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Blogging Then And Now

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If you were starting a new blog today what’s the first thing you would do? I’ve just started a new blog and I started thinking about the difference between my first blog and this one. Here are some of the things I looked at.

Then

I bought a domain, tying it vaguely to some of the services I hoped to offer. I simply added the blog onto that and it had no clear identity of its own.

Now

I thought very carefully about the topic I wanted to cover, and used to some online keyword research tools to find out what people were searching for. I then tried to combine these into some sort of sensible name and then I searched for domain names that combined my keywords.

Then

I experimented with a wide range of blogging software. Not only did I try WordPress but I dabbled with B2Evolution and Textpattern but I didn’t get very far and I managed to mess up my blog a couple of times. WordPress has grown in massive size over the years. You can actually see more about WordPress and the Internet as a whole, in this WordPress statistics report.

Now

These days I go straight for WordPress, because this is the one that works best for me. Once I had setup may domain name and arranged hosting I did a one click install of the latest version of WordPress and I was good to go.

Then

I didn’t know much about plug-ins. After enabling Aksimet I basically left the blog alone and did nothing to help with search engine optimisation or connecting with my readers.

Now

I’ve tried a number of anti-spam combinations and I always install a set of key WordPress plug-ins including something to back up the database, Subscribe to comments, Comment luv, Google XML site maps and WordPress stats. I also include links to social media communities.

Then

I wouldn’t have known what to do with WordPress theme files. I could just about manage downloading and installing themes but I never interfered with anything. If a theme didn’t do the work that I wanted I simply got another one.

Now

I’ve used a wide range of themes, both free and premium, and I have no problem messing around with the code, though I still need some help to find certain snippets.

Then

It wasn’t very easy for people to subscribe to my blog and follow updates.

Now

One of the first things I do when I start a new blog is burn a feed in Feedburner, and put an email subscription form in the sidebar. Content is also syndicated through a variety of social media channels. My main blogs all have their own Twitter accounts (though generally these are not very active). I also make a podcast feed available on my existing blog and will do so on the new one if readers want it.

Then

I didn’t think about promotion and social networking in any sort of structured way. I was not a member of any forums and there weren’t many places that you could find me online.  As far as the online world knew, I was practically invisible.

Now

I’m a member of several online communities, some of them built around existing blogs, and interact regularly on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This gives me a head start in talking to people about my new blog and makes for a great community on my existing one.

How have your blogging practices changed in the time you’ve been online?

(Photo credit)

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website or Google+.

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Blogging

Are You an Organized Blogger?

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How do you organize your blogging day? Do you work off of a to-do list? What do you do to be organized?

As I promote my eBook:

How to Organize Your Blogging Day for Maximum Efficiency

I ponder blogging problems arising from being disorganized. Mental clutter leads to blogging clutter. I prefer to clear my mind with meditating and Kriya yoga, in addition to yin yoga. Thoughts and feelings seem to flow smoothly after my mental science sessions. Of course, making a simple, blanket decision to be organized allows your day to progress gracefully. Consider working off of a to-do list to begin organizing effectively.

Create a To-Do List

Creating a to-do list adds order to your mind. Orderly, focused-thinking bloggers proceed in organized fashion. I memorized my blogging routine. No need for a to-do lit. But I stick to my basic strategy of publishing blog posts and guest posts in alternating fashion daily. I publish a blog post. I publish a guest post. Works wonders for me. I stick to these basic tasks, tossing in networking generously to expand my blogging reach. Simple. Powerful. Effective. Organized. Work from this list to avoid mental chaos. Human beings experience some 40,000 plus thoughts daily. Do you think an unenlightened being like yourself can hold a core list of blogging tasks in mind amid those 40,000 thoughts, along with the adjacent feelings? Fat chance. But working from a list makes blogging quite easy. See concrete items to do before your eyes. Hold these ideas in mind. Execute. Be organized.

