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3 Most Common Mental Errors That Sway Us From Making Best Decisions

I like to think of myself as a rational person, but I’m not one. The good news is it’s not just me — or you. We are all irrational, and we all make mental errors.

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For a long time, researchers and economists believed that humans made logical, well-considered decisions. In recent decades, however, researchers have uncovered a wide range of mental errors that derail our thinking. Sometimes we make logical decisions, but there are many times when we make emotional, irrational, and confusing choices.

Psychologists and behavioral researchers love to geek out about these different mental mistakes. There are dozens of them and they all have fancy names like “mere exposure effect” or “narrative fallacy.” But I don’t want to get bogged down in the scientific jargon today. Instead, let’s talk about the mental errors that show up most frequently in our lives and break them down in easy-to-understand language.

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Here are three most common mental errors that sway us from making best decisions.

1. Survivorship Bias.

Nearly every popular online media outlet is filled with survivorship bias these days. Anywhere you see articles with titles like “8 Things Successful People Do Everyday” or “The Best Advice Richard Branson Ever Received” or “How LeBron James Trains in the Off-Season” you are seeing survivorship bias in action.

Survivorship bias refers to our tendency to focus on the winners in a particular area and try to learn from them while completely forgetting about the losers who are employing the same strategy.

There might be thousands of athletes who train in a very similar way to LeBron James, but never made it to the NBA. The problem is nobody hears about the thousands of athletes who never made it to the top. We only hear from the people who survive. We mistakenly overvalue the strategies, tactics, and advice of one survivor while ignoring the fact that the same strategies, tactics, and advice didn’t work for most people.

Another example: “Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg all dropped out of school and became billionaires! You don’t need school to succeed. Entrepreneurs just need to stop wasting time in class and get started.”

It’s entirely possible that Richard Branson succeeded in spite of his path and not because of it. For every Branson, Gates, and Zuckerberg, there are thousands of other entrepreneurs with failed projects, debt-heavy bank accounts, and half-finished degrees. Survivorship bias isn’t merely saying that a strategy may not work well for you, it’s also saying that we don’t really know if the strategy works well at all.

When the winners are remembered and the losers are forgotten it becomes very difficult to say if a particular strategy leads to success.

survivorship bias (Common Mental Errors)

2. Loss Aversion.

Loss aversion refers to our tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. Research has shown that if someone gives you $10 you will experience a small boost in satisfaction, but if you lose $10 you will experience a dramatically higher loss in satisfaction. Yes, the responses are opposite, but they are not equal in magnitude. 

Our tendency to avoid losses causes us to make silly decisions and change our behavior simply to keep the things that we already own. We are wired to feel protective of the things we own and that can lead us to overvalue these items in comparison with the options.

For example, if you buy a new pair of shoes it may provide a small boost in pleasure. However, even if you never wear the shoes, giving them away a few months later might be incredibly painful. You never use them, but for some reason you just can’t stand parting with them. Loss aversion.

Similarly, you might feel a small bit of joy when you breeze through green lights on your way to work, but you will get downright angry when the car in front of you sits at a green light and you miss the opportunity to make it through the intersection. Losing out on the chance to make the light is far more painful than the pleasure of hitting the green light from the beginning.

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3. Confirmation Bias.

The Grandaddy of Them All. Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to search for and favor information that confirms our beliefs while simultaneously ignoring or devaluing information that contradicts our beliefs.

For example, Person A believes climate change is a serious issue and they only search out and read stories about environmental conservation, climate change, and renewable energy. As a result, Person A continues to confirm and support their current beliefs.

Meanwhile, Person B does not believe climate change is a serious issue, and they only search out and read stories that discuss how climate change is a myth, why scientists are incorrect, and how we are all being fooled. As a result, Person B continues to confirm and support their current beliefs.

Changing your mind is harder than it looks. The more you believe you know something, the more you filter and ignore all information to the contrary.

You can extend this thought pattern to nearly any topic. If you just bought a Honda Accord and you believe it is the best car on the market, then you’ll naturally read any article you come across that praises the car. Meanwhile, if another magazine lists a different car as the best pick of the year, you simply dismiss it and assume that the editors of that particular magazine got it wrong or were looking for something different than what you were looking for in a car. 

