cases, that might be easier. But easier is not always better.

Identifying exactly what you’re unhappy with, both the obvious and the subtle, is crucial to being able to make the right changes happen. Be honest with yourself and don’t worry about it seeming selfish or self-centered.

If you want to have more time to yourself, but the rest of your life is going pretty well, be honest about it. There’s no reason to deny yourself one thing just because the others are doing alright.

You won’t have to fully sacrifice other things in your life to spend a little bit more time on another. In some cases, sacrificing time in other areas might be what you need and want, but if you don’t want to, you won’t have to.

Make a Plan for What You Want 2022 and Beyond to Be Like

Once you know what you don’t like about your life, it’s time to envision what you’d like it to look like instead. Just identifying the problems isn’t enough. You need to think about what the alternative looks like and how it all fits together.

First start with the basics of deciding what you’d ideally like to change about the sore spots in your life. This can be as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be, but just come up with the way you’d prefer your life to look.

For example, if you weren’t getting enough sleep at night because you kept staying up late to watch Netflix, it would be as simple as you committing to getting a full 8 hours of rest each night. Simple situations require simple changes, so don’t overcomplicate things.

You might, however, consider how these changes would improve your life. Don’t just imagine getting enough sleep, imagine not being exhausted and relying on coffee when you wake up. Imagine having more energy throughout the day.

You’ll need to be working with specific goals in mind, not just the general ones. It’s okay to start with general goals like wanting more personal time, but you’ll have to get more specific as you make your plans.

Go from wanting more personal time to something like wanting enough time to yourself to learn the guitar while also devoting more time to your kids, especially on the weekends.

Making these really specific goals, as specific as you can get them, makes your work easier moving forward. One way to envision it is like trying to get somewhere based on general or specific directions.

If someone told you the place you were driving to is north of you, you might have a few roads in mind that could get you in that direction, but no knowledge of how to get to that exact spot.

With more specific directions, you’ll know what roads and turns to take, and how to get to an exact spot. Otherwise, you’ll be a bit lost once you get started, and you might end up giving up before you get there.

When you don’t have some solid direction on where you should be going and what you should be doing, all you can do is react to things as they come to you, which never works out well in the long run.

Consider things like the amount of hours you’d like to work and the amount of money you’d like to earn. Obviously it can’t be too unreasonable, like working for an hour and earning a million dollars, but don’t be afraid to dream a little.

Something like working 4-5 hours a day and earning six figures would be fantastic, and it’s not unheard of. It’s certainly more appealing than working 8 or more hours per day and earning a lower salary.

Don’t throw out goals that you want just because you don’t think they’ll be achievable. It might not be easy, but these types of dreams are far from impossible. By ignoring what you really want, you’ll never have even the slightest chance of getting it.

It’s good to have both realistic and slightly unrealistic goals, as they both have their own distinct advantages. Realistic goals are nice because they give you a better starting place, and act almost as progress markers as you achieve them.

It feels good to hit goals that you set, because it means you’re moving in the right direction. However, if all your goals are too easy and you hit them all, it means you’re not dreaming big enough.

By setting some more unlikely goals, you’ll have something to work towards long term. There’s a chance you won’t reach them, but they’ll always be there to continue driving you forward and to get you to continue progressing.

When you’re coming up with long term goals, imagine it as your ideal life in which you have no problems at all. You’ll encounter roadblocks on your way there, but don’t try to come up with problems you’ll face forever if they’re not there.

This is common when people are pessimistic about their lives. They think that they’ll always likely be working too much, and factor that into the picture of their lives they have in their head.

Instead of that, imagine that you’ll be working just as much as you’d like and not a bit more. With the rest of that time, you could be relaxing or spending time with family or doing whatever you’d like.

Remember that these plans you’re making are for what you want your life to look like, rather than a prediction of what you assume it’ll be like. Assumptions are often wrong, and can become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Once you have all of these goals and your ideal life outlined, you can start drawing connections from where you are now to where you want to be, and figure out how to get there.

Remember that these goals and ideals might shift over time as your life and your priorities change. You might make more space in your goals to spend time with your kids once you have them, and so on.

Learn and Implement Better Time Management Skills

One skill you’re going to have to learn in order to have a good work-life balance is time management. Very few people are good at it, and most people don’t realize just how much it can change their lives to learn it.

Time management involves many different aspects, from saving time doing certain menial tasks to having a well-organized schedule. Mastering it can be hard, but there are plenty of skills that you can pick up on to help you early.

First, get a detailed outline of your day as it is currently. Log what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, so that you have an idea of what your day looks like in regard to how you allocate your time.

Don’t change the way you go through your day just to look better on paper – just act totally natural. The whole point of detailing your schedule is to see where you’re going wrong already, so you don’t want to make any quick adjustments beforehand.

Once you’re looking at it, your schedule probably has a lot of things in it that either shouldn’t be there or should be much shorter. This is a great first step to identify where you could get more time in your day.

Start by getting rid of the unnecessary things first. Extra work that your coworkers, business partners or colleagues have put on you, random side projects, and other distractions should be cut out first, just until you have the rest of your time in order.

Keep in mind that necessary things aren’t just work related tasks. Sometimes, for your own health and relaxation, things like a bit of entertainment is necessary. Watching a little bit of TV at night isn’t going to ruin your schedule.

If it’s a massive distraction like watching TV for many hours a day, then it’s unnecessary and should be cut down. Just don’t cut things out that you enjoy as long as you’re not spending too much time on them. After all, the goal is to have a better work-life balance.

Try and come up with ways that you can save time in your day, and test it to make sure it works well. For example, one place people tend to waste a lot of time at is the grocery store.

Meandering through the aisles looking at everything can take up a bunch of time, as can waiting in line to checkout. Instead, consider using curbside pickup, a feature most major grocery stores have implemented.

Just drive up at the designated time and have a worker load up your groceries. You pay and stock your cart online, and they prepare your order for you in advance. This can save a ton of time, but make sure it works for you and your schedule.

Try to find ways to save time both in your personal life and at work. There’s certainly places you could improve on when it comes to both, so look at them equally. You can reallocate the time you save with both later on.

At work, you might struggle in the morning to find a good parking spot and drive around in circles looking for a good one. By leaving a little earlier or just taking the first one you find, you can save a decent bit of time.

Little things like this can add up to become big deals. Just saving an hour a day on little tasks adds up to 365 hours per year, which is roughly 15 days of saved time. Not every change has to be drastic to make an impact.

Of course, big changes are worth looking at as well. Things like adjusting your work hours can be major changes in your schedule, allowing you to use that saved time in your work-life schedule.

One of the mistakes many people make when learning time management is that they try to cram a bunch of different things into their schedules because they consider time management to equal doing more things.

This isn’t the case for everyone, though. Sometimes time management means doing more stuff, but other times it might mean doing less and having more room to breathe. Just giving your schedule more wiggle room can be a great work-life adjustment.

Don’t expect to find one single time management system that will solve all of your problems. There are so many different ways of handling time that it can be confusing, but really it just means you have various options.

You shouldn’t be afraid of considering major life changes for the sake of time management, as well. With certain things like jobs, there’s not much wiggle room that you can get if your boss doesn’t allow it.

Something like becoming an entrepreneur is a major task, but it also allows more time and more freedom. Big changes like this might have to be an essential part of your time management plan if your boss isn’t giving you enough room.

Don’t forget that figuring out a way to save time isn’t the end of the story. You actually have to move forward with that and implement it into your life, and from there, reallocate that saved time to something else.

It’s an easy trap to fall into, because you might try something out that saves you time, but you don’t like the change because it’s something different. Instead of going back to your old way, move along and stick with it as a change.

Be an Advocate for Your 2022 Financial Goals

Money is a crucial part of life, for better or for worse. The better off you are financially, the more you can support yourself and your family, and the less you’ll have to stress about working too much.

In order to be able to maintain a better work-life balance, you need to be very strict about how others deal with you financially. You can’t get pushed around or paid less than you ought to be, otherwise you’ll get stuck in a rut.

Knowing your own worth is incredibly valuable. Naturally, employers will try and undervalue you at any chance they get, so that they can keep more money for themselves and keep costs down.

If you know your exact worth and don’t accept anything less than what you’re owed, you’ll be much better off financially. You’ll get something closer to the salary you want and you’ll be able to relax a bit more.

Many people are scared of negotiating their salaries, because they don’t want to come off as ungrateful or overly needy. They should, though, because typically when you’re offered a salary, you’re being lowballed.

Quality work from quality workers is in high demand. If you do your job well, you could easily be earning more than you currently are, just on the grounds that you’re not putting in such partial work as so many others are.

It can be intimidating, but if your boss isn’t willing to pay you what you deserve to be paid, you should consider moving jobs somewhere else. Knowing your worth also means acting when someone disregards you.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should approach the situation hastily, either. Getting the right salary isn’t as simple as running into your boss’s office and demanding a certain number, and hoping they say yes.

It’s more like a strategic game. You have to catch your boss in the right move, establish a solid rapport with them, and demonstrate the value you provide to the company and how it cannot be so easily replaced.

