All posts by Wading in Wisdom

A Few Thoughts on Achieving Success

If you can ever wrap your head around the fact that the world is not fair, you may have a chance to succeed.

I can remember when I use to get mad at things when they went against me. I was stupid enough to believe that I should get what I want.

I deserve it, right? I did everything perfectly.

Nope.

If you do everything perfectly, you may still not get what you want.

Which leads most of us to holding a grudge. I like to think of a grudge as roadblock we put up in our own path of success. It is crazy how much we can sabotage ourselves.

What’s even worse is that once we set up this roadblock, we start to spiral down even further. We may even find ourselves chasing approval.

You can often see this after a break-up. A girl or guy will continue to chase someone after getting dumped. They enter into a state of fear. Fear that they aren’t good enough. You may even begin to hold wierd or stupid grudges that have no merit. This mindset is a almost certain to bring failure.

This fear can happen even if you did everything correctly. It can happen to anyone.

When things go against you, it’s hard to keep pushing forward.

This is why reaching any personal success is so hard. There are countless unforeseen barriers that you have to overcome.

Most people give up. It’s easier then fighting for something you no longer believe in.

So, what’s the solution?

The solution is pretty simple. Just show up and keep trying. You must keep doing the small things that will one day lead to what you want.

You don’t need to believe you will make it. Just keep doing what you need to do despite you feeling like your world is crashing down all around you (easier said then done).

I currently work a lot of hours at my jobs (60-80 hours a week). I have some health issues, but I keep pushing for my personal dream. I do this despite the fact that I doubt myself most days.

My dream is simply to make one small change in the world. A change that will make it a better place.

I don’t know if I ever will. I may fail. But, I just keep pushing. I can live with the fact that I tried my best no matter what.

I don’t chase happiness. I live it. I accept my life as it is and do my best to get what I want. I don’t dwell on things I have messed up. I simply live my life by asking myself one question.

“What do I need to do next to get what I want?”

Nothing else matters unless you let things hold you back.

Thanks for reading. Time for bed.

I will be writing longer form material in the near future. My plate is too full at the moment. So, you are stuck with my rants at the moment (sorry).

Marketing in a World Where No One Wants to be Sold

The moment you start to have expectations is the start of a downward spiral where no one wins.

What’s even harder to understand is that using your loudest voice is often energy wasted on deaf ears.

What you bring to the table is important, but what’s more important is your reason for showing up to the table at all.

If you think that you can capture success by sheer will power, then you may be heading down a road of disappointment.

You can have a great product or idea, but a crappy way of leading people to it.

It’s not about giving your all, it’s about where you choose to put your effort.

If you goal is to help people, then you have a chance. Leading with thoughts of lining your pocket will undoubtedly leave you penniless.

Put your effort into creating something great.

People are smart. They can see through a fake pitch the moment it leaves your mouth.

What people are looking for is you to stand back and show them how much value you bring.

They want to come at their own pace.

The moment you do this, is when people will begin to trust you.

It’s never about the words you say or even the actions you take.

It’s about what you have to offer.

Taking a stand is hard and requires courage.

Chasing people or looking for the easy way will trigger a small reflex in the back of people’s mind.

They learn in an instant that you can’t be trusted.

But, people are forgiving. If you change how you represent yourself today and start to believe it, you can convince some to follow.

If you have a blog, simply write about your passions and let people come to you.

If what you offer is valuable, then opportunities will come your way.

If you choose to market yourself, don’t waste time and energy chasing the wrong people.

Take the time to figure out who your audience is.

But, don’t run up to them with a pitch about what they can’t live without.

Be different.

Be creative.

And just maybe, find a new way to succeed.

Thanks for reading.

Why Some Blogging Goals Are Bad

Goals are supposed to be this thing that lead us down a productive path. But, sadly this isn’t always the case. In fact, sometimes it would be better if we just didn’t make them at all.

These “bad” goals often give us the feeling that we are achieving success. But, they are often followed by dark periods of realization.

You must remember that writing blogs posts is like going to the gym everyday. While you may not see immediate results, your effort will eventually pay off (if you are writing content that people love).

Let’s take a look at a one of these “bad” goals to see how they can be deceptive.

Get 3,000 views in a month

I don’t even understand why this goal exists. It’s almost like celebrating when you get 10 people to look at you when you were at the department store.

