Part 1 – The mind of a blogger
I’ve always loved writing. With my short attention span, I imagined I would never write a novel but would work for a big magazine publisher. Not knowing all that was entailed in it, I even dreamed of creating my own magazine. When blogging surfaced in the writing industry, I grabbed on with both hands, feet and my teeth. I was in love with the idea of creating my own online magazine.
In time, I found out that there was money to be made in blogging. I discovered people not just making money with blogging, but making a comfortable living with them. I became obsessed with this actuality. The idea of making a comfortable living doing what I loved and being my own boss was everything. Well, hot diggity, life just handed me a pearl of great value.
Forward two decades later, I’m not earning my living from my writing. I’m still writing, and though I have come close once, I hadn’t made enough money to say I have earnings from it. For a very long time, no one was passing on knowledge about blogging as a business for free to the general public. And though I knew I was a great writer, I just needed the inside scoop on successful blogging, so I too could make money from it.
This article will not include steps that have links to software and platforms that tell you the step by step process to starting a blog. There are tons of information at your fingertips for that. For one such site, click this link How to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost. The first part of my article here will cover how I understood what blogging is. The second part will cover the formula or foundation you must establish once you are ready to successfully blog. I share with you where to start when you don’t know what to do, or why you aren’t getting anywhere with your existing blog.
Find out who is doing what you like successfully
What bloggers lure you to their page and why?
If you know what a blog is, you most likely follow a few. I remember the first blog I fell in love with was, “The Pioneer Woman”. I loved her sweet tales of her family and the ranch wife and mother lifestyle that she lives. They blog author is also a photographer and my eyes paused longingly at her images of a peaceful and serene life that was far from the city life I live.
When I looked at her site to see why it was so successful here is what I noticed:
- The blog posts were clean, meaning not busy with images, ads, or popups. It created a sense of serenity for me the reader, while I was on her site.
- Her photographs were clear, professional quality, and were directly related to what her post topic was about.
- She told her personal story in such a compelling way that I felt I was a good friend of hers and her family.
- She shared her family recipes. There was always a lesson to learn from the pioneer woman about her lifestyle, land, and food, as she shared lessons she learned.
Having said this, you need to find out what draws you to the blog sites you follow and why. If it is an educational site, does it lead you to the tools and information you need without having to plow through layers to get to it? Does the look energize you to follow through on what it is sharing? Are you entertained and feeling better about yourself and your environment after visiting the page? Do they provide up to date information regularly so that you don’t lose interest?
Once you note what you like about the successful blogs that you follow, then it would be good to figure out how you can duplicate the results with the tools and flare that you have.
I did my homework
Asking the right questions and contacting the right people
I remember when I wanted to be a YouTube star. Yes, I even tell the story in my very first vlog. One thing I used to do is ask questions in the comment section of their vlog. I would ask if they would help me by mentioning my channel in their vlog, or telling me what they did to get so many subscribers. I would get so disenchanted with them for not responding, or helping me. I thought they were so selfish for keeping all that success to themselves. I still do. But now I understand why.
Here is the truth of the situation. It is always better to find out for yourself what you need to know, and one thing life has taught me; you can learn anything you want from your local library. Unfortunately, that was not the case with blogging, when blogging first came out. Today, there is a plethora of information with details to show you how to set up a blog and how to make it successful with SEO, tags, affiliate marketing, products, and so much more that goes into making blogging a success.
Have a thirst for knowledge because there is a lot of it out there. Here is the rub. You cannot believe everything you read. I stay away from information that is connected to expensive courses, multiple links to software and products, and popup windows that lead to testimonial pages selling products and services. If I open a blog and there are five or fewer paragraphs in large font with tons of pictures, I know that it is not going to add anything but surface knowledge. Surface knowledge can be helpful, but details as to why these initial points are important will be more helpful. I like to read information from people that have a good number of comments at the end of their post. That tells me that people see them as a subject matter expert in their field. When I read something truly helpful, I bookmark the information or save the page to my Evernote, so that I can reference the information whenever I need it.
Learned the jargon.
Learn the language of blogging
This section of the blog, I went to an expert. Jessica Knapp is a SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT on the world of blogging and making money off of it. I reference her, because she has links to quality information, to platforms and databases, as well as information about blogging, creating a business from blogging, and using blogging to grow your existing business. The information below is from her post entitled:
Blogging Glossary à Defining Basic Blogging Terms
I am only highlighting a few words from her glossary. Feel free to click the above link to get a full listing of terms; including wants that even I was not aware of.