Then, you’ll be able to get more of what you want out of your job. It might just be a higher salary, and it might also be greater benefits, or the same pay for less work. Any way you cut it, you need to get it to be better.

The situation faced by entrepreneurs in standing up for themselves financially is a bit different. With no boss to go to that controls your salary, entrepreneurs have to find their own ways around taking no nonsense with their finances.

There are plenty of different situations that you could run into as an entrepreneur that can affect your finances pretty heavily. One of the most common ones you’ll find is when you undervalue your services.

This is a lot more common with new entrepreneurs. You might have reservations about how much you should charge when you’re first starting out, especially if you’re not sure your services are as good as the competition.

Charge the same as your competitors, if they’re getting business. If you’re trying to undercut them, you can do that to an extent as long as you don’t go too low. Pricing your services at too low of a cost is a bad idea.

For one, it attracts somewhat worse clientele. For example, if you ran a lawn service company, you’re probably going to have worse experiences with the owners that want to pay $20 an hour rather than those willing to pay $50 or more.

It also labels your company as the budget option. You might be just as good as anyone else in your field, but if you’re charging half the cost, customers are going to think you’re half as good. Charge full price and become known for your quality of work.

When you start really pushing hard on getting higher pay, you’re going to see resistance, and that’s natural. Don’t get dissuaded by that, though. If you keep on going, eventually the other side is going to fold.

This goes for both entrepreneurs and normal workers. With entrepreneurs, you’re going to see clients turn you away if you don’t haggle down your price, but you have to be okay with that.

If you let people move you around on the price, they’ll all figure it out pretty quick, and your price will end up getting lowered for everyone. Stand firm on it and usually the customers will fold, and a few will leave.

For normal workers, the bulk of the resistance comes from the employer. Employers are constantly trying to keep costs down to a minimum, so that a majority of the money gets put into their pockets along with others.

Most employers will attempt to intimidate you out of pushing for a higher wage, but they don’t normally expect you to stand firm on it. If you don’t show fear and keep pushing for what you know you deserve, they’ll be more apt to consider it.

You have to be willing to take these risks for the sake of your own finances. You can’t resign yourself to a poor money situation in which you’re always worrying about how much work you have to do.

Find Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit Regularly

Many people stifle their creativity because they believe that it’s not conducive to better and more efficient work. Some people want everything to just be straightforward and operate by the book.

Others tend to believe that they’re not very creative at all, and just do things how they’re told to, following instructions to a T. Operating like this isn’t going to get you very far in life, both in regards to work and in your personal life.

When it comes to work, taking chances and risks is important, and doing things creatively helps to distinguish you from your peers. If you blend in with the crowd, nobody will care much about you.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a regular employee, setting yourself apart is very important to the success of your career. You can have a decent enough career staying blended in with everyone else, but never a fantastic one.

When you do something creative or inventive with your work that gets customers and competitors to turn their heads, you’re going to see much better results. People get tired of seeing the same thing all the time.

In this case, being creative isn’t for the fun of it necessarily, but rather it’s to be the best you can be at your job. There are many different ways that creativity can help you at work besides just standing out from the crowd.

For example, you might try something nobody else tried before that makes a certain process much faster and easier. This allows you to have more time and not worry about that particular task.

Being more prone to creativity helps a great deal when any problem arises at work. If you’re only used to following things by the book, you won’t know what to do when a brand new problem shows up.

If you’re used to being creative, though, you’ll be able to come up with a way around it or a way to solve it. That kind of skill is invaluable for both entrepreneurs and normal workers.

When it comes to being creative at work, you don’t need to take risks that are too crazy, but you should practice taking some minor ones and try changing things up from time to time.

This is because creativity is like a muscle, and you must exercise it if you want it to get stronger and be more effective. If you don’t use it for long periods of time, you will end up losing it.

You job isn’t the only place in which you should be practicing creativity, though. Your personal life should be a source of as well as a place to practice creativity. Whether it be through hobbies or anything else, it’s important to be creative at home.

The reasons you’ll have to be creative at home are different from those you’d have for being creative at work. It’s not for efficiency or to stand out or anything, but rather just to relax and unwind.

Hobbies that involve some creativity are often stress relieving. Things like arts and crafts and other such creative endeavors tend to be relaxing for those that enjoy them, and they’re generally just fun hobbies to have.

Stress relief via hobbies is important because it gives you some time to yourself, which everyone needs, and stress relief in general is something very important to your physical and mental health.

When you’re too stressed out, your body releases certain hormones such as cortisol, which have various negative effects. It increases your chance of things like heart disease and stroke, and it just feels awful mentally.

Keep in mind that being stressed every now and again is normal and fine, but being stressed out constantly is what puts you at high risk for a variety of physical health complications.

When you do things like paint or do a little wood working or whatever creative hobby you’d like, you tend to get your mind off of stressful things in your life and give yourself a chance to relax.

Having a hobby is a great way to even out your work-life balance a bit, as well. Being too focused on work isn’t healthy, even if you’re not stressed out, so having a creative hobby lets you focus more on your life outside of work.

Being creative at home in a situation in which there are no risks can also help you practice to be creative later on at work. By trying to think differently, you’ll get used to it in a controlled environment so that you don’t have to risk too much in your job.

You should practice this type of thing regularly, but find a schedule that works well for you. It might be daily, it might be weekly, but whenever it is, you should stick with it. Try not to spread it out too much, though, as you’ll lose the progress you make each time.

If you want to practice being creative, you might also try different hobbies each time, or alternate between a few different ones. This will prevent things from getting stale, and it’ll keep you on your toes.

Take Time to Nurture Your Mental Health

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is ignoring your own mental health. Many people, particularly those from older generations, seem to ignore mental health, writing it off as nonsense.

However, there’s plenty of proof that it’s very real and needs to be taken care of. As much as you can try to tough things out, eventually you’ll reach a breaking point. And if you don’t, you’re going to be stuck being miserable instead.

There are many different facets to mental health, many different ways it can affect you, and many different things you can do to take care of yourself. By taking the right steps, you’re going to feel much happier and be glad you took care of it.

First, it’s important to know why mental health is important and what good mental health can help you with. Mental health involves things like your mood, stress levels, confidence, and many other things.

While it may seem to be mostly thought-related, much of your mental health directly affects you physically. As much as you might try to just think positively, sometimes that’s just not possible.

Having good mental health can help you respond to stressful situations easier. If you’re not so stressed out by other things, when something stressful arises, you’ll be more available to handle it.

If you had a ton of different things going on that were stressing you out, though, you’d have a much harder time organizing your thoughts and responding to it in a rational manner.

One of the easiest things you can do for your mental health is get rid of unnecessary roots of negative feelings. These are essentially anything in your life that causes you unnecessary stress, anger, or pain.

An example of an unnecessary stress might be a toxic relationship with your significant other. If breaking up with them will remove a ton of stress from your life, then that would probably be the right move for your own good.

Sources of stress or anger might not be things so easily dismissed, though. Things like poor health habits are a common source of sadness, when people start to get stressed out about things like weight gain.

While it does take time, things like that can still be fixed. Taking the steps to fix things like that in your life will improve it greatly. Don’t worry about how long it’ll take, because as you make little bits of progress, you’ll become happier.

Dealing with your mental health, especially if you come to realize that it’s not in a very good state, is a very difficult task. You should focus on going slow with it so that you don’t make more mistakes along the way.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s always going to be something that you can handle on your own. In some cases that might be possible, but there will be times when you’ll need the help of someone else.

That someone else might be a friend, a family member, a coworker, or even a stranger. Regardless of who it is, don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you know you’re going to need them.

For many, counseling and therapy are good options to try. There’s still a bit of a stigma around it for some people, but that stigma is unfounded and mindless. The reality is that even if you don’t have some crazy trauma, these people are great to talk to.

Some workplaces offer discounts or otherwise include free counseling or therapy with the job, or you might seek one out on your own. It’s much easier than you might expect, as they tend to be very comforting.

If you’re so inclined, they even have online counseling now. Instead of going to their office in person, you can video chat with them live from the comfort of your own home, allowing you to be even more comfortable.

The worst thing you can do for mental health issues is ignore them. They’re not going to just get better behind the scenes, and realistically, they’ll get much worse. Over time they’ll build up until you crack.

Even if you’re not focused on them, mental problems will be present subconsciously, meaning that they’ll be on your mind whether you’re thinking about them actively or not. This is why you can’t just ignore them.

Naturally solving the problems in your life is a method to helping your mental health, but there are other things you can do to help improve it as well while you’re working on those solutions.

Things like going outside more often and eating more healthily and exercising more have all been shown to increase your body’s output of hormones that make you happy. It might not be a permanent solution, but it helps.

Make it a priority to spend at least one day a week evaluating your own mental health, and perhaps even tracking it to see how you’re progressing. Depending on the direction it’s going, you might need to do more or less to help yourself.

Find Ways to Bring Personal Enjoyment to Your Work Surroundings

Whether you work in a cubicle, and office, or anywhere else, chances are high that your area of work looks pretty sad. Most people’s workspaces have pretty neutral colors, little to no decoration, and generally look like they’re made to depress.