It doesn’t accomplished anything of real value.

In fact, most people probably forgot about you a few seconds after they skimmed your blog post.

Trying to pick a specific number of views to obtain is nothing more than an attempt to stroke your own ego.

Not a good goal.

I’m not saying that views aren’t important. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t promote your blog.

What I’m saying is that chasing a specific number of views or likes is pointless. It’s mental energy wasted.

The truth is a goal like this will likely push you to publish content too quickly. Then, you are stuck running around trying to force it upon people who it wasn’t intended for.

Plus, a goal like this is complex in nature. It requires you to use a lot of mental energy to figure out how to achieve something for not much gained.

A good goal would be something like:

Write a blog post that one person will love.

At least if you achieve this goal, you know you touched one person.

Further, a goal like this requires you to put your energy into something that matters.

Doing this will put you on the path of finding your niche and help you find your writing voice.

I want you to know that I fully understand what it feels like to post something that no one visits. It’s tough. I can completely understand why people chase views.

But, I want to challenge you to continue to show up and try to get better. Please don’t chase numbers.

The views will come. But, even if they don’t, you are learning and getting better. Try very hard not to make mistakes that ruin your credibility.

Thanks for reading…

Why You Should Start a Monetization Plan for Your Blog Today

Starting a blog is like trying to walk into a busy crowded room and attempting to get heard. It’s not easy. But, there are few places that offer the flexibility of a blog.

You set your own schedule and you can post from anywhere in the world.

You even have a chance to make money if you are self-motivated and willing to dedicate time to writing great blog posts.

But, if you want a chance of succeeding, you will need to find a way to navigate through the blogging landscape full of pitfalls and critics.

Which brings me to this post. I want to talk to you about monetizing your blog. It’s something that is important to a lot of people.

First off, there is nothing wrong with you wanting to monetize. Running a blog costs real money and the time you spend writing is worth something.

But, if you want to monetize your blog in the future, you need to start planning today.

What do I mean?

I will give you an example.

Let’s say that you want to create an ebook to sell online one year from now. So, you spent one year building up a email list and views. And in a year you put your ebook up for sale.

The problem is that the people who follow your blog may not be interested in buying your ebook. They may not convert to customers.

They may just like reading your funny stories about your cat. You need to start today by connecting with people who are looking for what you will be selling later.

You need to be writing content that will attract them.

Keep in mind that this only requires you to write 52 posts a year if you write one per week. This should be manageable for most people. You could even do it on the side.

Even if you aren’t sure you want to monetize later, you should still be tailoring your content toward building an audience that will be receptive toward you monetizing later.

Unless you know with 100 % certainty that you will never monetize.

I’m just trying to save you some time and energy.

Please keep in mind that you don’t need a rock solid plan. I like to think of it more like a path. Just keep trying different things until you find something that works for you.

Thanks for reading…

I’m curious, are any of you planning to monetize one day?

What I Learned in My First Month Blogging

I started this blog because I had a deep desire to do something creative. And since I always loved writing, I figured this would be the best option.

But, the problem was that I started as a complete beginner. I knew nothing!

I spent my first few days of blogging reading a bunch of articles on how to blog.

After about a week of reading, I began to realize that this was going to be harder than it looks.

There was so much to learn!

And I clearly didn’t have a plan.

So, I figure I could give you a run down of the things I learned in my first month plus some resources I currently use.

I broke it down into 3 sections

  • The Basics
  • The Semi Advanced
  • The Weird Fun Stuff

The Basics


My first couple of blog posts looked like a scribbling that a proud 5 year-old child handed to his or her parents. You knew something was there, but you weren’t quite sure what it was.

I quickly learned that I needed a clear topic and an outline. Then, all I needed to do was color (write) in the different parts of my blog post. This made writing a blog post much easier.

Plus, it made them much easier to read.

(The above pic is suppose to be a cat!)

But, then I ran into my next problem. I wasn’t sure how long my blog posts should be. Should I write 1000 words? 2000? 250?

Since I tend to over-analyze everything, I decided to dive into a bunch of research on this topic.

The best answer I got was from Marlene van de Rakt at Yoast. She suggests that you have a higher chance of ranking in Google if your posts are 1000 words or more.

