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The Secret Weapon Every New Blogger Should Have

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copywriter

Back in the day, when I was in the ad biz as a creative director, I often marveled at the so-called “creative partnership” between writers and graphic designers.  As one would marvel at, say dogs and cats sharing a dish of meat.

That’s how it works at most agencies of any size, they have these little pods of creativity, pairings that at first compete with other pods for the best assignments, then become the primary creative engine for generating billable client work.

The Account Manager role?  That’s just an intermediary.  Someone who takes the client to lunch a lot.  It’s that creative team that makes or breaks the account, and frankly, they aren’t all that much fun at lunch.

Compatibility Issues

On paper the writer and the designer share equal responsibility for the concept, content and execution of projects, but in reality the roles and expectations are more clearly and succinctly defined.

One writes, the other designs.  And often, when one tries to hop into the other’s sandbox, trouble ensues.  Especially when one is operating under the naïve illusion they can do the other’s job.

In over 25 years in that business, I never met a graphic designer who could write killer a line of copy.  Vanilla, sure.   But vanilla isn’t worth $200 an hour.

And I never met a writer who, even if they could wrap their head around it, aspired to the mastery of design software.

A Pod of One

These days, as a blogger with a whopping six online months under my belt, I see such  partnerships differently.

Because for the most part there are two core competencies required to get a decent blog up and running – that’s on top of the wheelhouse expertise the blog is all about in the first place – and once again, it’s pretty rare when someone is a mad genius at both.

Perhaps not as rare as a designer who can write pithy copy, but I’m just sayin’. 

The secret weapon in this business, even if you are all alone with your blog, as most of us are, is to find an expert resource to cover your ass.

 The CYOA of Getting Mentored

If you’re a writer, you’ll need someone to make sense of the techno-gibberish that dominates the how-to oeuvre of blogging’s conventional wisdom.

If you’re a technophile, you may need a real writer to make you credible and marketable.

I’m of the former ilk.  I can write my techno-lame ass off, and I understand that I need to cover that ass with a vendor who knows their way around the requisite software.

I’m lucky.  I’ve hooked up with a bit of a wizard, one who could, for a modest fee, reprogram the space shuttle on short notice.  And she’s only 25 bucks an hour.

Such a secret weapon is the best investment in the blogging universe. 

If it’s your writing you need shored up, chances are you’ll have to spend more than $25 an hour to get a proven pro, unless you outsource to a third world country via Elance or some other sweat-shop level of intermediary, which are out there in spades.

Good luck with that, by the way.  In writing, you absolutely get what you pay for.  On the technical side, that’s not as true — for $25 an hour I have a consultant who knows everything I don’t, and then some.  Which, rather than saying something lame about me, actually says something pretty amazing about her.

Getting Out of Your Own Way

One difference between the two camps – professional level writers and people who are at home with HTML – is that one often takes the other for granted.

Writers who are technically challenged realize they are dead meat without a propeller head in their camp. 

Tech geeks, however, too often think they can write well enough to brand them in the bloggosphere, or that writing isn’t that hard or even necessary beyond a fifth grade reading level.  It’s the great and eternal trap of engineering-think, one that I remember well from those ad agency days — if you build it they will come is no truer in blogging than it is in advertising.  And if your client was, in fact, an engineer, you were in for a fight.

For some types of blogs that may be valid.  But if you want a massive influx of readers, you need to give them something read that transcends codes and plug-ins.

Because always, a blog’s essence is delivered through its words, as well as its content. 

It’s just like dating, you may be a cool person with deep emotional substance, great personal integrity and a significant trust fund, but if your personal hygiene suggests Mickey Rourke after a week-long camping trip in an equatorial climate, good luck getting beyond eHarmony.com.

Sometimes the difference between loneliness and stardom is a good tailor, a competent barber and a gym membership.  Toothpaste, too.

With blogs, it’s not just about content, and it’s not just about writing. 

You need home runs in both core competencies.  And unlike that little dating analogy, the good news is that you can – and should – go out and buy whatever it is you lack.