If you’re spending 8 or more hours a day in that one spot, you had better make sure it’s a comfortable 8 hours. If it’s not enjoyable to sit there, you’re going to really despise it in the long term.

One thing that might help, especially if you work a computer or work at a job that requires a lot of sitting is ergonomic furniture. Most places are fine with you bringing in things like your own chair and own computer accessories, and you should utilize that.

Most standard office chairs are pretty uncomfortable. Find one that supports you best, whether you need better arm rests or more lumbar support. Sitting for extended periods of time already isn’t fun, you don’t need it to be uncomfortable too.

Any standard keyboard and mouse isn’t built for comfort, but rather they’re built for low costs. If you’re allowed, replace the keyboard and mouse at your desk with more comfortable options.

Many ergonomic keyboards can be found, with things like wrist padding or more angled keys to help make typing all day more comfortable. The same applies to your mouse. Getting one with a bit more wrist support can make clicking around all day comfortable.

Without a good keyboard and mouse, you’re going to put unneeded strain on your wrists, joints, and tendons, which may end up leading to things like carpal tunnel, causing a good amount of pain.

You’d be surprised at how much a change in air quality can affect you, as well. You might not notice if you’re in the same office every single day, but that air you’re constantly breathing might be dirty or otherwise unpleasant.

First, you can get an air purifier for your space. Utilizing HEPA filters allows you to know you’re getting clean air around you. It removes things like bacteria and viruses from the air as well, which can prevent you from getting sick.

Some air purifiers include things like indicators telling you how clean or dirty the air is so that you have a good idea of how well it’s working. Others have things like spaces for scents that it’ll put back into the air, giving your place a nice smell.

Speaking of scents, aromatherapy is another great option for an office space. Aromatherapy devices are often small enough to fit on a desktop without taking up too much room, and they bring a lot of benefits.

Most people use these devices in conjunction with things like essential oils or other scents in order to achieve some desired effect. While some people don’t get much of an effect from it, others swear by them.

Certain scents are used for different things, like lavender being used for stress and peppermint for energy. They’re not too expensive, and even if it doesn’t boost your energy, it still smells nice.

One often overlooked option is some décor. If you’re going to have the same office for years to come, it’s worth it to invest a bit of money in sprucing up the area so that it’s a comfortable space for you to be in.

Whether it be pictures or a certain type of lamp or anything else, some nice décor and furniture that makes you feel at home is crucial to an office space. A standard sterile looking area isn’t very fun to be in.

Consider having some real plants on or around your desk. It can be something small like a little succulent or cactus, or something a bit larger. Either way, having some greenery around is an easy way to boost your mood.

Making your area comfortable doesn’t just have to be physical things, either. If you have your own office, playing some music on a lower volume can be a great way to feel relaxed.

Certain genres of music such as classical have been shown to reduce stress, but really you can play whatever you’d like as long as it’s work appropriate. In some people it might be a little distracting, but in others, it can help them focus.

Making an area feel as if it’s yours and making it feel comfortable to you is important for so many different reasons. For example, it makes it feel like you’re somewhere that you actually belong.

If you’re not used to being in sterile feeling places, then a sterile office space will feel foreign to you, almost as if you’re in someone else’s space instead of your own hard-earned area.

Additionally, it can be a signal to others about your personality and what kind of a person you are. You might have something on your desk as décor that a coworker also likes, which could strike up a conversation.

Most importantly, though, it makes you comfortable. Even though it’s common, spending all day long in an uncomfortable space is a hard thing to do. Over time, it’ll make you start to really dislike your job.

Delegate and Outsource to Allow Yourself Some Down Time

Some people make the mistake of not giving themselves enough down time. Whether it be because they think it’s better to work or that doing nothing is lazy, they just always have to be doing something.

The problem with this is, most of the time that creates a very stressful life. Even when you’re spending some of that time doing things that you enjoy, you can’t just be doing things constantly.

In order to free up some time for you to take for yourself, you need to be able to learn how to delegate tasks and outsource for your work. These skills will free up time that you can take to relax a bit.

Delegation of tasks is something that can be used effectively both at home and at work. At home, it might be things like delegating chores around so that everyone is pulling their fair share.

You might be living with roommates and be the only one cleaning anything. In that case, split up some of the cleaning with them so that you’re not wasting as much time on that. They should be fine with doing a little bit extra to help out.

The same can be said for things like getting your kids to help out with things like dishes or taking the trash out. If you’re busy with other, more important things, they can take some time out to do easy but helpful tasks.

You might even have people to delegate certain errands to. Things like grocery shopping can take up a lot of time, between the walking around and the lines for checkout. Having someone else do this is a great time saver.

At work, delegation tends to be a bit more official. If you need to do three things by the end of the day, but you only have time for two, you might tell someone working under you or a coworker to help you do the third.

The only problem with delegation at work is that you usually have to either be in a position of power or be well liked for people to agree to help you. Otherwise, they can just blow you off and go about their own days.

If you can get them to go along with it, though, you might end up finishing work sooner and be able to spend a bit of time relaxing. Even if you could do all three things in the day, you might still want to delegate just to be less stressed.

Delegation and outsourcing are fairly similar, but there tends to be one key difference between the two – payment. Delegation is typically done because you’re spreading out the workload among multiple people, but outsourcing is a paid job.

You can find people to outsource to for all kinds of work. No matter what job you do, if you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, there’s always going to be someone willing to do one of your work related tasks at a fee.

For example, you might have to set up a bunch of spreadsheets with a given data set at your job. Fiddling with Excel can take a lot of time, and you might not feel like it. Fortunately, you can outsource that to someone else at a low cost.

If you’re not an entrepreneur, you might want to check and see if your place of employment has any rules against outsourcing. Typically it’s a common practice and they shouldn’t have any problems with it, but just make sure.

Outsourcing is great because even though it costs some money, everyone ends up positive in the outcome. Your boss or customers get the work they needed, so they don’t care, the person you’re outsourcing too gets paid, and you get to relax.

Outsourcing doesn’t just have to be for work-related tasks. There are certain things that you might consider doing just to save the time, even if it costs a little bit more money. Lawn care is a great example.

While you could buy a lawnmower and keep your lawn maintained yourself, it can take up quite a bit of time, especially if you factor in the maintenance of the equipment. Hiring a lawn care company might cost a bit more over time, but it’s worth it.

The same can be said about things that need repairing. Lots of guys like trying to repair things on their own, or do stuff like their own oil changes. While they might have the know-how and the skill, it’s not time efficient.

Fixing something like your air conditioner might take hours and hours of work out of your day off, or you could call someone out to take a look at it and fix whatever problem you might have.

It does cost more money, but that’s where you have to start weighing the pros and cons of reclaiming your time. Plenty of people are willing to foot that cost if it means they just get to relax and take some time off from their busy schedule.

Don’t be so hesitant to outsource and delegate some of the stuff on your plate. There are people who do nothing but that, so if you have to do a little bit to make some room for yourself, that’s alright.

If you’re trying to delegate everything such that you don’t have any work to do, that’s not a good idea. You’re trying to achieve a good work-life balance, and for things to be balanced, you do need to be doing some work.

Heading into the 2022 year, you want to make sure you’re striving for a balanced life that allows you to contribute to the building of your business endeavors, while simultaneously enjoying your personal life without apology.

A little planning goes a long way in making that happen. You’ll need to test and tweak your plans from time to time until you get it just right, but along the way, you’ll notice improvements that cater to your desire to have increased personal satisfaction.

Whatever you do, make a plan and put it into action. Sitting on the sidelines as other enjoy their best lives will only bring you feelings of hurt and frustration, and you can avoid that if you’re willing to do the work.

10 Things To Consider When Moving

This post is sponsored by Mt. Zion Moving and Storage, a moving company serving the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Bradenton and surrounding areas in Florida. Though I have been paid to write this post, all opinions below are my own.

I have written a lot about moving in this last year. Though my move was completed in January 2021, I still have so many thoughts about how the experience went. What went right, what went horribly wrong, and everything in between.

Aside from the emotions that surround a move, there were a lot of logistics that went into play that I honestly just didn’t think about when it came time to leave everything I knew for a completely new place…

With that in mind, here are 10 things to consider when moving. I hope they help you if you have a pending move and/or if you are thinking about moving.

Relocating? Then, you need this post! This post features 10 things to consider when moving that you might not have thought of.

1. You need more time than you think you do to prepare

We decided in January 2020 of last year that we were going to move. Though we didn’t find a place until December, we still were not ready to move. We still had a lot to declutter, so much packing to do, and a lot of logistics to work out.

2. Movers are critical – especially for the big things!

Before our move, we purchased our dining room and living room sets from my father in law because he too was moving up north and didn’t want to take those pieces with him. Now, those pieces are HUGE! We needed a mover to handle it because let me tell you – no amount of free pizza and beer would convince our friends to help us lift that crap. Especially in the middle of a pandemic.

Now, I’ve said before and will say again, we screwed up big time with who we chose to help us move our stuff in Florida – but we’ll get to that in a moment.

If we had chosen professions like the people at Mt. Zion Moving and Storage, we would have had a much better experience I’m sure. Not only are they the go-to Tampa hot tub moving company because they can handle the heavy lifting, but they have amazing reviews on both Google and Facebook.