Her reason for this is clear. She says “– in lengthy text, Google just has more clues to determine what your text is about“. So, I need to give Google as many clues as I can to get the highest ranking possible.

At this point I began to think that maybe I had a solid footing. That is, until a new bandwagon rolled into town.

It was a shiny glitter photo bandwagon.

This photo bandwagon brought with it new stats and a scary new world. I couldn’t help but to run over to the wagon to see what new things lay in store for me.

I quickly found out that photos were important. In fact, according to Jeff Bullas “Articles with images get 94% more total views“. But, there was a problem.

I couldn’t just go out and snatch up any photos I wanted to use on my blog. There was this thing called copyright law that protected photos.

What makes this even harder is that some photos may be free to use, but you aren’t allowed to modify them. Or, maybe there is a restriction that prevents you from using the photo commercially.

I learned that I need to be very careful before using a photo. I needed to read and reread all of the terms before using one. But, to be safe, it would be best if I just use photos that I create.

Well, that covers the basics. Now, for the semi advanced stuff…

The Semi Advanced


I can’t begin to tell you how many sleepless nights I have had due to SEO. Every time I watch a YouTube video on this subject, I have flashbacks to my Economics class in college.

I would sit there staring at my teacher, knowing that what he said was important, but my brain just couldn’t process all of the information being thrown at it.

So, first things first. I learned that SEO is important. Especially if you want to be a professional. And there is a ton of resources online. But, it all comes down to a couple of key points. The points are:

  • Select a keyword
  • Check search volume of keyword
  • Study competition for keyword
  • Write a high quality awesome blog post around a keyword
  • Optimize the blog post
  • Market the blog post like it’s the best thing ever written

While this may sound simple. It’s not!

A good free resource that I found to be helpful is the Google Keyword Planner. It helps me find keywords and it gives me an idea of search volume.

Moz Open Site Explorer is also a great resource I found where I can compare my blog against the competition. They also have some great information on keyword research.

But, I can’t go crazy searching keywords all day on Moz. They only have a limited amount of free searches I can do. So, I try to do my searches strategically to get the best results.

I have found that optimizing my blog post is fairly easy. I just follow the tips that Marlene van de Rant suggests to do in her article here .

But, then I ran across this crazy statistic. According to Mediakix, “there are more than 440 million blogs in the world“.

How am I going to stand out with a number that big? My blog is so puny and small. My only chance to stand out is to get a niche, and fast!

At least if I select a niche, I narrow down who my competition is. I am no longer competing against every blogger in the world!

Plus if I have a niche, it would be easier to monetize later if I decide too. I would at least have a topic to write an e-book about. Further, the people who follow my blog will already be interested in the topics I write about.

But, then I noticed something that all of the cool bloggers were doing. They were using infographics. And I want to be cool. So, I found this free App called Canva where I can make an infographic. Here is one I created for this post.

As you can see, I’m still in the learning process.

But, before I can publish anything I need to run my content through a plagiarism detector. Everything that I write is original, but I like to be safe.

I actually tested out a number of plagiarism tools, but only one passed every test I threw at it. I currently use PlagScan. They do have a limited free trial (a few credits) but the costs is fairly reasonable in my opinion.

One final thought I should include is social media. I have unsuccessfully added social media into my blog marketing. The reason for this is that I’m focusing on writing my content right now.

Trying to learn a social media platform would be too much for me right now. But, I do visit other blogs and leave comments. I have found that this helps me connect with other bloggers who will often check out my blog.

Plus, if you leave a comment or question on websites, it will sometimes count as a backlink back to your blog.

I wouldn’t go crazy doing this, but grabbing a few backlinks couldn’t hurt.

If you aren’t sure where to check to see if you have any backlinks, the place I check mine is the Google Webmasters tool. It’s free to use and you can see find some interesting stuff pertaining to your blog there.

Now for the weird fun stuff…

The Weird Fun Stuff


The fact is that no matter how great or original my idea seems, it probably has already been written about at least 17 times. This hit me hard in the beginning.

I kept thinking that my ideas were the greatest ever!

That is, until I searched my idea on Google and found that it has been written 17 times before (one about 10 years ago).

Which brings me to another thought about my “great ideas”. Why do I always have my greatest ideas when there is no paper around?

It never fails. Everytime I come up with an idea, finding a piece of paper to write it down on is the most difficult thing I have ever encountered.