It is not natural for us to formulate a hypothesis and then test various ways to prove it false. Instead, it is far more likely that we will form one hypothesis, assume it is true, and only seek out and believe information that supports it. Most people don’t want new information, they want validating information.

confirmation bias (Common Mental Errors)

Where to Go From Here

Once you understand some of these common mental errors, your first response might be something along the lines of, “I want to stop this from happening! How can I prevent my brain from doing these things?”

It’s a fair question, but it’s not quite that simple. Rather than thinking of these miscalculations as a signal of a broken brain, it’s better to consider them as evidence that the shortcuts your brain uses aren’t useful in all cases. There are many areas of everyday life where the mental processes mentioned above are incredibly useful. You don’t want to eliminate these thinking mechanisms.

The problem is that our brains are so good at performing these functions — they slip into these patterns so quickly and effortlessly — that we end up using them in situations where they don’t serve us.

In cases like these, self-awareness is often one of our best options. Hopefully this article will help you spot these errors next time you make them.

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10 Best Ways to Get Free Backlinks for Your Websites

Backlinks are the focus of attention of SEO community for a good reason: link profile is one of key factors for the website’s SEO. At the same time, link building expenses are a significant part of SEO budget.

In this article, we’ll explain how to save your money and get free (or almost free) backlinks in 10 best different ways.

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1. Social Media

Social media use is one of the easiest ways to get free backlinks and increase your brand visibility in SERP. Some of them allow you to get dofollow backlinks, others don’t. In spite of the fact that dofollow links value much higher, do not underestimate nofollow links. Natural link profile must contain both dofollow and nofollow ones.

  • LinkedIn. LinkedIn blog-publishing service allows you to place nofollow links in articles. They can lead traffic to your website and naturally diverse link profile. And the main thing is that correctly written posts can be ranked pretty high in organic search. It means that you can use Linkedin blog as an additional promotion tool.
  • Pinterest and Tumblr. These popular visual content sharing platforms allow to make posts with dofollow links and successfully promote your content in organic image search.
  • Youtube. If you didn’t start any promotion of your company on Youtube, now it is time to do it. Don’t want to think about this? Ok, but what about backlinks and brand visibility in SERP? It’s reason enough to start working with Youtube.
  • Google Plus. We have already dedicated one of our WordPress SEO articles to Google+ social network and its importance. Backlinks from active G+ profile can be very useful for your website’s SEO: they’re considered not only by Alphabet’s search giant but also by other search engines.
  • Facebook and Twitter. Even if single thought about creating nofollow links makes you depressed, we highly recommend not to ignore popular social networks. They can become a nofollow link source, attract new visitors to your website and increase organic presence of your brand.
  • Reddit. Reddit is one of those services that react negatively to link spam: it requires appropriate and relevant link posting. It can sound a bit scary but don’t be afraid. When you’ll understand laws Reddit lives by, each properly placed link can become great garnish of your ‘link cocktail’ and lead huge amount of targeted traffic to your website.

2. Blog Publishing Services

Independent blogging platforms and blog publishing services from leading search engines can serve as additional source of backlinks and traffic. While making posts, don’t forget that publishing of same content on all platforms definitely isn’t good for you. Besides, every blogging platform has its own specific characteristics you need take into account in the content development process.

  • Blogger (ex-Blogspot). Blog publishing service developed by Google that allows placing dofollow links in posts.
  • Medium. Large independent service that is pretty popular in professional communities. Unfortunately, all Medium links have rel=”nofollow noopener” attribute.

3. Q&A Platforms

Main perk of Q&A services in terms of your website’s SEO lies not so much in backlinks creating, but in increasing brand visibility and direct targeted traffic flow. Usually, Q&A websites automatically set rel=”nofollow” attribute for all links, but it doesn’t mean that such links are completely useless for your website.

Here are several Q&A services that deserve special attention:

  • Quora. Large international service with a huge community and amount of professional questions (and answers, of course).
  • Yahoo Answers. Popular Q&A service developed by Yahoo search engine.