3. Your movers matter

Don’t choose someone on price alone, and don’t feel like you can only choose from a recommended list from Uhaul. So – we had decided early on that we were going to drive our stuff ourselves from Tampa, Fla. to Richmond, Ky. That meant hiring a Uhaul. But, because we knew we needed movers to actually get the stuff onto the truck – that’s where hiring movers came into play.

We made two critical mistakes – choosing based on price, and only choosing from the list Uhaul provided. The Uhaul website only shows reviews of the company that people have left on their website. It doesn’t show Google or Facebook reviews. A little more research would have revealed to us that the people we chose were NOT the best choice. Oy! Hindsight is 20-20….

And, choosing based on price alone meant we weren’t guaranteeing quality work – and they nickeled and dimed us. But that is for another article.

Bottom line – do your research before choosing a mover!

Photo courtesy of MT. Zion Moving & Storage

Related: Learn more about Mt. Zion Moving and Storage LLC to see if they are the right movers for your family’s moving needs.

4. Start decluttering ASAP

Like I said, the time of the move crept up on us faster than expected. So, I recommend if you are even considering moving, you start selling stuff, throwing away, giving away, and downsizing everything possible as soon as you can. Otherwise, you will end up like us and give things away for free, and dropping off way more than you wanted to at the dump!

5. Make a bucket list for the place you are leaving

Okay, this one might seem silly, but there are lots of things I wanted to do before leaving Tampa that I didn’t do before we left. I wish we had thought it through a little more. In my case, many of the things I wanted to do before leaving were actually not possible because we got ready to leave during the pandemic. But still! I wish we could have done some of it differently. In truth, I’m writing a Tampa bucket list now so that we can visit on vacation someday and get some closure.

6. Get more boxes than you think you need

Just trust me on this one. And, get them all the same size. That is one thing we did do that we were actually grateful for because it at least made things slightly easier when packing the truck.

7. Wrap EVERYTHING

Don’t take chances. We got blankets to wrap our furniture and were talked out of wrapping it. BIG MISTAKE! There are scratches all over my furniture because we were told that it wasn’t that serious. If your stuff matters – oh yes it is that serious! Wrap stuff even if you feel like it’s overkill!

8. Don’t make your boxes too heavy

This one might seem silly too – especially if you have movers, but when you have to carry something even 5 feet, you will be glad you didn’t overload it. OY!

9. Make a plan for departure

Before you leave, plan out everything from the foods in your fridge you will consume before departure to where you have to go to drop off the cable box. The more planning – the better.

10. Make a plan for arrival

You will likely not have easy access to your kitchenware, let alone any food you have transported. And, you might not have access to toiletries or towels. Make a plan for how you will handle initial meals. And, I recommend packing a bag/box of essentials with clothes and stuff you will need when you first arrive – like toilet paper! We got this advice before we moved and I’m REALLY grateful we actually did this.

Feelings Are Hard To Teach

What is compassion? Compassion is a deep feeling you have for the suffering or discomfort of others. Can a feeling be taught?

I recall my father saying, “Smile until you mean it”. Sometimes it actually worked. In fact sometimes we would end up laughing because we were trying so hard not to smile. So, how do you teach a toddler about compassion?

It starts by treating your child with compassion. It’s important to use compassion and yet not take away individual responsibility. Let’s look a little closer at the difference.

“Brian, I am so sorry you hurt your knee. Let me help you clean it up and get a Band-Aid.” Using this phrasing showed compassion, however it doesn’t point out the responsibility.

“Brian, I am so sorry you hurt your knee. Let me help you clean it up and get a Band-Aid. Maybe we can remember not to run down that big hill. You get hurt.” This verbiage suggests compassion and yet reminds the child of their responsibility in the problem.

There many situations during the day of a toddler that you can point out and help him/her complete acts of compassion. Think of it as being kind and it may make it simpler to find those teaching moments.

Sharing is a good way to teach compassion. Point out the feelings of the child that doesn’t have the toys or food. Talk about the way that child probably feels. Give your child the chance to share. Let your child know how proud you are of his/her actions. It makes everyone happier when you share.

While traveling with a mother of an 18-month-old recently the traffic was horrendous. She pointed out to her child every time she was kind in traffic and let some one pull in or she moved over to let some one go by. She followed it up with commenting that now the people in both cars were happy. Teach by example and make the examples clear.

Simple words like please and thank you are the beginning of compassion. Use these words with your child and praise her/him every time they do it without you reminding them.

I am one of those random acts of kindness freaks. I do something every day. I had my niece out and we went to a vending machine to get a treat. Then we “hid” at a nearby table. We have left the change in for the next person and we wanted to see them be happy. They didn’t know it was us, but Tristen learned a little bit about happiness and sharing.

Bottom line, if you want compassionate children, be compassionate adults.

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Podcasters

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Podcasters
This post may contain affiliate links that give me a small commission with no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting this website!

Maybe you’re known to be a great gift giver. Or, maybe you’re known to be a not so great one. Either way, getting a gift for a podcaster can be difficult. I mean, where do you even begin to look?

Well, I’m here to make things a bit less stressful and more clear. In the honor of the soon-to-be holiday season, here are some great gift ideas for podcast hosts.

Whether the gift recipient is just interested in podcasts, has recently started a podcast, or is a podcasting veteran — let’s put a smile on their face. Without further ado, here is the ultimate 2021 Christmas gift guide for podcasters!

Gifts Around $30

FIFINE USB Microphone

Let’s be honest, the sound quality from a phone just isn’t that great. To start off podcaster’s Christmas, why not gift your favorite podcaster a FIFINE USB Microphone ? These microphones are affordable and provide professional sound at shocking prices.

No other gadgets are required to use this microphone — it’s just plug and then play! Let the podcaster’s Christmas begin!

On-Air Sign

What can I say? It’s a sign, but this sign is the perfect podcaster gift idea. Say goodbye to interruptions and let the podcasting begin!

This On-Air Sign is durable, vibrant, and will ward off family members, children selling candy, and delivery people alike. Plus, it’s oh-so-simple to use. Put the universally compatible sign up on your door and the problem is solved.

Snowman Bath Bombs Box Sets

Podcasters need to eat, sleep, and relax too. After a long day, podcasters deserve to smell roses, vanilla, and lavender as they relax in a warm and colorful bath. This Snowman Bath Bombs Box Set is wrapped elegantly, and ready to be gifted at a moment’s notice. Podcaster’s Christmas shouldn’t be stressful for you either!

Plus, we all know that tubs are the best places to come up with new ideas.

Penguin Stainless Steel Vacuum Thermos

Cute, practical, durable, and memorable — what more does a podcaster gift idea need? Throats get dry during and after podcasts, and now, your podcasting friend can have an adorable assistant. Water, tea, and more will stay warm for hours in this Penguin Stainless Steel Vacuum Thermos!

Podcaster’s Christmas won’t be complete without a new adorable (and helpful) friend.

Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is one of the leading podcasting and editing software programs for podcasters. Buy the podcaster in your life a month in just minutes. If you purchase this subscription through Amazon, you can share the serial code as a gift. Otherwise, just set up an account for your friend and voila!

Gifts $31 – $100

The Podcast Journal

From idea to launch, The Podcast Journal will be a valuable tool for your podcaster friend. Written by podcaster superstar John Lee Dumas — the book details the ins and outs of starting a podcast (along with some very helpful tips).

If your podcaster friend talks about podcasting but won’t take the leap, this book is even more suitable. Ideally, a podcaster’s Christmas should start before the holiday season ends. No more waiting!

While you’re at it, go ahead and grab The Freedom Journal and The Mastery Journal. These books are AWESOME because they help you break your goals and dreams down into chunks that feel MUCH easier to accomplish. Trust me! In fact, you should get these books for yourself as well as your friends. Everyone deserves help achieving their dreams.

Sony Digital Voice Recorder

Think your podcaster buddy will want to move around and about? Then, this is the best podcaster gift idea for them. The Sony Digital Voice Recorder has a built-in mic, noise-cancellations features, and easy editing.

This recorder’s impressive size-to-usefulness ratio should be feared! P.S. Make sure you grab one that has a USB connection for easy transferring to your editing software of choice!

Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield

You’ll notice the difference right away when it comes to the Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield. That’s why it’s the perfect podcaster gift idea. This miracle worker works on-par with much more expensive brands, and provides great results. Say goodbye to echoes and say hello to crisp and clear tones!

Guys – this is one I WANT for Christmas. I’ve been good. Er I mean I was good most of the year. Er – never mind Santa – I’ll buy it myself!

Audio Technica ATH-M30x

The Audio Technica brand is hailed for excellent headphones, but can be quite pricey. Fortunately, the ATH-M30x offers near-perfect sound and comfort at a reasonable price. There’s no need to break your bank for a podcaster gift this season!

With everything online right now, the ATH-M30x will come in handy in and out of podcasting too.

P.S. I use the HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headphones. They are a little pricier than the Audio Technica ones, but they come with a detachable microphone and I LOVE using it for gaming. When I’m editing audio, I just remove the microphone and get the audio in surround sound. It’s pretty awesome, and the noise cancellation is very good!

