10 Ideas For The Interested This Week

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” — Mark Twain

On the day her husband became President, Eleanor Roosevelt did something no First Lady had ever done.

She announced plans to hold her own press conference.

Then she said only female journalists would be invited to cover it.

The move forced media outlets around the country to hire their first female reporters and jumpstarted careers for a generation of them.

This story is one of several I’ve recently shared on the For The Interested Instagram account (@ForTheInterested) — follow me there for more.

Now, on to this week’s ideas…

1. THE SECRET TO A SUCCESSFUL NEWSLETTER IS CONSISTENCY

“Anything you don’t commit to doing at a specific time will ALWAYS fall to the bottom of your to-do list because you haven’t made it a priority and it has no deadline.”

I’ve got a lot of thoughts about what it takes to create a successful newsletter and in this post I share one of the keys to doing so.

I explain why you won’t have a successful newsletter until you have a consistent one and point out consistency makes it easier to get people to care about your work, enables it to become a habit for your audience, and makes your newsletter easier to produce.

RELATED: 25 newsletters that will inspire, educate, and entertain you.

2. HOW TO BECOME INDISTRACTABLE

“You can’t call something a distraction unless you know what it distracted you from.”

If you can manage to not get distracted for 23 minutes, you’ll get a lot out of this talk from behavioral design expert Nir Eyal (who also happens to be one of The Interested!).

He explains how to become indistractable and suggests it may be the most important skill of the century.

His tips include to recognize the discomfort you’re trying to escape, identify your triggers, and take control of your schedule before somebody else does.

RELATED: Eight ways to improve your focus.

3. HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS

“However vast our networks may be, our inner circle tends to be much smaller. The average American trusts only 10 to 20 people. Moreover, that number may be shrinking: From 1985 to 2004, the average number of confidants that people reported having decreased from three to two.”

Research shows friendships are important to our health and happiness, but unfortunately our number of friends seem to be declining.

But The Atlantic points to studies that offer tips on how to make friends, including to not overlook the value of humble acquaintances, put in the time (it takes at least 200 hours to become a close friend with someone), and not to be afraid to confide in people you don’t know well.

RELATED: The eight friends you need in your life.

4. CREATIVE IS NOT A NOUN

“When people use the word creative as a job title I think it falsely divides the world into creatives and non-creatives. It also implies that the work of a creative is being creative, but being creative is never an end.”

Whether you do creative work or wish you did, this 45-minute Austin Kleon talk will inspire you.

He suggests creative is not a noun and shares advice for creative workers including to steal like an artist, pursue side projects and hobbies, and recognize your work doesn’t speak for itself.

RELATED: How to keep going as a creative person.

5. A SYSTEM FOR READING

“I make fairly liberal use of skimming and skipping, especially in non-fiction where not every chapter will have an equivalent impact for me. Skimming the first and last few pages of a chapter often gives you a great idea about whether the chapter is worth reading for you.”

This has to be the most elaborate description of a person’s reading process I’ve ever seen.

Simon H. Eskildsen shares his detailed system for reading that includes how he sources, chooses, reads, and processes material.

It’s also worth noting he only started reading regularly in the past few years, spends only a few hours a week doing so, and now reads between 30–50 books a year.

RELATED: How to read books without actually reading books.

6. HOW TO TAKE A DEPTH YEAR

“No new hobbies, equipment, games, or books are allowed during this year. Instead, you have to find the value in what you already own or what you’ve already started. You improve skills rather than learning new ones. You consume media you’ve already stockpiled instead of acquiring more.”

I’m not sure about doing this for a full year, but it certainly seems like doing it for a month could produce some interesting results.

Raptitude introduces the concept of a depth year, in which you commit to not start anything new or acquire any possessions you don’t need.

The idea is to focus on a carefully curated set of interests as opposed to shifting your attention from one momentary infatuation to the next.

RELATED: 10 creative ways to declutter your home.

7. MALCOLM GLADWELL’S ADVICE TO ENTREPRENEURS

“The problem is almost always larger than you, and so it can’t be mastered in one fell swoop. You have to learn to give the problems you’re working on the respect they deserve.”

Malcolm Gladwell has a lot of unconventional ideas, so it should come as no surprise that his advice to entrepreneurs is a bit unexpected.

In this Entrepreneur interview, he suggests procrastination can be a good thing, change only happens when the original generation is no longer in authority, and that ideas are cheap.

RELATED: How Malcolm Gladwell comes up with ideas.

8. 27 WAYS TO GET MORE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE

“All you need to do is find questions that your target audience asks online. Then, answer those questions in your content.”

It’s impossible to read this and not come away with at least a couple actionable ideas you can employ to get more people to visit your website or read your content.

Backlinko has compiled a list of 27 ways to get more traffic to your website including to create “upside down” guest posts, transform your content, and improve your organic click thru rate.

RELATED: Eight ways to maximize the value you get from your content.

9. BRANDS NEED A RALLYING CRY, NOT A TAGLINE

“Rallying cries invite us into the story. They tap into our aspirations. They charge us to become better. They do all this and more.”

People spend a lot of time trying to do their best Don Draper impersonation and come up with the perfect tagline for their product or service. The problem is, they don’t need a tagline.

Dan Salva suggests what brands need is a rallying cry because that creates an emotional shorthand that inspires, engages, and sticks in the head of your customers.

RELATED: Why brands need faces and franchises.

10. WHY MOST SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES FAIL

“Getting somebody to pay attention to you doesn’t necessarily do you any good. Attention only matters if it leads to something — if it helps you accomplish a goal.”

All attention is not created equal.

In this post I explain why most social media strategies fail and suggest the key to an effective one is to earn attention as opposed to chase it.

RELATED: Read this before you hire a social media expert.

WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF

I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Startup Resources, Dean Yeong, Greg Roth, Kara Cutruzzula, and Storythings — they’re awesome and worth your time.

Image via Toa Heftiba.