And if that particular and analogy floats your boat… to paraphrase Moliere, think about this: blogging is like prostitution.  First you do it for love.  Then you do it for a few friends.  And finally, you do it for the money.

Hopefully, you’ll never completely lose the love.  With a secret weapon in your pocket – no analogous pun intended there, I swear – you have a good shot at having both.

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4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes

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See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?

I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.

Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.

Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?

Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.

Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.

1: Help More Ask Less

If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.

Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.

Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.

2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts

I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.

Corey Hinde promoted me tirelessly over years. He mentions me regularly. Jan Verhoeff does too. Each blogger detaches from their own needs to help other bloggers, accelerating their online success.

3: Manage Your Energy

Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:

  • face fear
  • feel fear
  • release fear
  • dissolve attachments

I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.

Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.

Don Smith shares personal growth and energy shifting gems on his blog. My wife Kelli Cooper does too at Life Made to Order.

4: BE with Your Fear

I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:

  • money
  • list subscribers
  • traffic
  • fame

I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.

Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:

  • will miss out on clients
  • are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet

reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.

Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.

I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.

Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.

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Quick Tips to Easily Find People and Other Bloggers Online

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Unlike Las Vegas — where ‘what happens there, stays there’ — once something is on the internet, it’s pretty much there forever. This is something bloggers, content creators and businesses know all too well. Whether it’s a WordPress article, social media updates, of photos making their way into the Google index, it’s likely going to be online forever.

It’s not just about posting and uploading content on the internet that you need to worry. It’s also all of the massive and easily accessible information that can be found online as well. With more data leaks taking place than ever before, and pretty much having privacy being a thing in the past, it’s easy to find information on anything and anyone with just a few clicks of a button.

For example, have you ever met someone at a blogging conference or event, but forgot to grab their business card? A lot of times we want to meet such people again but have no clue how to find them or their contact details. Through social media and using online tools like a people search, finding exactly what you need is now easier than ever before. Thankfully, we have this amazing platform called the internet – where we are able to find people around us ourselves.

There are plenty of other ways to find information or direct contacts for people online. In addition to using a People Search, social media is also a great method for finding whatever you are looking for. This is especially true if you can find someone on LinkedIn.

To start off, simply grab a notepad and write down the name of the person you want to search. Once you do that, branch out names of people you think are associated to them or at least the name of the person who introduced them to you if you were meeting them for the first time. Next, try and connect businesses, offices, college, university or any piece of information you think is or can be relevant to them. By now, you must have a web looking piece of information already giving you a clue.

How Do People Search Engines Work?

Making the best use of the amazing platform that we discussed – the internet, we need to find online people search engines which will process all the information we know and share possible match results for people we are looking for. To help you understand what a people search engine is and how do people search engines work, just imagine a library or a music record store. People search engines have a huge pool of database with information that is allowed to be displayed publicly. Such information contains phone numbers, education, employment history and sometimes criminal history as well. However, the information uploaded with any people search engine must be approved or must be in accordance with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Once you have the maximum information with you uploaded in a people search engine, it will run a match and show most relevant list of result for people associated with that information. You may further screen the results by looking at each option individually to figure if that’s the same person you are searching for.

Meanwhile, there are other sources to track someone apart from people search engines. Finding people through social media platforms has also been observed to take a troll. Many youngsters put up millions of searches every day through social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. to find people they just met or to know more about them.

In all, finding someone in today’s world is no longer a rocket science. With multiple online people search engines and various social media platforms, tracking someone down has become as easy as finding a book in a library or a record in a music store.   

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How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media

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Alonzo Pichardo says it best.

“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”

He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:

Buy Your Domain and Hosting

I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:

  • had no blog to speak of
  • linked to YouTube
  • linked to Facebook

For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.

Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.

Big Mistake

Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:

  • can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
  • WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
  • forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand

Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.

Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.

Use social media for a little bit daily to:

  • tag bloggers you mention on your blog
  • help bloggers in groups related to your niche
  • share your blog posts
  • share other blogger’s blog posts

You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.

Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.

Pay Up to Play Up

I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.

I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.

But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.

I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!

Pay up to play up.

Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.

 

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