I got mine in Red and Black because I’m a Deadpool fan.

Gifts $100+

Flexispot EC1 Electric Standing Desk

Did you know that standing makes you sound more confident and offers better respiratory support? Both of these benefits go a long way if your podcaster wants to take podcasting seriously. Flexispot EC1 Electric Standing Desks is a great podcaster gift idea that comes in a variety of sizes and stylish designs.

Plus, this present can help loved ones stay healthy and well.

Flexispot M2B Standing Desk Converter

And, Flexispot strikes once again! That’s just how great their products are. The M2B Standing Desk Converter offers all the traditional benefits of a desk and then adds so much more value.

This desk converter provides spacious work space without taking up much space, a handy keyboard tray, and ergonomic benefits. Get this, it can even be folded up to reduce the already small amount of room it takes up!

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen)

This gift is a bit techy — but oh so practical. If your podcaster is serious about making it big, chances are that they’ll need a Focsurite Scarlett 4i4 in the near future. This tool is often necessary for high-end XLR microphones that the professionals use. For any aspiring progression, this is a great podcaster gift idea.

HeartCast Media Course On Podcasting

The HeartCast Media Course On Podcasting is one program that fits all podcasting needs. Watch as your podcaster racks up 5-star reviews and propels into the podcasting spotlight (all thanks to you)!

Oooh, and this course comes with a FREE Trello board that nails down the necessary steps towards a flawless podcast. Podcaster gift ideas that add freebies — that’s even better!

Rode Podcaster Booming Kit

The Rode Podcaster Booming Kit is a 3-in-1 gift that is going to blow your favorite podcaster away! The kit comes with high-quality equipment such as the Rode Podcaster USB microphone, Rode PSA-1 Boom Arm, and the Rode PSM-1 Shock Mount.

Don’t know what to get your podcaster friend? You don’t have to worry about that with this kit!

IPad Pro

An IPad Pro is the perfect size for note-taking, researching, and looking up resources on the fly. Combined with an apple pencil and smart keyboard — it’s better than a traditional computer. Being pricey, this podcasting gift idea should only be pulled out for your favorite podcaster!

An IPad Pro is also the perfect unwinding/entertainment gadget after a long day of brainstorming and recording.

To Wrap Up

Getting a gift for a podcaster can be hard. But, I’m glad you’re making an effort. I mean, you’ve read this far and I’m glad you did!

At the end of the day, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Christmas isn’t really about giving — it’s about spending time with those that make you the happiest person on Earth. Hopefully, this list has helped you a bit though.

I’m excited for the holiday season, and I hope you are too!

How to Protect Intellectual Property Online

How to Protect Intellectual Property Online - Famous Ashley Grant

If you own a podcast, you owe it to yourself and your business partners to protect your intellectual property online.

Even if you’re not a podcaster, you probably still have some intellectual property to protect online – even if it’s just your posts on social media.

Podcasting has grown exponentially in recent years and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Podcasts range from comedy shows and news programs to talk shows about various topics relevant to today’s society.

Every day people are creating new podcasts or expanding current podcasts into commercial enterprises. These podcasters need to understand how to protect their intellectual property online.

This article will discuss the most common ways that intellectual property can be compromised online and avoid them. It will also discuss how to protect your intellectual property online if you are a podcaster.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property is defined as any intangible asset created by human beings.

Some examples of intellectual property may include:

  • Trademarks, logos, and brand names
  • Commercial names and slogans
  • Copyrights for literary works (including music), artwork, films, television shows, podcasts, video games, etc.
  • Patents for inventions and devices

It is essential to protect intellectual property because it can provide economic value. The protection of intellectual property also encourages people to create new works and inventions by giving them an incentive (ownership) for their creations.

Types of Intellectual Property

There are several different types of intellectual property. For your purposes, the most important type is your podcast’s brand name and logo. However, you should still know what qualifies as intellectual property and how it all relates to your podcast.

Trademarks: A trademark is a word or phrase that distinguishes a business from its competitors.

For example, Nike is a trademark for athletic shoes, and Microsoft is for computer software.

Your podcast’s brand name and logo are both trademarks because they distinguish your podcast from other podcasts.

Copyrights: A copyright is a form of protection for original works such as songs, artwork, videos, and broadcasts.

For example, the song “We Will Rock You” by Queen was released in 1977, and it still enjoys copyright protection today. Copyright laws vary from country to country, so you should always be aware of any copyrights that pertain to your business.

Patents: These are defined as a form of legal protection for new inventions. Patents are costly to apply for, and you don’t need to have one to run your podcast business.

Intellectual property can also be used to protect how you operate your business. Email, customer lists, social media accounts, and podcasts are all assets that fall under intellectual property.

It is crucial to protect your online assets to ensure a healthy bottom line for your podcast enterprise. Even if you don’t have a large following yet, it’s good to establish these policies from the start so that you can avoid disputes in the future.

Why is Intellectual Property Important?

Intellectual property is protected for a reason. The internet has made it easier than ever to share information with people around the world; however, this also opens the door to widespread theft of intellectual property.

Protected intellectual property promotes innovation and can provide economic benefit to individuals or businesses who create or license them.

Intellectual property can also include trade secrets, which are confidential business ideas and concepts. These must be protected at all costs to prevent others from stealing your ideas.

Online Intellectual Property Theft

The internet may be the single most significant driver behind the popularity of intellectual property theft. Internet users worldwide use peer-to-peer sharing services to share illegally copied movies, music, and other copyrighted material.

Intellectual property theft is a massive problem on the internet, and it’s essential to take steps to protect your own from being stolen as well. This is particularly true for those who have monetized their podcast with an advertising or sponsorship model.

Some of the ways people may use peer-to-peer sharing services to steal your intellectual property include:

  • Download your copyrighted podcast episodes, share them online for free, and collect advertising revenue without paying you.
  • Uploading your podcast episodes onto another service or website and claiming the content as their own.
  • Claiming they are the original content provider by using your podcast’s brand name, logo, or even host’s image.

Accidental and Unintentional Violations

Sometimes people will mistake your podcast for something else because of a similar name or shared artwork. We’ve all heard of cases where an artist sued another musician over copyright infringement, but this could also happen to you.

For example, if your podcast is named “Podcast Hangouts,” it could be mistaken for the other similarly titled product called “Hangouts On Air.”

The risk of people accidentally using your intellectual property without proper authorization can increase even further if they’re doing something illegal in the first place.

If someone is illegally streaming copyrighted movies and music, then it can be challenging to prove that your product was not involved in any way. The same thing goes for podcasters who get into disputes over using other people’s images or artwork.

Avoiding such disagreements before they happen is a good strategy, especially if you’re working with other businesses or people who have a significant online presence.

How can Podcasters Protect their Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property can be protected by filing for copyrights and trademarks. However, there is no way to protect your business’s trade secrets or customer lists from theft unless you invest in some kind of intellectual property protection software.

You should also be aware that the moment you start using your podcast’s name, logo, or other information in any marketing materials, this will constitute public use. This means it can no longer be considered a trade secret and may not be protected by law.

You will want to file copyrights for the podcast itself and any promotional materials you use in your marketing efforts.

For example, you would want to register a copyright for your logo, website header images, and website banner images to prevent them from being used in a way where they don’t give proper credit. Additionally, you will want to protect all of the photos you use on your website from being used in any other context without your permission.

Trademarks are also important to protect because they place the public on notice of the intellectual property owner. You’ll want to file for a trademark if you use specific names, phrases, or slogans in connection with your business.

For example, the phrase “podcasting made easy” could be considered a part of your original branding if you use it frequently in your marketing efforts. This would give you exclusive rights to that slogan and prevent others from using it without permission or giving proper credit to you for its origin.

Protecting your intellectual property is extremely important if you plan on monetizing your podcast. It’s also essential if you want to own any domain names that might be similar to your product or service name.

With the proper intellectual property protection, you can avoid disputes with others using your business’s name and logo.

There are plenty of resources online that can help you learn how to protect your intellectual property. You should also consider hiring a lawyer who has experience in this area if you’re worried about people stealing your podcast’s information.

What Should You Do If Your Intellectual Property Is Stolen?

If you suspect your intellectual property has been stolen, then there are some steps you can take to resolve the situation.

To start, make sure it’s actually happening in the first place. You shouldn’t jump to conclusions if someone else’s website uses a similar phrase or slogan. They may be using it in an honest attempt at following your branding strategies.

If you’re confident that your intellectual property rights are being violated, then you will want to send a cease and desist letter as soon as possible. This gives the person or company you’re accusing of stealing a chance to stop doing so without getting authorities involved.

Once they agree to stop using your intellectual property, you’ll want them to send you a signed statement saying they understand why it was wrong for them to steal your information. This is a crucial step because not having this documentation could prevent you from taking legal action in the future.

If the party is unresponsive or uncooperative, you will want to talk to an attorney about filing a lawsuit against them. Intellectual property protection lawsuits can be quite expensive and time-consuming, so you will want to make sure you have a strong case before trying this approach.

If your intellectual property was stolen through contributory infringement, then you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible. This type of claim is often associated with peer-to-peer sharing services, so you could lose a ton of revenue if the lawsuit gets decided in favor of the defendant.

