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Over the past four years, I’ve probably set up over a dozen WordPress sites including those for myself, my friends and my family. I use WordPress on every single site I guest blog on and have read several books on the application. I’m not an expert by any stretch, but WordPress is definitely what I know best and use the most when it comes to blogging.
However, as I talked about last week, when I went to create my new blog Copyright Fail, I realized that WordPress was not the ideal tool. Copyright Fail is mostly a linkblog with quotes and embeds. Though WordPress can definitely manage such a blog, it would be slower more complicated. I wanted to make this something fast and easy to maintain.
With that in mind, I chose Tumblr as the platform to build the blog on. I had dabbled with a Tumblelog before and already had an account, but this was my first serious attempt at creating a blog with Tumblr. I ended up getting a crash course in Tumblr and learned five things things every WordPress user should be aware of before using Tumblr.
If you’re used to using self-hosted WordPress installs, you’re probably comfortable with pointing your domain to another server, managing your nameservers, etc. However, while Tumblr does allow you to use a custom domain name, it handles it in a slightly different way.
Rather than changing your name servers to your new host, users set the A name record on the domain to point to Tumblr’s IP address. While this is fairly easy to do and only takes a few moments, it’s confusing to those of us who are more used to editing nameservers and it is made worse by domain registrars that don’t make it obvious where you change this information.
All in all, it works well and only takes a few minutes, but there is a learning curve, even for experienced bloggers on other platforms.
WordPress has a well-known and understood template system that allows for a lot of complexity by breaking the template up into many different files. Tumblr takes a much more simple approach by using one single template page, more like Blogger.
This approach has its pluses and minuses. Though it means that there is only one file to edit, it can grow to be one very large file. The system is very flexible and can be used, with some skill, to make just about any kind of layout you want. But is going to seem alien to WordPress users adapted to a more structured system.
Also, Tumblr has a very different variable set and variable structure. Where WordPress uses fairly standard PHP, Tumblr has a different way of inserting variables into a template and the variables are also dependent on the kind of post that it is for.
One of my favorite things about self-hosted WordPress blogs is the plugin system. However, Tumblr doesn’t provide anything comparable. However, there are many systems that will still integrate with Tumblr, including Disqus.
However, the integration usually takes place through the design editing function, requirting the copying and pasting of code into key parts of the template. It can be a bit of a pain for someone who is used to just activating a plugin, but works tolerably well if you don’t plan to add too many functions.
Though you can log into Tumblr and do a “Text” post, which has much of the same functionality of a regular WordPress post, most of the functionality of Tumblr is in its bookmarklet, which allows you to create a post from any page you are visiting.
Though WordPress has a “Press This!” bookmarklet, it is an out of the way feature few make serious use of. Meanwhile, Tumblr’s bookmarklet is front and center, allowing you to post entries without ever visiting the actual administration panel of your Tumblelog.
Since most Tumblr posts are very short, usually just a link, a quote or an embedded video, this makes sense as the time it would take to log in and create a new post by hand would be too much. However, it is also very limiting in terms of formatting. Where the WordPress editor is robust and powerful, Tumblr’s is slim and fast.
This can be very frustrating to detail-oriented WordPress admins that miss having the ability to easily edit every little aspect of a post, but it makes posting a new entry only a few seconds of your day.
1. The Post Types
With WordPress, a post is a post is a post. Every post is the same as every other one and it is up to you to edit and style them the way you want to make them look different. However, with Tumblr, not all posts are created equal.
Tumblr has six different post kinds, text, which functions like a regular blog post, photo, quote, link, chat and video. Each of these post types are fundamentally different not just in the type of content they display, but how they are formatted and presented. Quote posts, for example, look different and have a different style than a link post or a photo post.
This makes it important to plan what kind of post you are uploading before hitting the “Share on Tumblr” button. However, there is some overlap. For example, a quote and a link post are very similar (especially if you add a description to a link post), the difference is how it is presented.
Though some are self-explanatory, such as the video and photo posts, it is important to play with all of the types of posts to see how they look in your theme and determine which is right for the kind of entry you want to post.
Tumblr isn’t easier or harder, but it is very different. For certain types of blogs, it is the right tool for the job though I still think most blogs will do better on WordPress.
However, Tumblr isn’t trying to compete with WordPress but instead is trying to fill a different niche, something it does very well.
My only true gripe is that the template system feels very awkward to me. Though I am comfortable editing HTML, the one-page template and the lack of a live preview (you can only preview on a stock site) makes it more difficult than it feels like it has to be.
On the flip side, once the Tumblelog is set up, posting to it and maintaining it is unbelievably easy. The time it takes to go from interesting link to Tumblr post is less than 30 seconds, making it effortless to maintain another blog.