Above the fold:
Reference to the content on a blog that appears without scrolling down in the open window. Borrowed from newspaper terminology.
A blog maintained by an anonymous author, often under a pseudonym or pen name. Synonyms include anonyblog, faux blog and ghostblog.
An automated form of podcasting that allows bloggers and blog readers to generate audio versions of text-only blogs from RSS feeds.
A blog owned and operated by a business or corporation.
Lists of URLs identified as spam URLs and therefore eliminated from comments and trackbacks on a blog.
Blogging slang. What this glossary contains. (blog + jargon) (Coined by William Safire)
The audience of a blog.
- A blog, or weblog, is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs are defined by their format: a series of entries posted to a single page in reverse-chronological order. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or reflect the purpose of the Web site> that hosts the blog. Topics sometimes include brief philosophical musings, commentary on Internet and other social issues, and links to other sites the author favors, especially those that support a point being made on a post.
- To maintain a blog by posting text, links, images or other content, often using blogging software.
The XML-based file into which blog hosting software embeds a machine-readable version of a blog to allow it to be syndicated for distribution, often through RSS and atom.
To follow links from one blog entry to another, with related side-trips to various articles, sites, discussion forums, and more. See “blinking.”
The location of a blog online, indicated by its URL. This may be a dedicated domain, like instapundit.com, a sub-domain, like techtargetnews.blogspot.com, or embedded within a web site, like http://www.gillin.com/blog. Sometimes confused with “blogsite.”
A blog maintained by a chief executive officer. Variants include CIOBlog, CFOBlog, etc. See this blog for an example, or visit this page for a comprehensive list.
A series of flames going back and forth on a blog, usually within the comment section, often going on for pages and bearing little relation to whatever topic was on the thread the flames are posted upon.
The unique URL of a single post on a blog, used when anyone wants to link specifically to a post rather than to the most recently updated page of a blog.
A blog that primarily consists of photos. Long-standing term and practice made wildly popular by Flickr, the online photo-sharing Web site.
podcasting is the preparation and distribution of audio (and possibly other media) files for download to digital music or multimedia players, such as the iPod.
A single unit of content on a blog, usually consisting of at least a title and text. A blog is made up of a collection of posts.
Using blogging software to write posts and schedule them for publishing in the future.
One or more columns generally found on the side of most blogs, usually containing a profile of the blogger, blogroll, advertising, Flickr feeds or other plug-ins.
A program designed to collect, or harvest, e-mail addresses from the Internet in order to build mailing lists for sending unsolicited e-mail, also known as spam.
A generic term for a language element descriptor, often used in blogs to identify the type or types of content that makes up a particular post.
A series of posts on a specific topic.
A contributor to an online discussion whose purpose in posting is primarily is to generate intense debate, often with intentionally inflammatory rhetoric. Troll literally “troll,” a form of fishing, for reaction from contributors to the forum with the intention of stimulating a flame war.
Learn how to write
I joined some writing groups
Knowing what to say and the proper way to say it; is what writing is. The quickest way to lose your audience is to have misspellings, incomplete thoughts, incoherent conversation, and typos. This is where practice comes in. Let me say this again, practice writing leads to perfect blogs. Not to say that you will never make a mistake when writing a blog. However, you can get through a dozen blogs without any errors if you practice writing.
This is where writing groups came in handy. This can be done through avenues such as Eblogger, Hubpages, and WordPress, to name a few of the larger ones. You can set up a simple template website, and be a part of a community of writers. It is where you will learn how to blog, how to get your point across, and build a community of readership. Sites like Hubpages will help you as you gain comments from other writers that will critique your writing, and encourage you.
I have created so many websites, I don’t even know all of the content I have out on the World Wide Web. What I do know is that all those years of practice has led me to where I am now. I am a darn good writer, who writes valuable content in long form. You won’t be getting any fluff from me.
Now that I have taught you the mindset to create my success as a blogger, I will now share with you in part 2 of this article, the formula I had to learn to connect with readers, gain subscribers, find an audience and start getting paid.
Need more from Ciecie? Here are other articles I’ve written.
How to know if you are a passionate writer?
How real friends are made
You’re allowed to ask for help – So DO it!
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