Maintain an Orderly Home Office

Clean up your home office. Maintain a clear space. Physical clutter often creates mental clutter manifest as disorganization. But cleaning and clearing things up helps you feel better about work. Feeling better about work lends an organized air about what you do. See a clear environment. Instantly, your thoughts and feelings proceed in organized fashion. I always clean up my home office before beginning my work day. Ditto for clearing the office space. I never tolerate messiness. Papers need to go. Clothes need to be folded and stowed away in drawers. I blog with my Chromebook and phone by my side. Nothing else distracts me. Can you see why I wrote and self-published 126 eBooks? I do not play around when it comes to being organized about my blogging day.

Study Organized Bloggers

Most pro bloggers blog on the ball from an organization perspective. Pay attention to these pros. Study their ways closely. Most established pros follow morning rituals to prepare themselves for busy work days. I do 20 minutes of Kriya yoga and meditate for 30 minutes to clear my mind for a productive blogging work day. Virtually all pros follow rituals enhancing their peace of mind and organizational skills. Of course, feeling good plays a chief role in succeeding and in organizing your blogging day for maximum efficiency. Do what you can on waking to max out good feeling vibes. Nudge into your work day from a relaxed, peaceful, organized energy. Observe established pros. Closely study how they plan their blogging day. Do you notice how busy pros tend to do only a few things but spend 8-12 hours doing these few things generously, patiently and persistently? Being organized often involves trimming fat in the form of old, worn out, inefficient blogging activities. See how pros trim fat by letting go blogging strategies as they gain greater clarity. Follow their lead to get better organized with your blogging campaign.

As within, so without. Heed this ancient wisdom to be a better organized blogger. Organizing your thoughts and feelings leads to organized blogging actions.

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Blogging

Every Blogger Walks a Different Path

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Neil Patel walks a different path than I. I walk a different blogging path than you. Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two bloggers walk the same exact path. We take different routes. Different journeys require different strategies, detours, tactics and strategies. Neil walked an SEO-rich path. I do not. I chose a prolific, SEO-free path. No one mimics a fellow blogger perfectly because no two humans have the same experience. We succeed by differentiating. Never believe you need to walk the same path as some blogging pro to succeed. Of course, doing so proves fruitless because no two bloggers walk the same blogging journey. Never try to do the impossible. Stop believing you need to do the same things top bloggers do to succeed like top bloggers. I broke many traditional blogging rules to circle the globe as a pro blogger. Of course I created a blogging course, eBooks and audio books. Content? Check. Connections? Check. I honored fundamentals to succeed but never tried mimicking the same journey as any top blogger.

Walk your blogging path. Take your blogging journey. Your blogging path separates you from the herd. My travel stories and blogging lessons make me different from any blogger. Ditto for you. We all have different experiences to call upon for becoming a successful blogger. Respect your uniqueness. Find your blogging flow. I do not enjoy doing SEO to drive Google traffic. Why would I force a blogging journey trough some strategy I disliked working?  I should just work a job if I did something for money versus working for passion. Of course, I never took a path like Neil Patel because I do not enjoy SEO-optimizing posts. I succeeded through another strategy. Never believe you need to walk the same path as pros to become successful as pros. New bloggers swing and miss daily by believing success is writing 4,000 word, SEO-optimized posts dominating competitive keywords on Google. Are you nuts? Neil Patel dominates competitive keywords on Google after 10,000 plus hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. You have 5 or 10 hours or maybe 100 hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. Relax. Slow down. Calm down. You have another 10,000 hours of blogging work to do before being skilled, creative and connected enough to dominate page 1 of Google for 1 – let alone 20 – competitive keywords.

But you may dislike SEO all together. Take a different blogging path. Find tactics resonant with you. Perhaps building bonds with bloggers and creating helpful content feels fun to you. Take that route. But know your path differs from any blogging path because we each fly solo and learn different lessons for specific parts of our blogging journey. No two bloggers walk in the same blogging shoes. No two bloggers walk the same blogging path. Two bloggers may walk similar blogging journeys. Bloggers sometimes walk similar blogging paths. But nobody walks identical paths because bloggers have different experiences to learn from during our blogging journey.