In short, if you’re interested in an easy to maintain blog that focuses on linking, quoting and embedding other content. Tumblr is a great choice. Just give yourself a little time to ease into it if you are used to another blogging platform.
How to Leave Your Blogging Struggles Behind
Exit your comfort zone on a daily basis.
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Leave blogging struggles behind.
I love blogging. Blogging feels fun, freeing and quite easy to me. But sometimes, on this journey, my feelings change a bit. Sometimes, blogging feels uncomfortable and I nudge into resistance. Fear rears its head. Mental blocks arise. Sometimes I fear running out of time or perhaps I fear wasting my time. In these moments, I have 2 choices: remain in my fear-filled comfort zone or leave my comfort zone.
I left most of my blogging struggles behind because I choose to leave my comfort zone on a regular basis. Traffic, profits, and all manner of sweet blogging success greet bloggers who feel their fears, leave their comfort zones and do the blogging task, anyway.
What Is Blogging Struggle?
Blogging struggle is doing things or not doing things based on fear. Fear drives you. You blog from a fear-based, scared energy. You avoid traffic and profit and success boosting activities because you fear the opportunities. Example; you struggle horribly to make money and drive blog traffic. I advise to begin generous, relaxed, enjoyable guest posting, to help you increase traffic and profits and success. The split second you THINK about guest posting, you feel a range of emotions, from excitement, to happiness, then, from terror, to anxiety, to a general fear of wasting your time.
If 2 people visit your blog daily and you see zero blogging profits now, and you say “no” to guest posting because of some fears, you will likely struggle horribly, because you avoided guest posting to stay in your comfort zone of fear.
Traffic and profits sit on the other side of fear, outside of your comfort zone. No way around that one. We all pay a fear tuition doing freeing, success-promoting, uncomfortable things. I remember when Zac invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Fear invaded my mind. Would he reject my posts? How about if he hated my posts? What if I wasted my time? Would I be able to follow all the rules? Would he criticize me? Of course Zac is the nicest, kindest, friendliest iconic blogger on earth. He REALLY is, guys. He is an exceptional human being. But fear is irrational, distorting the truths of love, harmony and abundance.
I had to feel all those scary, intense fears, and keep blogging anyway, to write and publish my first few guest posts here. 800 plus guest posts later, I am still going strong. Why? I left my comfort zone those first few times and instantly began leaving blogging struggles behind.
Exit your comfort zone every single day. Do something that scares you. Do something that tests your limits. Publish a 4 paragraph long comment on a top blog, even if you fear:
- nobody is listening
- nobody is reading comments
- nobody will click through to your blog
- you are wasting your time
- the comment won’t get published
This happened to me recently. I spent 15 minutes writing a 9 paragraph comment on Pro Blogger. But Disqus suffered some connection problems and prevented me from publishing the comment. I feared I wasted 15 minutes. But after feeling and releasing the emotion, I let it go, moved on, and devoted 10 minutes to writing and publishing the comment later in the day, when Disqus was working.
Struggles happen if you choose to blog mainly from fear.
Success happens when you nudge into these fears, toward your blogging fun, taking inspired but uncomfortable action on a daily basis.
Go for it!
Exit your comfort zone.
Leave your blogging struggles behind…for good.
Focus on Things More to Leverage Your Blog Quickly
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What is the relationships guy talking about?
Blogging is a people business, right?
Blogging is one part people and one part things. Seriously. I learned this recently because if you depend 100% on people to build your blogging success you cannot possibly scale to massive levels. But if you do focus on things more, like email lists, and blogging platforms, you become less dependent on people, and also, your leveraging potential goes through the roof.
Email List Example
Let’s look at the famous email list. It is a thing. After you publish a blog post, you write a few words, include a link to your latest post, and after clicking a button, email the post to 10, 100, or 10,000 people….or more people. In a split second, you reach 10,000 human beings. Using a thing helps you leverage your presence like mad. Awesome.
But imagine if you only reached 10,000 people by mentioning people in your recent post, and tagging them on social media. Humanly impossible, of course. Let’s say you depend on even, 50 people, to promote your blog post, by mentioning them and tagging them. Linking to and tagging 50 bloggers takes a lotta time. Minimum, even for a 700 word post, it takes 90 minutes to 2 hours – or longer – to go the tagging and mentioning route. Do you see the problem of depending 100% on people and friendships to build blog? You run out of time. Meanwhile, sending your post to 50 email subscribers takes 3 minutes to send the email and literally, a split second to actually publish the email, at the click of a button.