4. Forums

Manual blog commenting is one of the most simple and widespread link building techniques: all you need to do is to find and filter topics relevant to your niche and then start leaving comments.

Before you start working with a certain forum, you need to check:

  • amount of organic traffic
  • regular activity
  • who ‘lives’ on a forum: real users or link builders

Before writing comments, take forum rules into account: some of them say that you need to get some reputation before placing links in your comments. Violation of the rules can entail temporary or even lifelong ban.

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5. Websites with Lists of Products/Companies

If ratings and lists (of products or companies) are popular in your niche, you can use existing options and add your company (and website link) to them.

To find popular niche lists, use one of the Serpstat instruments — Keyword Research → SERP Analysis → Top by Keyword.

Link adding method will depend on list format of the list itself. If it was created as an article, you need to write a message to its author directly. If it was generated automatically, perform all necessary procedures required by a website to get in general rating.

6. Guest Posts and Publications in Niche Mass-Media Blogs

‘Blog’ section of niche media can be seen as next step in a long chain of ‘opinion pieces’ evolution of classic print media. The difference is that publication process became much easier than before. Now it is enough to register (or log in), upload your article with appropriate formatting and correct links and push a ‘Publish’ button.

This technique successfully works in such projects as TechInAsia: user-generated content goes through basic moderation and doesn’t require lengthy referral process and serious editing. It is a perfect way to place a natural link on the one hand and attract a great traffic from the newsfeed (and organic search) on the other.

One way or another, we can say that guest blog posting in niche media is a profitable venture 🙂 You need only to spend a little time and make an effort to create unique and valuable content that must be approved for publication.

7. Broken Link Building

If outbound content generating or publishing becomes problematic (you’ve completely run out of ideas or website owner asked for an exorbitant price), you can use one more link building method. This method involves searching for broken links and replacing them with active relevant links (from your website, of course):

  1. Select websites.
  2. Crawl them with Netpeak Spider to find all broken links within each website. You can read a detailed guide about broken links and how to find them in our previous post.
  3. Export and analyze broken links.
  4. Offer to website’s owner to replace broken link with a new one that leads to a relevant article from your website.

8. Participation in Conferences and Other Professional Events

Participation in professional events can not only be useful in terms of traditional PR: it also can provide additional possibilities for link building. Send your employee to an event as a speaker, become an media partner or a sponsor – and you are guaranteed to receive high-quality backlinks on event’s website. Don’t forget to speak out your requirements for links at the beginning of the partnership with event organizers.

9. Collaboration with Bloggers

In a perfect world partner (advertising) blog posts include an active dofollow link, and therefore content marketers and SEOs are interested in them.

Can we classify this method as free? If your company has sufficient social media authority or huge email subscriber base, your PR opportunities can be a good argument for collaboration with bloggers. Otherwise, you can always propose a straight swap if the blogger really needs your product.

10. Wikipedia

This backlink creating method is the most resource-intensive. And we don’t even mean money: it’s all about your time and nerve cells. The process of creating a Wikipedia page demands your perseverance: you’ll face series of edits before your article will be approved by Wikipedia administrators. However, when a page will be published you’ll get your treasured trusted backlink.

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking Funding For Startup

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Seeking financing for your startup is one of the most daunting tasks faced by budding entrepreneurs. The world is littered with examples of failed startups. Most of the times, the root cause of this is one thing: Money. If you are about to embark on the self-rewarding journey of setting up your own startup, learn the lesson by not making the following same mistakes made by countless before you.

  1. Inadequate Market Research: You have an idea for a product or service which you think is brilliant and will be a game changer. Most of the times, startups are too attached with their idea, understandably so since it is their baby. However, before embarking on this journey make do these things:
  • Research if there is even a market for the product.
  • Not understanding the need of the customers. Your product needs to solve problems of people.
  • Do small market test runs with product to guide product development the right way.
  1. Giving Up Too Much Control: In the initial days when despite so many efforts, startups see no money tickling their way, they tend to get desperate. Most of the investors in early stages of finance want to have a stake in the equity of the company in return for their money.

Startup needs to realize that they will need investing in more than one stage thus it is important not to give too much equity in the beginning. Giving up too much control can end up making you a minority shareholder later on.