And it doesn’t matter how many times you proofread your post. As soon as you hit publish, grammar and spelling errors will magically start to appear throughout your post.

Add to this, your family and friends will not be excited as you are about every post that you write. In fact, they may not be excited at all. So, it becomes increasing difficult to find someone to proofread your blog post.

But, I have learned one trick that makes me sound smarter. It’s called a thesaurus. The only problem is you can use it so much that you end up with the original words that you started with!

Plus, you will inevitably come to a point where you have to trash a 2000 word post because it makes no sense. This hurts! So much work and it was all for nothing.

But, I will close this post with one final thought. While creating a blog from scratch is a lot of work, it comes with a sense of satisfaction. You created something from nothing.

You not only write content and find pictures. But, you have to go out and tell the world about your post and hope they come check it out.

While the work never seems to end, I think it’s something that is fun and I plan to continue doing it for a while.

Thanks for reading…

You can check out my first blog post “Confessions of a First Time Blogger” here if you want to see how far I have come.

Or, you can check out my most popular post “Why Your Blog Needs a Small Following” here.

Failures; Hardships; and Setbacks in Blogging and in Life

Have you ever reached that point where you feel like the world has given up on you? You keep striving to do your best, but the world never seems to take notice.

I have been there (many times!).

It’s not fun.

Whether you are short on paying bills or you just can’t write another word because you brain is overloaded with fear and doubt, the truth is…

YOU are good enough.

Now, I know you may read that and be skeptical. I don’t even know you.

How could I know that you are good enough?

I know because you are reading this. If you are reading this, I know you are looking for answers.

You are trying…

Plus, you probably got a little fire left to push through this hard time. And, that’s the key to overcoming any setback or hard time.

The setback is rarely the thing that holds you back.

It’s how you react to it.

But, I’m tired and it seems impossible”

Well, I got good news!

You can accomplish your dream.

And you don’t even need an expert to tell you how.

This seems to be something a lot of people miss. They think they need an expert to teach them the way to do something.

While the experts can give you great examples on what they did. They are not you.

You have to put in the work to see what works for you!

And guess what?

That means you are going to have setback and failures.

And that’s ok.

Be ok with that.

If you want to write a super awesome blog post, then figure it out. Go through the 100 failures it takes to get it right.

No expert will ever be able to tell you exactly what to do. You have to learn what to do with your audience in your situation.

If you want to monetize your blog, don’t look at others with envy. Find out what you can do today to start moving in that direction.

You will probably screw up a few times.

And that’s ok.

How many times are you going to let the world beat you?

Honestly, how many times are you going to give up?

This is not about pride. This is about you achieving what you want.

You are going to have to dig down deep to find the strength to push through.

Now, I could provide you with thousands of success stories and give you countless examples of the hardships that people have faced.

But, you don’t need that.

You just need someone like me to tell you that your dream is possible.

Maybe you fail 1000 more times.

It’s ok.

Keep pushing.

Your dream, whatever it is, can be achieved if you don’t give up.

“What happens if I never succeed?”

The dream, whatever it is, is not the yardstick by which you should measure your success.

You should measure your success by your movement toward your dream.

Quit thinking that every time you have a setback that you have failed.

With every setback, you have moved one step closer to the things you want.

Isn’t this what you want?

To know you are moving toward your success?

Over night success would be wonderful, but winning a fight of years of struggle is much more meaningful.

Keep inching toward it.

You have that strength and courage. You always have. It’s just hard to see it when you are surrounded by your let-down after let-down.

You have come so far in life, wherever you are.

You have learned so much.

Just think about how much further you can go, if you keep pushing forward.

One day I hope to see you living out your dream. But, if you aren’t, I fully expect to see you pushing toward it.

Thanks for reading and go get that dream of yours!

Tips on Taking Your Next Blog Post to New Heights

Writing a post for a blog can be a lot of work. But, the fact is…YOU LOVE IT! In fact, you keep coming back time and again to try to craft that perfect masterpiece.

And guess what?

It is possible…

“Is it hard?”

You bet it’s hard. It’s like staring at a wall trying to figure out what the meaning of life is. It’s tough!

But, before we get sucked into a bunch of thoughts on the meaning of life. We are here to do one task.

Learn how to write a post that you can be proud to show your family, friends, or even that strict teacher who gave you a “C” on that writing exam.

