The Power of Habit: How Bloggers Can Benefit from The Golden Adviсe Given in the Book

What’s your New Year resolution? We’ll give you a golden advice on how to achieve it sooner and with less effort.

The Power of Habit

and how to use habits in blogging

A couple days ago we’ve released the 100 Must-Read Books That Change The Way of Thinking. They say, once you learn to read, you will be forever free. We could add, that once you learn to read, you may also be forever productive.

In this blog post, we’ll tell you how you could use one of these books, “The Power of Habit”, for your immense productivity if you are a blogger or planning to be one.

What’s the main idea of the book?

The thing which rules your life is a habit. Knowing what creates a habit, you could apply this knowledge for your personal and business purposes. If you have lived long enough you may already know that the principle “I’ll start from Monday” doesn’t work. What works is a habit, and preferably which you started at least 3 Mondays ago (that is at least 21 days ago).

[tweet_box]#Scientists claim, that 21 days is enough to #develop a useful #habit.[/tweet_box]

So what's wrong?

Why haven’t you started jogging every day, studying CSS, Java, publishing a blog post once every 2 or 3 days?

What holds you back all the time?

One of the likeliest reasons is you haven't developed a habit for that. Yet. How to tackle this and start doing what you have planned for a long time? You’ll read the answer in this short review of the book the “Power of Habit”.

The first thing one should learn from this book is: your habits don’t go away.

A habit is a permanent neurological change, but you can create a new pathway for it. How?

In order to do this, you need to know the 3 parts which form a habit. And, knowing them, you can change the habit. Or, to be more specific, you may change the part of it and thus change the whole habit.

The habits turn out to be a habit loop consisting of 3 parts

Cue (trigger) >> Routine (your behavior) >> Reward

The Habit Loop

Image Source

For Example:

  • You have a coffee machine (the cue) & this makes you feel like having a cup of coffee.
  • You drink the coffee (routine).
  • You feel this pleasant lift of mood because the caffeine gets into your blood (reward).

If you want to quit drinking coffee, you need to change the routine. Every time you want to make a cup of coffee, fetch… a yogurt, for example. After some time you’ll be able to do without coffee even when you'll be cleaning it after your wife or husband. However, when reaching a coffee machine, you will have a weird urge to drink a yogurt. But that is another story.

The idea is clear: if you want to get rid of some habit, you need to find the trigger which makes you want to do this habit and, when you see that trigger next time, replace your usual behavior with another action.

Most importantly, you need to be doing that during some time to be able to change your habit into another one.

Nevertheless, there is another essential part of a habit loop - it’s a craving for the reward. This helps the brain form a habit.

This case was illustrated by a Febreze marketing campaign. An odor-removing product was supposed to be a smash hit, but it wasn’t - and the marketing team couldn’t understand why it was so. At first, people used Febreze, spraying it on the surfaces which smelled with their dogs, cats, and even skunks, and Febreze wouldn’t leave any trace of smell on it. However, the sales didn’t grow - they diminished. That marketing disaster was happening until the team realized that they have missed the right cue.

People get used to a smells quickly, so the cue - the unpleasant smell - went unnoticed by them and the habit loop of using Febreze wasn't launch. What happened next?

One of their customers said that she used Febreze at the end of her cleaning because she liked the way it smelled. For her, spraying Febreze was equal to putting a final touch to her cleaning, so she developed an addiction for this final touch. After this, the team set a different reward - a pleasant smell of Febreze at the end of the cleaning. As a result, the sales grew and that was a happy story of a Febreze product.

What’s the point of this story? You need to determine the right cue and the reward that will develop a craving in your customers.

Alongside with these impressive marketing stories, this book tells us how we can change our habits. How to determine the right cue and a reward for yourself, you may read on the author’s website. Nevertheless, determining the right cue and the reward for your readers and customers, is quite clear, the more readers you the more money you can earn using your blog. So if you want to become a blogger read further.

habit loop


How Can You Use This Knowledge If You Are Blogger?