Respect your path. Honor your progression. Accept how you blog in the perfect place, at the perfect time, now. Do not resist your blogging path. Everything brought you here to this point now. Accepting your present state of blogging growth reduces resistance to future growth. Surrender serves as a powerful concept. Be completely at peace with your blogging growth now. Hug your progress. Walk your blogging path. Of course, note wins. Celebrate success. Avoid comparing yourself to bloggers. Bloggers experience different situations to benefit from different circumstances. We all have different lessons to learn on our respective blogging journeys. Honor this truth. Cultivate peace of mind. Position yourself to succeed. Walk your one-of-a-kind blogging path to experience your greatest success.

eBook

Do you want to build a loyal blog community? Buy my eBook:

6 Tips to Grow a Rabidly Loyal Blog Community

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Blogging

Hobbies Change for Habits to Change

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Over a decade ago, I woke up, watched TV, grabbed breakfast, hit the gym for bodybuilding and returned home to watch a DVD movie. At 2:30 PM I prepared for work. I drove to my security guard job. By 10:30 PM on most nights I drove home. Evening movie. Sleep. Rinse, wash and repeat the following day. I worked a security guard job. My hobbies consisted of lifting weights and watching TV. But my hobbies and habits changed the moment I became a blogger. Morning breakfast vanished. I stopped going to the time-consuming gym. Watching movies every day? Fat chance. My bodybuilding workout and movie hobbies had to change for me to begin the habits of meditating, doing yoga and expanding my awareness daily. Hobbies change before habits change.

New bloggers often struggle because newbies cling to old, worn out, failing hobbies like:

  • watching TV for hours nightly
  • mindlessly cruising the internet for hours nightly
  • mindlessly gossiping on the phone or with family for hours nightly

These low-energy hobbies need to change pronto for you to develop fun, freeing, higher energy habits like meditating, doing yoga, blogging generously and engaging in some form of exercise. Picture those 4 hours you waste on watching TV each evening. How do you find time to engage in different habits? Change your hobbies. Out goes TV, or, TV just consumes 45 minutes per evening. Enter 20 minutes of meditating. Release some hobbies. Fill the time with different, empowering, freeing, sometimes uncomfortable habits. Imagine watching the idiot box for 3 hours nightly. 3 hours pass. Nothing profitable, productive or empowered happens watching the television. But for you to be a pro blogger you need to spend those 3 hours meditating for perhaps 10 minutes and blogging for the remaining 2 hours and 50 minutes. Change your hobbies to create space for changing habits. Changing habits accelerates, colors and influences hobby changes too. My hobbies went from watching TV to circling the globe on meditating more deeply, doing more yoga and spending more time in serious introspection. Life became more uncomfortable but far more fun and freeing as my hobbies and habits changed. I preferred to wander around Ubud, Bali versus watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. My hobbies changed for the better. I respect how we all travel different paths but if your hobbies and habits never changed, you are either enlightened, and never needed to change your meditating and yoga habits, or you have been making fear-driven, comfortable, confining choices wasting your life.

I have yet to see a genuinely happy, peaceful, powerful, prospering person who watches more than 2-3 hours of TV every single night. People call TV the idiot box because television makes you an idiot. Mindless, bland, non-stimulating TV watching does nothing for your growth, happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind and overall abundance. Empowered bloggers cannot spend 5 seconds on idle, mindless, dingbat-style activities. Stop spending hours watching TV each evening. Start spending hours blogging and working on your abundance mindset. Buy a blogging eBook. Surround yourself with pro bloggers. Learn from these pros. Mimic their ways. Gain inspiration from their example. Fill time not with garbage but with goal-achieving, fun, freeing and sometimes scary blogging actions. First, the hobbies change. Gone goes watching TV, gossiping and wasting time on low energy actions. Habits change with the hobby vacuum being void. Begin meditating. Start doing yoga. Awareness-expanding activities unearth fears, nudge you toward love, amplify your generosity and accelerate your blogging success.

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