While there is a bunch of info online about writing. I wanted to take a look at some things that aren’t widely talked about. Things that may be preventing you from writing your masterpiece.

But first, let’s take a look at some basics. And then we will jump into some of the deeper aspects.

Basics

Time to Learn

Knowledge Gap


Writing about a topic can seem daunting if you don’t have any knowledge on the subject. But, luckily for you there is a ton (a ton!) of resources. Just be sure to cite any sources you use. A few of them include

  • Search Engines (easy to use)
  • Books (a little harder)
  • Newspapers and magazines (I find information here randomly)
  • Wikipedia (easy, but not always the most credible)

There are numerous more resources I could list here, but you get the idea. The fact is that you have to go out and find the information.

I will honest, it sucks. It’s hard reading through material that you aren’t interested in. But, you are trying to find that golden nugget you need to create your masterpiece. It’s time well spent. Otherwise it’s just a good post. We are going for better than good.

Creating an Outline

Outline or Structure


Most of us learned how to create an outline in school. While I personally find them helpful, I have been known to deviate from my outline from time to time.

I will sometimes stray so far from my topic that I write an entire post within a post. Don’t do this! Trust me, it hurts having to go back and delete two hours of work about why I like birds with small wings. Stick to the outline.

It will save you pain unless you enjoy wasting your time or have nothing better to do. Then, by all means, type away.

Topics

A Good Topic


Finding a good topic that people want to read about is important. Don’t do what I did recently. I wrote a post about a cat I once had. It was a nice little post. The problem? No one read it. It got 2 views and I promptly deleted the post.

While you may be able to write an awesome cat post, people don’t come to my blog to read about my cat.

Unless of course you do? In that case, I could probably knock out a 5,000 word essay on cat fur. Interested? I didn’t think so. Find topics your audience wants to read about.

Everybody is different and you have your own specialty. You can still experiment writing about different things, but don’t get discouraged if no one reads it.

I inserted a few cat photos below as a visual reminder to myself to stay away from cat content.

Now that I got a few basics out of the way, we can jump into the deeper section of the blog writing pool. Hope you are ready!

Some Deeper Thoughts on Writing

Not the Time to Sleep

Motivation


Let’s face it. You may not want to put time and energy into a post that few people are going to read. That’s just the way it is. But, maybe…just maybe you need to put the energy into your post to get more readers.

I will admit it’s hard. I struggle myself. The two people who read my cat post seen what happens when I get lazy. It doesn’t work. I wish it did!

But, if you put in the work, people will notice. I love it when I come across a good post unexpectedly. I always start looking for the “like” button. And if the posts is really good, I will follow them. That’s how it works. Amaze people with content and they come back.

I’m Not Perfect

Perfection


You may think you will never be able to create your masterpiece because you believe you are incapable of producing perfection. Guess what? None of us can.

This post is littered with places that I could edit, fine tune, and make better. But, in the end, I took a shot at producing something worth reading.

I remember a couple of weeks ago when I published “Why Your Blog Needs a Small Following“. I thought I had achieved near perfection. I was elated. That was until I hit the publish button. I immediately started noticing misspelled words and incomplete sentences.

I rushed back through trying to correct all the mistakes. It’s funny how our minds can miss so many mistakes. I should do a post on that one day.

Creating Value

Creating Value When You Are Not An Expert


I love talking about value! It’s what your readers want. But, how can you know what is valuable info for your readers? You aren’t an expert.

You may even feel unqualified.

All you really need are some good ideas.

One thing I personally do is thought experiments. What I mean is I look at things from all angles.

Let’s say I wanted to write a post about blog growth. I wouldn’t just start writing about how to grow a blog.

I would probably spend some time trying to figure out how people view their growth on their blog. For example, I may open my post like this:

Let’s say you have 10,000 followers and I have 10.

Who is growing faster?

Hmmm…

You can’t tell!

Why is this?

This is how you can add value. Don’t tell them facts you find online. Think about what they are missing. Find the answers to the hard questions.

This again requires that you spend time and energy trying to find answers (the golden nuggets). You have to do this while trying to avoid falling down countless rabbit holes. But, one trick I learned is to use the simple question “WHY?”

Why should I write this post?

Why should my followers read it?

Why is this important?

Why..