You can use it for yourself >> You can use it for your readers

  • You can use it for yourself - develop a blog post publishing habit.

Create a habit loop for yourself. For example, you are a morning person: you wake up, see your notebook and a pen (a cue) and start working (routine). As a reward at the end of the day, you may set anything you like - watching a movie, jogging or eating a box of donuts.

Important: make sure you do this day by day during three weeks and in a month you will start doing this automatically. You’ll be extremely effective.

  • You can use it for your readers.

This is a little bit more complicated because you can’t get into their minds. Your thoughts will be based on your assumptions, so track feedback & watch Google analytics data.

First of all, you need to determine what you want your readers to do.

Reading a blog post >> Sharing it >> Commenting it >> Bookmarking your blog >> Coming back once in a while

Before we start analyzing this, let’s recall our favorite blogs. Why do we keep reading them and even follow their updates on social medias?

Think of a blog you visit most frequently. Is it because you are bored? Is it an urge to find some advice on how to cook a lamb? Is it your curiosity about updates in the gaming world?

Close your eyes and think of it. Stay focused and recall the moment in details. What you felt - that is your cue. What feeling do you have when leaving your favorite blog? Is it a pleasant distraction at work? Is it satisfied curiosity? Is it a perfect recipe for cooking a lamb? That's the reward.

Now, think about what could be a cue for your readers.

If you have a blog on an art crafts store, the cue may be an urge to find a present or inspiration for handcrafts.

If you have a blog for web designers, the cue may be an urge to find free templates, free stock image resources, free Christmas fonts of free food freebies for their project.

Let me bring you a couple of examples for different types of audiences.

There is a much-visited blog The Art of Manliness. It's fun, engaging, has useful tips and some interesting point of views on the usual subjects. What makes you come back? An urge for finding practical ideas and a dose of humor. If you know this blog, for you, it may be something else.

There is another great recipe blog which usually comes to use in the lamb-recipes-search-cases. The cue is cooking a dinner, shopping, searching for food inspiration. The reward is a recipe which helps cook a nice meal, the pleasure from an aesthetics of a food blog.

To be perfectly frank, food-related projects are easier in terms of having regular readers/customers. The idea of food makes your stomach roar because hunger is one of those basic feelings alongside with a need to breathe.

[tweet_box]What would make your #customers develop a #habit of #sharing your posts? The #value of #content. #bloggingtips[/tweet_box]

Recall the last 3 times when you shared posts.

They were

  • Funny
  • They could come in handy for your work
  • They were breaking news
  • They had some valuable information you wanted your friends to know

If one is subscribed to CNN or 9Gag (and don’t hide them from the news feed), they are likely to have developed a habit of sharing posts from these resources. Either it’s a breaking news or a labrador stuck in a tree - “Sharing post with friends” is an easy-to-press button. In the first case, the cue is surprise/concernment, and the reward is craving to share and discuss the news with your friends on social media. In the second case, the cue is laughter/amusement, and reward - the emotions of your friends, expressed in likes, shares, and comments.

All in all, if you are a blogger, you need to understand why your customers should come back to your website, what would be the triggers (the cues), and the reward after visiting it. When you know it right, that will be the moment when you step on your Blogging Way to Success.

P.S. We have prepared for you a free printable form which you may fill in and see what needs to be fixed in your bad habits (or, maybe, what habits you are proud of).

my habit

You may also use it to understand what your customers want, thinking like your customer and filling in the form on their behalf. Don't forget that major part of your blog's success depends on the way it looks - we have a number of awesome WordPress blog themes that can help you create a solid foundation to your online money-making machine.

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Oksana Preda

I like putting things in order and sorting stuff to make it easier to find something useful. That's why I like creating template listings. Besides that, I do researches on different interesting topics on web design and seek topics that could inspire readers. LinkedIn

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