It’s imperative to take action against contributory infringement lawsuits because there is no statute of limitations associated with them. This means you can always recover damages even after many years have passed since the incident occurred.

There are many benefits to protecting your intellectual property rights. Not only does it help you prevent losses, but it also gives you the power to pursue legal action against people who violate your copyrights.

If someone steals your podcast’s information or uses an unfair business practice related to your trademark, you can benefit by filing a lawsuit against them. You might need to hire an attorney to take this step, but it can prevent future disputes and help you increase your brand’s reputation.

Do What’s Best For Your Podcast

Protecting your intellectual property is relatively easy if you take the proper steps. It isn’t always cheap, but it’s usually worth it when you consider all of the benefits that come with strong intellectual property protection.

If you find yourself in a situation where someone is stealing from you or infringing on your copyrights, then you should strongly consider filing a lawsuit against them.

You also have the option of contacting an intellectual property lawyer if you aren’t sure what your options are or don’t want to handle them on your own. The most important thing is that you protect yourself now so you can avoid problems in the future.

How to Get Famous on TikTok

How to Get Famous on TikTok

TikTok is one of the most rapidly expanding social media platforms out there. Since its launch in 2016, the app has gained more than a billion active users worldwide. If you’ve been wondering how to get famous on TikTok, keep reading.

Although TikTok is relatively new in the social media world, it operates much like Instagram and Facebook. Users post video content to a sharing platform where other people view it, then they’re able to leave hearts and comments. The more engagement a TikTok post receives, the higher it gets placed on the lists of featured content.

However, a few relevant differences make the approach for how to get TikTok famous somewhat unique. Since the platform mainly features short 15-second videos, you have to grab your viewer’s attention immediately.

So, exactly how do you get famous on TikTok? Here are some of the best tricks for going viral and getting recognized on the internet’s hottest video-sharing app.

How to Get Famous on TikTok

If you want to get famous online, you’ll need to put in consistent effort and know how to use social media trends to their full potential. On TikTok, that means posting videos at least once per day and coming up with creative, original content that entertains viewers in a short timeframe.

Although TikTok originally started as a lip-synching app, it has expanded to include comedy, dancing, tutorials, and more. Users can choose from a wide selection of songs and pre-recorded sounds or use original audio.

With so much content on the platform already, it’s essential to think outside the box when coming up with new videos in order to get noticed. Use these reliable strategies to take your TikTok account from a fun hobby to becoming the next big online sensation.

Choose a Niche

When considering how to get famous on social media apps like TikTok, it’s highly beneficial to establish a target audience from the start. Focus your TikToks on a specific area of interest where you’ll be able to showcase your unique talents and skills.

Consider who will be watching your videos. How can you provide something new and valuable through your content?

The majority of TikTok users are young people who appreciate the unrestrained and innovative nature of the platform. Don’t be afraid to take risks and get a little weird. That’s what gets you noticed.

Post New Videos Regularly

Unlike Facebook and Instagram, the TikTok algorithm doesn’t penalize users for posting too frequently. In fact, posting as much content as possible is one of the best tactics for how to get famous on TikTok. The more videos you post, the greater your chances are of them going viral.

Even though the creators of TikTok are fairly secretive about exactly how their algorithm works, it’s well-known that users appreciate regularly seeing new posts from their favorite accounts. In addition, your future followers will want access to plenty of your amazing content once you do achieve TikTok fame.

Participate in Viral Trends

While it’s important to be unique and creative with your content, participating in current trends is an excellent way to get famous online. The key is to adapt the trend to your own distinctive style.

Incorporate significant trends in your TikToks by using new songs from popular artists, taking part in hashtag challenges, and monitoring your “For You” page for the latest trends in your niche. It’s crucial to jump on new trends while they’re still exciting in order to get noticed and stay relevant.

Take Advantage of New Features

TikTok, like other social media apps, is constantly coming out with new effects, filters, and features for its users to enjoy. There are several excellent reasons to take full advantage of them right away.

People love seeing new things in action. If yours happens to be among the first videos they see with a new effect or filter, you’ll gain a reputation for being interesting and innovative.

In addition, TikTok’s algorithm rewards content creators for using the latest app additions. As such, trying out the new features as soon as they come out will work wonders for helping you get internet famous.

Engage with Other TikTokers

One of the many reasons people use social media is to be part of a community of people who share similar interests. Networking with other TikTokers by liking and commenting on their posts is an outstanding way to build relationships with potential followers and fellow creators alike.

It’s also helpful to collaborate with influencers who align with your image and personality. A great way to do this is by engaging with their posts on TikTok, as well as other social media platforms, and starting conversations with them through comments or messages. Once you form a connection, you can explore tagging them in your posts and reposting content with their permission or working together to create new TikToks.

Make Your Videos Shareable and Re-watchable

Another phenomenal way to get famous online is when people re-watch and share your videos. Other TikTokers can also tag you and remix your video, use the audio, or duet with it. These are all immensely helpful in gaining exposure and increasing your audience.

Individual TikTok videos have a maximum length of 15 seconds, but users can link the videos to create a 60-second story. Since they’re relatively short, it’s helpful to put a surprise moment or plot twist at the end of the video. Doing so keeps your viewers engaged and coming back for more.

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through videos, wondering, “How do you get TikTok famous?” The answer is that it takes a decent amount of effort and persistence. Getting internet famous isn’t an exact science. Research the current trends and influencers in your chosen niche, and go for it. You never know which video might go viral, and the more you post, the better the odds are. By using these tips on how to get famous on TikTok, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and build a community that supports your ideas and creativity.

How to Get Famous on Instagram

How to Get Famous on Instagram

Instagram boasts over one billion monthly users and one of the highest follower growth and interaction rates of any social media platform. It’s easy to see why many influencers rate Instagram as their preferred channel. Read on to discover how to get famous on Instagram using these expert tips and tricks.

When it comes to getting internet famous, overnight success isn’t usually how it goes. Just like any other new endeavor, it takes dedication and effort to get famous online. However, rest assured that there are numerous ways to make the process quicker and easier. Here are the best practices to adopt if you’d like to grow your following, increase your audience engagement, and achieve all of your Instagram goals.

How to Get Famous on Instagram

Before diving right into revamping your Instagram profile, take a few moments to reflect on your interests, passions, and goals. Examine who your target audience is and how to engage with them. What sort of story are you trying to tell?

Having a clear focus makes it considerably easier to hold your audience’s interest and make your personal brand recognizable. Once you’ve built this foundation for your future efforts, you’ll be ready to start telling your story and creating amazing Instagram content.

Find Your Niche

Many people use Instagram to find inspiration, keep up with trends, and learn about specific topics. As such, your content should provide value to your followers in some way.

Whatever your niche might be, you’ll have much more success by creating a consistent brand image for your Instagram account. That way, your content reflects your personality and aesthetic in a professional way.

Make It Personal

Most Instagram users want to get to know the face behind the brand. In general, photos and videos that feature people in them get significantly higher engagement levels.

Similarly, the influencers who stand out the most have figured out how to convey their authentic self in a relatable way. Share stories, ask your followers questions, and show them that you genuinely care about what you’re posting.

Using a profile photo of you instead of a logo is one of the easiest ways to make your Instagram profile charismatic and approachable. Your bio is another crucial piece of the puzzle. It’s often the first thing people see, so make sure it grabs visitors’ interest and communicates what you’re all about clearly and concisely. Remember to regularly refresh your bio with relevant information like new promos or updates.

How to Hashtag

Hashtags are one of the absolute best tools for increasing discoverability and reaching a broader audience on social media. However, when considering how to get famous on Instagram, there are various approaches for making the most of your hashtags.

Some influencers use as many popular and relevant hashtags as possible. In contrast, others only use a few in each of their posts. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer. While researching your target audience and gaining inspiration from other accounts in your niche, take note of which hashtags are profitable and how your competition is using them.

Creating your own brand-specific hashtag is also helpful. Using a personalized hashtag an excellent way to distinguish your account from other influencers and build audience engagement.

Be sure to track the performance of the various hashtags you’re using. That way, you’ll be able to see which hashtags and posting styles are working for your account and audience and which ones aren’t.

Be Consistent About Posting

Another crucial element of how to get famous online is posting regularly. Once again, there’s no set formula for instant success. It’s helpful to research your target audience to find out when they tend to be online the most.

Generally speaking, Instagram accounts that post daily have considerably higher engagement levels than those posting just once or twice per week. Using all of the available media styles on Instagram also makes your content more engaging. In addition to posting photos and videos, take advantage of stories, reels, and IGTV to reach more followers.

Engage with Your Audience

Instagram’s algorithm is based on engagement levels. As such, it’s vital to actively build a relationship with your followers by replying to comments, fostering discussions in the comments section, and including a call to action in your posts.

Remember to keep your tone personable and authentic in your calls to action. Show your followers that they’re part of a community by asking and responding to questions or telling personal stories and inviting followers to share theirs.

Hosting occasional product giveaways is another effective tactic to boost your following. Choose a desirable, niche-related prize and have people enter to win by engaging with your account. Steps may include liking your post, following your account, and tagging others in the comments. Giveaways are also an outstanding opportunity to partner with other brands and influencers.