Using Things Effectively Leverages Your Presence
Using email lists, blogging platforms for guest posting and certain tools leverages your presence fast because eventually, you run out of time trying to leverage your presence solely based on grabbing the attention of fellow bloggers. Plus you are at the mercy of humans, and building a fear-based attachment to fellow humans leads to misery because humans change, humans get too busy to promote you, and humans unfriend other humans.
I am for making blogging a people and things business. I have learned this lesson the hard way over the prior 2 months. Befriend people and enjoy the process, but if you want to leverage massively and sprint up the exposure ladder, tap into the convenience of technology by using things to reach more people fast.
At the end of the day, it is about helping more people freely. Use things – aka technology aka inanimate objects – to help people more freely and to help more people, too.
Exit Human-Obsessed and Things-Resistant Blogging Circles
I used to be part of blogging circles 100% reliant – virtually – on human beings, and heavily resistant to things. But none of these bloggers leveraged to big time, super successful levels. These bloggers railed against bots and joked of not using or being a blogging cyborg. All seemed funny. But on agreeing and following their advice I soon learned how incredibly difficult it becomes to grow a successful blog being 100% attached to and dependent on human beings to build the blog. Humans change. Things do not. Plus you cannot leverage humans like you leverage things.
While all these folks complained about emails and automating, they played so small that reaching next level success proved to be 100% impossible. But, I observed how using things like systems and tools will help you reach huge, targeted groups of people in minutes or even seconds. See the email example above.
Instead of complaining about or resisting tech, why not use things to make life easier, to leverage your presence quickly and to reach a huge, targeted group of human beings so you succeed and so people get what they want?
Long Term Blogging Success: Co-Creation Not Manipulation
Every blogger who succeeds over the long haul did so through co-creation.
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Two blogger met. Two people make friends. Both friends help each other out, for a co-creation, and see greater success due to the co-creation.
I have seen this happen so much in my blogging life over the past 10 years. I befriended Zac many years ago. He invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Years later, all the co-creating I did through 800 plus guest posts helped:
- increase my blog traffic
- increase my blogging profits
- increase my DA
- increase my brand exposure
Think about it guys; all top bloggers make friends with other bloggers, both parties help each other, and we all win. You win, I win, and our fellow bloggers win.
You will never create long-term blogging success by trying to manipulate people through fear, smoke, mirrors and other silly tactics, because doing so is like building your blogging business on a house of cards. Even the smallest breeze of resistance knocks down the cards, and your blogging business with it. Bad idea.
What do I mean by manipulation? Imagine you write a blog post filled with bold promises of how to make 6 figures a year, telling bloggers you know the way. You share no specific strategies for making 6 figures. Nope. But you do make big, hyped up claims, filling the 1000 word post with some hefty, silly promises. What are you trying to do? Manipulate humans into following your blog, buying your stuff and giving you money. Your intent is to use fear, greed and desperation to GET money from people. Using fear manipulates people into doing what they do not want to do, for a temporary income boost, for you. But again, imagine a house of cards. A barely detectable breeze knocks down the house, and a seemingly tiny detail knocks down and destroys your blogging business.
When I was a new blogger a LONG time ago, one blogger who claimed to be a 6 figure earner admitted he was lying. He disappeared instantly. His blogging business died because he lied about making 6 figures, because he wanted to manipulate people into giving him money.
Co-Creating Benefits All over the Long Haul
If you guest post on other blogs, you and fellow bloggers create helpful content that promotes lasting success. Imagine building a house on a rock solid foundation, on a granite mountain. Wow! That is a serious foundation. Nothing moves that home. Even a decent earthquake barely makes the house shake. This is what it’s like to co-create content with fellow bloggers.
You both create something together – through a shared post and shared domain name – that is good, and leads to something good and beneficial. Fear and manipulation? No involvement in this process. Love and abundance and service, this is it, and this is why you become successful in building a rock solid foundation, and, in becoming a pro blogger.
How Can You Co-Create?
A few ideas:
- guest post on your blog
- guest post on other blogs
- create joint videos
- create joint podcasts
- create joint business ventures
Ultimately, you can co-create with fellow bloggers in countless ways. Being creative is your only requirement.
Think of how the co-creating benefits all of humanity. Think of all the people you can help through your co-creation. Put people ahead of your immediate needs and also, bring other bloggers on board to see the greatest impact over the long haul.
Be generous, help people, make friends and gain exposure. Build a viable, long term, meaningful blogging business. Observe manipulative, flash in the pan bloggers come and go. I have seen thousands of these types die a quick death, like moths flying too close to the flame-temptation of quick, easy riches.
Co-create to out last virtually everybody else in your blogging niche.
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