Etc.

This always helps me find out where I am trying to go. It’s not a perfect solution, but I think that’s it helpful. I use it to get started.

The important thing to remember is that you are trying to find answers to some questions. You don’t need to become an expert. Narrow your focus down to a single thought and then expand out.

Look for something that is rarely discussed and tell the world your thoughts on it.

You are Awesome

Comparing Yourself to Others


I know, I know. We all do it. We think if only we were as good as them. They create content that flows so seamless.

I’m not good enough…

This kind of thinking never helps.

One trick I use is I compare myself to myself. For example

“Am I better than I was last week?”

If so, then I know I’m heading in the right direction. It’s hard to do when you come across some of these awesome posts. I read one the other day that made me cry.

I thought “Wow” this guy is good. But, I can’t let that stop me from trying. I use it as motivation to keep trying to improve and become better.

Wrapping it Up

Final Thoughts


Before you run off to create your masterpiece, I would like to take a second to follow-up on some interactions I have had recently with fellow bloggers.

I sometimes hear people say they are not good writers or that they don’t know to write.

Do not overthink writing your post!

Don’t try to write an academic article about butterflies unless that is your specialty. Instead, take your own personal view on butterflies and just write like you are talking to a friend.

People can relate to you if you are writing in your nature voice.

I’m sure you talk to people everyday in life?

Just be yourself. I’m writing naturally right now. You don’t see any big-hard-to-pronounce words, do you? And I still have your interest.

If I want to talk about tomatoes, I’m not going to try to sound like a botanist. I would probably just start writing about how I like ketchup, and if ketchup taste like tomatoes.

Just be natural.

That’s all I have for now.

Thanks for your time. I made every attempt not to waste a second of it. Good luck…

SEO: A Simple Guide to Getting Started

Many of you may feel overwhelmed. And who could blame you? There are so many factors involved in trying to create a blog and build traffic.

If you are like me, you go online or buy books to try to unravel the mystery of how to make your site the best it can be.

Most of you have heard that SEO is important. You may have even spent a little time trying to figure out how to implement it into your blog.

There are even SEO firms that you can hire to help with your SEO. But, who has thousands of dollars to spend on a blog or website that they haven’t even monetize yet?

So, what can you do?

If you have read any of my previous post, you know I stress writing high quality content. I’m a big advocate of writing content that your audience wants to read.

If you do this, then you are already using SEO without realizing it.

The great thing about high quality content is that it delivers exactly what your audience wants. It provides the answers to questions that people are searching for. Not only that, other websites may link to your blog because your information is a great resource.

This is basic SEO.

A lot of people look at SEO as something they have to do. They think that they have to put certain key phrases in their post. Or, they worry that they will have to go out and try to get links from other sites. But, this isn’t necessarily true.

Creating high quality posts that provides all the answers to your reader’s questions will automatically provide keywords that will help with your site’s ranking.

Plus, the links will develop organically as people read your post. Other blogs and websites will link to your blog as a reference because your information is trustworthy and your content is worth reading.

Obviously, there are more Advanced Techniques in SEO.

But, creating posts that deliver beyond your audience’s expectation is an easy way to start implementing SEO into your blog.

Building a foundation is a necessary step to getting started. As you progress and become more comfortable with writing posts for your blog, you can add more layers of SEO to it.

Concentrate on what the visitor to your blog wants. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Try to imagine what questions they would want to ask you.

If you do this, you are on your way to building a site that could become the go-to resource in your field.

These are a few techniques that will not only help with your SEO, but will help you create better content as well.

Good luck and thanks for reading…

Why Your Blog Needs a Small Following

Have you ever wondered if all this effort is worth it? You work all day at your regular job, come home, and write until 2am. Hit the publish button and…

3 people read your post.

Ahhhhhhhh!!

Or…

Maybe you recieve a lot of views but nobody ever comes back.

Am I crazy?” You ask yourself…

“Why am I doing this?”

There are countless people online that will tell you that they can help grow your traffic and your site can be a success.

They will give you countless tips such as hopping on social media and promoting your site.

But…

I’m personally tired of reading about a man or woman who grew a website to 100,000 views/month in 8 months.

This kind of info seems to permeate every site I read these days. This is not the real world. They talk about how they made $50,000 last month and how their system can work for you.