Collaborate with Other Brands and Influencers

Working with fellow influencers and commercial brands on Instagram is incredibly useful. Just remember to ensure that you’re maintaining your authentic voice and adhering to your goals so that your brand image remains consistent.

For beginning influencers, brand collaborations often begin with receiving free products in exchange for featuring them in your posts. As your Instagram following continues to grow, these often turn into paid partnerships.

Observe Your Competitors

Stay up-to-date on current trends in your niche by routinely checking your competitors’ accounts. By doing so, you’ll be able to learn what’s working for other people, find out more about your target audience, and gain inspiration from high-performing accounts. Make sure to stay true to your brand image while being flexible and adapting to an ever-changing online marketplace.

Have you recently been wondering how to get famous on Instagram? Remember that the keys to progress lie in keeping your content authentic, posting consistently, using hashtags strategically, and taking advantage of collaborations with other brands and fellow influencers when appropriate. Just like any other worthwhile goal, it takes commitment and focus to get famous online. By following these practical steps, your path to getting internet famous will be a whole lot smoother.

How to Create a Popular Podcast

How to Create a Popular Podcast

So you want to be podcast famous, do you?

If you’re ready to become a podcast sensation, it will take more than just being able to talk. Anyone can start a podcast, but not everyone has what it takes to make a popular one.

If you’re interested in creating a popular podcast, I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step.

Coming Up With an Idea For Launching

First, come up with an idea for your podcast. Everyone has an idea for a show, but not all good ideas are created equal.

A popular podcast must provide value to its listeners or viewers. If you can’t think of anything new or inspiring to talk about, find something interesting and ask questions on the topic instead. Your listeners will want to know the answers to your questions.


How Much Does It Cost To Start a Podcast?

Next, you’ll need to come up with some startup costs. Podcasting is becoming so popular that many people are entering the market with new shows every day.

Someone doesn’t need to spend a lot of money anymore to start their own podcast.

Many podcasters simply use an old computer or laptop connected to a small USB microphone to create their shows.

Equipment Costs

Anyone can go online and purchase a USB microphone for around $30-$60 that will work well enough to start a podcast with.

Although a basic mic will work, you might consider investing in something better if you want to be podcast famous.

You should expect to pay around $100-$400 for a decent mic.

Many people will suggest you purchase an XLR microphone and shock mount because they can help with audio quality; however, stick to the USB models if you want to start your podcast as cheap as possible.

You’ll also want to buy sound dampening foam panels that attach to your mic stand and help lessen the echo from your surroundings. This will set you back about $80-$120.

A boom will help you adjust your mic to any position you want. You can usually pick one up for around $30-$60.

Of course, you’ll need a computer to capture the audio from your microphone and convert it into an MP3 file that you will upload to your hosting service.

Any room can double as a studio space. Large foam panels attached to anything will help absorb echo and eliminate background noise from opening a door in the other room.

Taking your recording process to the next level isn’t very expensive these days if you use a professional recording studio.

You’ll need some type of recording/editing software if you don’t already own one. This doesn’t mean you need to purchase something costly like Logic Pro or Adobe Audition CS6.

Many podcasters have used Garage Band in the past, which comes free with every Apple computer. Several options are available, including Audacity, which is available for Mac or PC and costs about $50 bucks.

It’s also recommended to use an external hard drive to keep your recordings safe in the event of a computer crash. These are relatively inexpensive these days. You can find one with 1TB of space for $60 bucks online.

Choosing a Podcast Hosting Service

Now that you have a microphone and sound dampening panel, it’s time to find a professional podcast host.

Many podcasters will use the free version of a podcast hosting site to get their shows out there for people to listen to or watch. This is fine if you’re just starting out, but eventually, you’ll want something more.

A paid podcast hosting service will offer you advanced customization options, better storage space for media (graphics, audio clips, video clips), and more bandwidth. This means your listeners won’t deal with the dreaded buffering while listening to your show.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $5-$20 per month, depending on the length of your show. I personally use RSS.com Podcasting because they allow unlimited episodes, and unlimited duration.

In fact, you can use code RSSFREEMONTH at checkout for a full free month of podcast hosting with RSS. Get started for free here.

In full disclosure, I’ve been on their content creation team for a while now, and I’m even hosting some of their podcast episodes for Podcasting 101 with RSS.com!!!

Picking a Podcast Name

Now it’s time to pick your podcast name. Keep in mind that if you want people to come back for more episodes, you’ll need a catchy title that describes what your show is about.

Also, think about how listeners will find your podcast in search engines like Google. Will someone be able to find it when they look up information about your topic?

When you search “podcast” or “gaming podcast,” there are hundreds of thousands of results that will make it hard for listeners to find you when they do this search.

A good podcast name should also let listeners know what type of content they’ll find on your show. Will it be a comedy podcast, news show, educational program, etc.?

The best way to figure this out is to list several ideas for names and ask friends and family which ones they think would attract more listeners.

Choosing Topics & Segments

Now that you have everything ready to go (hosting account, website domain name), it’s time to develop your show’s format.

Most shows will include multiple topics or segments which allow you to cover different things within your niche while still providing listeners with consistent content over time.

A podcast name should provide some insight into this, but it doesn’t hurt to add more detail about what each topic/segment is all about just in case someone looks at the title and doesn’t understand precisely what they’ll find on your show.

If you want to stand out, use terms like “The Best,” “#1,” etc., in the description of your podcast. If you don’t want to be as bold, you can use a word like “Informational” or “Reviews.”

Also, remember that people can be picky when picking out new shows for them to listen to, so keeping the segments simple will make it easier for them to follow along. If you get too complicated, they may give up before even starting to listen!

Searching Your Niche For Ideas

Now that you have a topic in mind, it’s time to search your niche for existing talking points and popular ideas.

This might be a “best of” list or a roundup where you highlight several different things within your niche.

In some cases, you can look at social media posts to find common questions people have about something, which is another excellent way to draw from the crowd when coming up with new segments.

Remember that talking about current events within your niche might lead to more exposure as well.

Newscasts are always looking for guests who can talk about breaking news stories, so don’t be afraid to reach out if something big happens in your area of expertise!…

Recording Your Podcast

Now that you have a solid idea for a show, found a mic and podcast host to work with, and recorded your feed’s intro and outro, it’s time to get started recording.

Most people use an audio interface rather than their computer’s built-in sound card to record their shows.

The best option is usually going with something that has XLR inputs since they will provide the best quality possible over USB microphones.

Be sure you get one with at least two preamps so you can plug in more than one microphone if need be.

Preamps are essential for getting the cleanest sound from your mics because it prevents noise from being introduced into the signal chain when they are plugged in.

For the best results, you should use a condenser mic for your podcast.

You’ll also need to get some boom arms and cables to connect everything.

If you’re not comfortable making all these connections, I would recommend getting a mixer that has everything pre-wired.

Mixers will come with additional features such as EQ knobs and effects units, so they cost more than an audio interface; however, they will still be cheaper than purchasing individual pieces of equipment separately.

Recording software can also help clean up your sound if it starts to get too noisy during the recording process. Sounds from different sources can be plugged into one input on your computer and end up in one track when you listen back.

Recording software will help make these types of issues easier to manage post-production. You can usually find a free recording program or download Audition from Adobe, their audio editing suite.

Editing Your Podcast Made Easy

Once you have your show recorded, it’s time to edit out any mistakes or unwanted sounds.

Depending on the software used for recording, some minor cleanup may be needed before you can import your audio into an editor.

If nothing else, always use noise reduction on your tracks to remove any background noise that might have been picked up while speaking into a microphone.

Sounds from your computer fan whirring away in the background can probably be picked up during a recording session. Using background noise reduction is a great way to get rid of annoying hums and buzzes that would distract from the actual content of the episode.

Noise reduction should leave your voice sounding clear and let you focus more on what you’re saying rather than anything else.

Be sure to cut out all dead air, too, because there is nothing worse than going back and listening to an awkward pause for several seconds.

Mixing Your Podcast

Once your podcast is ready for release, you may need to mix it down at a much lower volume level so listeners won’t blow their speakers when they play it back.

Some people like to boost their podcasts’ overall sound, which can be helpful if you want them to seem more high-end; however, most prefer not to boost or distort vocals unless absolutely necessary.

A compressor can help level off dynamics, so everything sounds consistent no matter what the volume is.

Most podcast hosts will have a maximum file size that they can upload, so be sure to keep it under the limit, or you may lose listeners if their connection gets cut-off before your show is done uploading.

You’ll also want to know what type of audio codecs are being used on your host. Most hosts generally support mp3 format without any additional necessary conversion.

AAC formats tend to provide better quality, but some podcasting services are not compatible with them…

It’s best to check with your host first and see what they recommend before deciding which one works best for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Be sure to save all your files as uncompressed waveforms (.wav) if you need to go back and make changes later down the road.

Mixing music into your podcast can be a tricky process and will require someone who has experience doing these types of edits before.

If you don’t want to pay for pro mixing services, several sites will help match musicians with podcasters for little to no charge.