  1. Raising Too Much or Too Little Money: Too much or too little of anything is never good. It is important to understand exactly how much capital you are going to need at every stage of your startup by doing thorough valuation and analysis.
  • Having too much does give you some cushion, but money does not come free. With too much money at hand, you might be tempted to make decisions for which the startup is not ready.
  • Some startups play it safe by asking for too little money. This can also be a recipe for disaster, as you will run out of money soon. And will need to go through the entire process again, letting the investors know that you did not plan right.
  1. Targeting the Wrong Investors: Do not waste your time trying to get investment from a firm who has no history of lending to your industry or for startup financing. Or going to an investor who already has an investment in your competitor. Try to get investors, who also bring something to the table other than just money, it can be in the form of recruitment or product development or simple mentoring.

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Time to Kick These Common 3 SEO Myths

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Search engine optimization has been around since ages and is constantly changing. It is as relevant today as it was before and always keep the marketers and SEO strategist adopting. Despite its importance, business owners usually have certain misconceptions about SEO and the role it plays. Down below are some of the most common myths about SEO and why they are just that, myths and nothing more.

  1. They are Clickbait: One of the most prevalent myth is that SEO is just click baiting and nothing else. Coming up with keywords that your intended user associates with is just one step of the bigger picture in the SEO process. Proper SEO makes the user experience better by:
    • Making content that is more easily discovered
    • Structuring data
    • Optimizing website for mobile & social media use
    • Reaching the right audience

Unfortunately, some of the smaller naïve businesses have been taken for a ride by others who promised that their website will be ranked #1 for $xx. Of course, there is not such short cut for SEO and now they think SEO is just a fraud. SEO requires hard work and effort in order to be effective.

  1. Blogs are Essential for SEO: Some people associate SEO with blog writing and believe that blogs are the actual essence of it. A blog will not magically make your website appear higher on the search ranks or make more people look you up.

A blog can be a great way to further strengthen your website and augment your SEO friendly content if you already have a strong website presence. If your business is new, no one is going to be interested in your blog.

You should use blogs when:

  • You have little competition
  • Have an established website (check domain authority score)
  • Write blogs on external websites
  • If you must write blogs for your new business, use Facebook to promote them
  1. Link building is Bad: People either think that link building is dead or view it as something where more is merrier. Not all link building is equal and quality and not quantity, matter when it comes to link building. Linking through Twitter or Facebook or some unknown websites is actually bad but a mention in a reputable website can do wonders for your SEO results.

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How to Unlock Our Hidden Master Creativity Genius

Read this guide and discover the creative strategies of the greatest artists, musicians, and writers in the world—Pablo Picasso, Franz Kafka, Dr. Seuss and many more.

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The full guide is packed with 36 pages of information on how creativity works, how to overcome the mental blocks that all artists face, and how to make creative thinking a habit.

For instant access, just enter your email address and click “Get Updates!” You’ll get immediate access to the guide, plus you’ll receive new articles every Monday and Thursday about boosting your creativity, mastering your habits, and living a good life.

Don’t see a signup form? Send me a message here and I’ll add you right away.

This page pulls together my most essential information about creativity. I’ll share how creativity works, how to find your hidden creative genius, and how to create meaningful work by learning how to make creative thinking a habit. I’ve tried to present the basics of everything you need to know to start mastering creativity, even if you don’t have much time.

At the end of this page, you’ll find a complete list of all the articles I have written on creativity.
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What is Creativity?
Let’s define creativity.

The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts. Creative thinking is not about generating something new from a blank slate, but rather about taking what is already present and combining those bits and pieces in a way that has not been done previously.

Young believed the process of creative connection always occurred in five steps.

The Creative Process
Gather new material. At first, you learn. During this stage you focus on 1) learning specific material directly related to your task and 2) learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind. During this stage, you examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
Let your idea return to you. At some point, but only after you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.
Read more: For a More Creative Brain, Follow These 5 Steps

Is There Such a Thing as ‘Naturally Creative’?
While we often think of creativity as an event or as a natural skill that some people have and some don’t, research actually suggests that both creativity and non-creativity are learned.