Sure, there are plenty of people who can do that. But, most of you don’t have years of experience to lean on. You aren’t experts on SEO, CSS, and all the other blogging abbreviations.

You just type your thoughts onto the screen and hope that people will find you and read what you wrote.

Or, maybe you have a solid understanding. But, you are not an expert.

If you are an expert, you can stop reading now and go create a blogging empire.

As for the rest of us, I will continue…

It would be nice if there was a roadmap that you could follow.

The truth is you may spend months writing on your blog or website and have little to show for it.

So, what is the answer? Do you just continue to construct posts day after day hoping that people will find you?

You want to be heard, dang it!! (G rated version)

But, it seems few people are listening.

Here is a thought…

You are exactly where you need to be.

This may be hard to hear. Maybe you don’t want to hear it. But, you may not be quite ready for the big show. There are numerous reasons. None of them are things that you can’t change. Let’s take a look at a few.

Writing Skills

Writing is like most other things in life. It takes time to get better. You must develop as a writer and find your voice.

But…

“I am an excellent writer!” you say.

Let’s inspect deeper…

Various Other Aspects

  • What about your SEO?
  • Is your site easy to navigate?
  • Are you posting regularly?

These are some foundation things you may want to look at. I examined a bunch of blogs that had over 1,000 followers. I noticed that most of them posted consistently. They also had easy to navigate sites.

Most of these things just take time to learn. You should take the time to look at it if you want to be successful.

Structure and Content

  • Have you researched what people are interested in reading?
  • Is there a better way to structure your content?

These are important too. Try to take the time to see if your content is something people are interested in reading. Check out some blogs or social media and see what people are talking about.

Also, make sure it’s structured in a way that it is easy for people to read. Most of us learned in school that you need an outline for a paper. It’s no different when writing online.

These are just a few pointers. There are many more. I am not an expert. I’m still learning. But, I will try to go into more dept in a later post.

So, the next question is…

What is the rush?

Why are you thinking about things like driving traffic from social media to your blog if it is sub par?

Maybe you need a small following right now while you hone in your skills.

Take this opportunity to work on your instabilities. Do it while your traffic is low. As you get better, hopefully your traffic will increase.

If it doesn’t and you have everything laid out perfectly. Then, it may be time to drive some traffic to your site.

Spend this time preparing for when your traffic spikes. You want to take advantage of this situation. Work on pursuing the next level.

How much would you regret if you weren’t ready. You suddenly get 10,000 visitors and you have nothing to write because you haven’t researched. Or, none of your visitors can navigate your site to find articles.

Take this time to prepare and practice. Your time is coming and you want to be ready.

So, how can you prepare?

Content

Well laid out and polished content is king. You want to make sure you are working to get better. I noticed that the all the bigger blogs have excellent content.

I am not going to lie and tell you I have this all figured out. I’m learning right along side you. But, I understand when I visit a site, I want great quality.

Can you remember a time when someone was genuinely interested in you? When someone clicks on your blog or site, this is your chance to show them who you are and what you are about.

Don’t just throw some words on the page. Take some time to think about what your reader would love to learn about you. Make it entertaining.

Your reader’s time is valuable. Don’t waste it! Don’t let them open your About page and it has nothing about you on there (I’m guilty of this).

Short Post

Have you ever read a post that you were very interested in and it ended up only being 300 words. Such a let-down. You wanted more! But, the author just quit writing for whatever reason.

I’m not saying all your posts need to be long. But, if it’s something you know people are interested in. Give them something to read.

Hitting Publish Button too Quickly.

So, you finally created a post that you know people will love. Wait! Don’t hit publish. We are all so excited to get our words onto the internet.

Take a few hours or a day to think about your content. Are you leaving any questions unanswered?

That is how I wrote this post. I typed it out and then stepped back for a day and thought about it. I added a few things and rewrote it. Next, I thought about it some more.

I kept refining the material. Making it better. I didn’t publish my first draft. I crafted and polished it. I didn’t publish my second or third draft either.

You may be reading this and telling yourself this guy’s writing sucks! That is ok because I know that this is my best. I gave it everything I had. I didn’t take any shortcuts.

If you write poetry, write the best poetry you can write.

If you write about your life, make it interesting and fun.

If recipes are your niche, get creative and make me want more.

If you like writing short stories make them amazing.