Some Creative Commons-licensed songs that fit within your target audience can also come in handy when trying to add spice to an episode without spending any cash.

Creating Artwork

Now that you’ve got your audio recorded and edited, it’s time to make some artwork.

People like pretty things, so make sure your podcast’s cover is something that captures attention.

If nothing else, show off a nice headshot of yourself with a decent-looking microphone in the background. Keep the focus on you and what you do best!

Check out this post on RSS.com on how to create your podcast artwork.

How to Market a Podcast

Once your podcast is finished, you’ll need to get the word out there, so everyone will know it’s available.

Your website is the perfect way for you and your podcast to grow. You can use it as an extension of yourself, showcasing what you have in store for listeners and building excitement with key details about new episodes!

Remember that every time you guest on another show or mention what you’re working on in some capacity, that’s an opportunity for more people to discover what you do.

You want to make sure that you are building others up and supporting them before asking for support from them yourself!

An excellent place to start promoting your podcast would be podcast directories, such as iTunes.com. If people can find your podcast on their site, you will receive a substantial amount of traffic at little-to-no cost. Here are some awesome posts on how to upload your podcast to a few of them:

Utilize some smaller social media sites that you can create an account on and post about your show regularly.

Posting your podcast on related forums is another wonderful way to get more people interested in what you have to say because most of them are very active. You’ll likely get plenty of new listeners this way if the forum’s moderators don’t mind having links posted within their threads too.

Writing guest posts for other people’s websites can also help bring attention to your podcast, so it may be something worth looking into if you’re willing to trade promotion with others.

If you still haven’t landed any big-name guest appearances, then don’t worry because you can always create a mini-resource page with a list of related topics that your listeners might be interested in.

You can also try reaching out on social media platforms such as Facebook group pages (which tend to grow more relevant over time).

Lastly, creating a mini-resource page with links to related episodes is the perfect way to let your listeners know what they’re missing out on while providing them helpful information.

Be sure to add lots of links and social media buttons to this page for anyone interested enough to check it out after reading about something interesting they stumbled across while browsing through your site.

How To Become A Guest On Other Podcasts

Making a guest appearance on another podcast is a great way to get your name out there and create more exposure.

Reaching out to other hosts is relatively easy, thanks to the abundance of contact forms available on many sites.

There’s no reason why you can’t be on a whole bunch of shows, even if you’re just starting out.

If you want to become a regular guest on multiple podcasts, it will take some effort on your part.

Here are some tips for getting more exposure from your guest appearances.

  1. Know The Type Of Show You Want To Be On

Podcasts vary in topic and tone, so make sure you research the show and make sure your episode will not only fit in but add to the conversation.

Not only should the topic of discussion be something you’re comfortable talking about, but it should also come naturally to you.

If you feel forced or uncomfortable to participate in such discussions, it will likely come off as such for listeners.

  1. Prepare Ahead Of Time

You don’t want to send your appearance to the bottom of someone’s to-do list.

If you have some notes or ideas ahead of time, it will make your appearance on a show feel more special for both hosts and listeners.

For example, you could plan out some of your talking points or come up with some questions to ask the host and their guests.

  1. Be Prepared To Bring Your Best Game

If you’re going to be on a show, make sure you’re bringing your A-game.

That means you should practice talking about the topic beforehand and be able to handle any curveballs that come your way with ease.

  1. Make Sure To Follow Up

After you’ve had your appearance, follow up with the host and let them know how it went.

They will be more likely to have you on again in the future.

If you had a positive experience, let them know how much you enjoyed being a guest.

This will encourage them to have you back or invite you to other shows.


Pro Tips For Getting Famous Podcasting

Here are some of the top tips you will need to get famous podcasting.

Pro-Tip #1

Promote your podcast everywhere. This is the only way to ensure you’ll get more listeners.

Pro-Tip #2

Your podcasting topic should be interesting and informative enough for people to bother with it. If not, listeners will drop off very quickly.

Pro-Tip #3

Try to find a topic that hasn’t been covered yet online, then cover this topic on your show every week or whenever possible.

Pro-Tip #4

You need some social media followers if you are going to expand your listener base fast. It’s always better to have 100 true fans than 1000 who don’t engage with you.

Pro-Tip #5

Optimize your podcast for Google by including keywords in your show notes and episode descriptions. Keywords are essential to get high rankings on Google, YouTube, and other platforms. This will help you to get more listeners organically instead of spending a boatload of cash on ads for your podcast.

Check out this awesome post from Congruent Digital on exactly how you should be optimizing your show for search!

Pro-Tip #6

Never give up. Everyone gets discouraged from time to time, but if you keep going, listeners will appreciate whatever you can offer them.

Pro-Tip #7

Make sure your show is well documented. This will attract more listeners and also help you to communicate with your audience effectively.

Pro-Tip #8

Have a great email list for your listeners if you want to build a strong community and monetize at some point. If people can’t contact you, then what’s the point of podcasting?

How to Get Famous Podcasting?

The answer is to have patience and keep practicing.

Podcasting isn’t something that you learn overnight; everyone has to start somewhere.

If you are determined, it’s just a matter of time until you can create something extraordinary for yourself.

If you love something enough, people will listen. So make sure that your show stands out from the crowd by offering real value for listeners!

In Conclusion

Getting your podcast to climb the “top podcasts” lists is not an easy task. It will take some work, but with determination and genuine connection (to both topics AND audience), you’ll be sure to get there soon enough!

The best way to get famous podcasting is by staying on topic and engaging listeners as much as possible while also personalizing your show in a way that’s different from your competitors.

And most importantly – never stop learning! The more you know, the easier it will be to come up with something that people love.

Bitter Sweet Christmas – Dealing With Difficult Emotions

Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for many people. High expectations, memories and fatigue can bring problems for anyone’s inner child.

Christmas can be a very difficult time of year. Conscious of a media generated image of an “ideal family Christmas,” our aspirations are high, and if we fail to realise our hopes and expectations at this most highly pressured time of the year, the disappointment can be enormous.

Not everyone will have had a good year. Some people will have suffered loss and disappointment. Christmas seems to bring all our feelings into sharp focus, bad ones as well as good ones, and this can make for a very volatile emotional mix. Combine this with the pressures of organising Christmas, the shopping, the cooking and maintaining peace and goodwill within the immediate family, not to mention financial constraints, and it’s hardly surprising that Christmas can be a time of great stress, as well as one of great happiness.

Christmas Memories: Not Always Happy Ones

Christmas time is such a benchmark of each year that we cannot help but remember Christmases past as we prepare for the Christmas which is about to arrive.

Memories of loved ones who are no longer with us are bound to affect us as we prepare for the festivities. Somehow, feeling sad at Christmas time (when all around you are full of Christmas spirit) is worse than feeling sad when no one is expecting you to be particularly cheerful. Being emotionally out of tune with friends and family can be especially difficult, as you strive not to be a wet blanket and cast a gloom on the festivities of others.

If this is how you feel this Christmas, be kind to yourself. Take time out to grieve, to remember those who you may have lost recently. Give yourself permission to explore your feelings of love and loss without feeling guilty, because by taking time to acknowledge your feelings, even in the midst of all the Christmas turmoil, you will help yourself to move on.

Christmas can be a wonderful time for taking stock, for planning ahead, for rest, renewal and preparation for the new year ahead. Loss and sadness are part of life, just as happiness and celebration are also. Give yourself some leeway to feel whatever you’re feeling, even if it is Christmas.

Christmas and the Inner Child

Christmas is a time of year which is very child-driven, but whilst we are rushing around buying expensive presents and huge quantities of food, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that sometimes, perhaps a child would like a few minutes quiet time, rather than being bundled into the car for yet another awful shopping trip. Less rushing around in search of that perfect sheet of wrapping paper or the last punnet of cranberries in the Western world and a little more time spent reading a story, playing a game or even doing some Christmas cooking can be therapeutic for parents and children alike.

Christmas really only is one day in the year, and whilst adults can be driven by the spirit of their own inner child, seeking to make up for disappointments and things forgotten in Christmases long ago, children (especially little ones) can end up being bewildered by the disruption of their routine, the influx of people and an excess of new experiences.

Tend to your inner child as and when you can, as well as to the reality of little ones who may need boiled eggs and bath time on a regular basis at this time of year to keep them happy and grounded.

The Christmas Row

At Christmas, we tend to spend an awful lot of times with our families, undistracted by work, friends or any of the things that make up our normal comfort zones. Disrupted routines, extra pressures, difficult memories and unrealistic expectations can all conspire to add to the volatility of the Christmas mix.

Try to avoid the Christmas row by a little judicious time management. Make sure to incorporate a few healthy walks into the Christmas timetable. Don’t try to cram too many family festivities into too little time, but try to spread events out over the holiday so that everyone can pace themselves and no one ends up tired and emotional too often.

Peace and Goodwill to All Men

All the above is counsel of perfection. The reality is that we all have good Christmases and bad Christmases, and these seem to generate at random, no matter how much or how little effort we put into them.

Remember, when it comes to Christmas, the rules are, there are no rules – make merry in whatever way feels right for you. In a week’s time, it will be a whole new year and a whole new adventure to embark upon.