According to psychology professor Barbara Kerr, “approximately 22 percent of the variance [in creativity] is due to the influence of genes.” This discovery was made by studying the differences in creative thinking between sets of twins.

All of this to say, claiming that “I’m just not the creative type” is a pretty weak excuse for avoiding creative thinking. Certainly, some people are primed to be more creative than others. However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.

Read more: Creativity Is a Process, Not an Event

3 Lessons on Creativity from Famous Creators
The 15-Minute Routine Anthony Trollope Used to Write 40+ Books: Beginning with his first novel in 1847, Anthony Trollope wrote at an incredible pace. Over the next 38 years, he published 47 novels, 18 works of non-fiction, 12 short stories, 2 plays, and an assortment of articles and letters. Let’s break down why Trollope’s simple strategy allowed the author to be so productive and how we can use it in our own lives.

How Creative Geniuses Come Up With Great Ideas: Best-selling author Markus Zusak estimated that he rewrote the first part of his popular book “The Book Thief” 150 to 200 times. His work ethic and dedication tell us something crucial about how creative geniuses come up with great ideas.
You can also check out creativity articles about Albert Einstein, Martha Graham, George R.R. Martin, and Maya Angelou.

How to Be Creative
Step 1: Give yourself permission to create junk
In any creative endeavor, you have to give yourself permission to create junk. There is no way around it. Sometimes you have to write 4 terrible pages just to discover that you wrote one good sentence in the second paragraph of the third page.

Creating something useful and compelling is like being a gold miner. You have to sift through pounds of dirt and rock and silt just to find a speck of gold in the middle of it all. Bits and pieces of genius will find their way to you, if you give yourself permission to let the muse flow.

Step 2: Create on a schedule
No single act will uncover more creative genius than forcing yourself to create consistently. Practicing your craft over and over is the only way to become decent at it. The person who sits around theorizing about what a best-selling book looks like will never write it. Meanwhile, the writer who shows up every day and puts their butt in the chair and their hands on the keyboard — they are learning how to do the work.

If you want to do your best creative work, then don’t leave it up to choice. Don’t wake up in the morning and think, “I hope I feel inspired to create something today.” You need to take the decision-making out of it. Set a schedule for your work. Genius arrives when you show up enough times to get the average ideas out of the way.

Step 3: Stop judging your own work
Everyone struggles to create great art. Even great artists.

Anyone who creates something on a consistent basis will begin to judge their own work. I write new articles every Monday and Thursday. After sticking to that publishing schedule for three months, I began to judge everything I created. I was convinced that I had gone through every decent idea I had available. My most popular article came 8 months later.

It is natural to judge your work. It is natural to feel disappointed that your creation isn’t as wonderful as you hoped it would be, or that you’re not getting any better at your craft. But the key is to not let your discontent prevent you from continuing to do the work.

You have to practice enough self-compassion to not let self-judgement take over. Sure, you care about your work, but don’t get so serious about it that you can’t laugh off your mistakes and continue to produce the thing you love. Don’t let judgment prevent delivery.

Step 4: Hold yourself accountable
Share your work publicly. It will hold you accountable to creating your best work. It will provide feedback for doing better work. And when you see others connect with what you create, it will inspire you and make you care more.

Sometimes sharing your work means you have to deal with haters and critics. But more often than not, the only thing that happens is that you rally the people who believe the same things you believe, are excited about the same things you are excited about, or who support the work that you believe in — who wouldn’t want that?

The world needs people who put creative work out into the world. What seems simple to you is often brilliant to someone else. But you’ll never know that unless you choose to share.

How to Find Your Creative Genius
Finding your creative genius is easy: do the work, finish something, get feedback, find ways to improve, show up again tomorrow. Repeat for ten years. Or twenty. Or thirty.

Inspiration only reveals itself after perspiration.

Best Creativity Books

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander
Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod

Does your website need millions of visits? Buy website traffic cheap at 10khits for just $29 and get hundreds of thousands of visits per month or simply you can earn free website traffic! Then please click this link https://www.10khits.com/?ref=452345Decision Making Guide: How to Make Smart Decisions and Avoid Worst Decision that Will Affect Our Life