When I post something, I want people to be excited to read it. I want my readers to know that I spent time considering what they want. Mostly, I want people to know that I value their time.

How do I do this?

I try to lay out the best posts that I can possibly write every time.

My site may not have the best theme. The structure of my posts may not be perfect. My content may pale in comparison to the best bloggers.

But, I gave it my all. I gave my 48 followers the best that I could write.

Maybe you should do the same.

Good luck out there…

The 3 Critics That Will Make Your Blog Awesome

I can still feel the pain of my first critic. Her name was Emily. She stabbed me in the hand with a pencil. We were 5. She thought the way I played wasn’t fun. I cried…


The consensus among most online polls is that the majority of bloggers will quit writing after a few months.

Why is that? Is it the critics?

The answer is yes and I can explain why…

We have all been there. The voices of our critics scream out from the page as we read them.

It hurts. You wish you were better. You thought you were. But, no you aren’t. Someone has seen your weakness and just made it known to the world. Oh no!

Don’t fret. Let’s take a look at these voices and see how we can handle them.

The Three Critics

Constructive Critic

People with constructive criticism will often advise you on techniques that you can use to improve your website. They may also suggest ways you can improve your content.

This makes you better in obvious ways. You can fix the flaws in your logic. When they highlight something you missed, you can go back and change it.

This interaction makes your work better and it aids in your ability to succeed.

The Destructive Critic

This is the one that most people are scared of. The destructive critic will try to destroy what you are doing by attacking it.

They announce that you don’t know what you are talking about. Their mission is to break your will. They want to see you fail.

This is actually a good thing. It will bring out your true followers. More on that in a minute.

The Inner Critic

That’s you. You think to yourself “I’m not good enough”.

This inner dialogue is what truly determines whether you make it or not. It doesn’t matter if you layout is horrible and you suck at writing content.

It’s what you do about it that determines what happens to your site.

Managing the Critics

How do you respond to these voices? The normal reaction is to hide. To give up. But, don’t give up yet. There is hope!

Handling Constructive Criticism

Not changing something from constructive criticism can be detrimental to your blog or website.

If the problem is how your site is organized, then change it. If your writing needs improvement, start looking at ways to make it better.

Grab a thesaurus, dictionary, and some examples of great writing and see what you are doing wrong.

Whatever the case, it needs to be fixed. If you ignore these comments, it could spell doom for your site.

Coping with the Troublesome Critics

The destructive criticism is tough. They will probably provide valid reasons why they disagree with your content.

It’s best to step back and look at what they are complaining about.

  • Are they trying to help?
  • Do they have a valid point?
  • What is their motivation?

If it’s something that needs to be changed, then change it! But, be careful not to lose sight of your true self. Don’t change something that you believe to be true.

The best way I handle destructive criticism is to get a second and third opinion.

The great thing about destructive criticism is that it will solidify your true followers. Your true followers will support you and defend you when a critic attacks.

This helps you build a stronger backing behind your name and your brand. These are the followers you want. The ones who defend your work. They are the ones who read your material and love it.

If someone critiques you, and you lose followers, they weren’t people you wanted to keep around anyway.

You want people who believe in your work and support you.

Thank you destructive criticism!

Dealing With Your Inner Voice

This voice is loud and never stops. It tells you that you will never make it. It proclaims that you aren’t good enough.

Well, guess what? We are all human! We all have limitations. It’s not that someone is better than you, they just have a better understanding than you.

So, how can you fix that?

Study. Read. Learn. Grow. Don’t give up! Become more valuable to your readers.

Someone right now is learning to be better. They are studying to make themselves better.

They are looking at Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and a thousand other ways to improve their site. They are visiting blogs that are successful and learning.

Don’t think you are the only one struggling. We all struggle. We all fail. Getting back up is hard. Changing what we do is hard.

Facing that monster feels terrifying inside, but do it. One little step at a time. Don’t just try to be a success today. Try to be a success everyday.

Use the voices of your critics to become better. Take a hard look at those voices. Dissect them. They are gifts to launch you to the next level. Use them to your advantage.

Remember forward thinking…

If you write a blog like you have 500,000 followers, then one day you will.

If someone has criticized you and you handled it beautifully, I would love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading.

P.s. The cat picture appears in a lot of my posts. I realize it. It a silence tribute to someone.