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Tumblr from a WordPress Perspective

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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.

5. Domains

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.

4. Design

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.

3. Plugins

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.

2. Posting

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.

Bottom Line

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.

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Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals

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After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.

Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.

A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:

  • referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
  • referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you

I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:

  • the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
  • I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified

Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time

Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.

12 Times Daily Sales

I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.

The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.

Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.

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Why Does It Take Time to Be a Successful Blogger?

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Successful bloggers implore you: it takes time to succeed.

I advise following your fun, helping people generously, trusting the process and seeing the blogging journey through. I mention in my eBook how time saving tips make your journey easier.  But in the same regard, this journey takes time. Impatient bloggers weed themselves out. Generous, patient, persistent bloggers succeed. Sometimes, successful bloggers realize not the time element and how it works, and never explain in detail why it takes time to succeed. Why do you need to be patient? Why does it take time to succeed? I uncovered 3 reasons why it takes time to be a successful blogger.

1: It Takes Time to Practice a Skill So You Become Really Good At It

Today, I can write 10 to 20 blog posts daily if I so desired. I could easily create 20 videos daily.

10 years ago, I could write 1 blog post weekly and feared doing videos, to where, I never recorded videos as a newbie blogger.

Generous practice plus time made me prolific. Nobody gains skills in 1 day. Humans gain skills practicing 1 craft daily for months, then years. I love basketball. A handful of NBA players disclose how terrible they played after picking up a ball for the first time, 5 or 10 years, prior. Patient, persistent practice and time polished their skills to the point they became successful enough to go pro. Blogging is no different. Successful bloggers practice daily for years before being skilled enough to become a pro.

2: It Takes Time to Gain Big Exposure

Gaining big exposure for success takes time. Every creative act expands your presence a little bit more but those little bits add up over time. New bloggers blind themselves to this concept, believing 1 day and 1 blog post gives them successful exposure enough to make money and gain clout. Nope. Time reveals persistently generous bloggers because getting massive exposure requires months to years of generous, patient, persistent service.

No human can begin blogging at 8 AM as a new blogger and land a Forbes appearance by 12 noon. Nobody knows you. You have no exposure. Humans require time to create and connect in enough spots to gain success promoting exposure. Relax. You are on the way. But allow for time and generosity to leverage your presence. Time is required to be seen in many places.

3: It Takes Time to Uncover and Feel and Release Fears

Do you want to know why I wrote this post? I uncovered this reason a few moments ago. I noticed one income stream yield lesser amounts over the 2 days prior and felt a tiny but palpable surge of fear. Aha! I got you. Feeling fear, I released it and proceeded. I blogged for 10 years. I still feel tiny fears if an income stream yields less money, day to day, based on my expectations. But I needed to face this fear to make more money. New bloggers generally have deep fears concerning money, success and freedom. It takes time to feel and release fears concerning making more than $1 a day until you vibe at the $100, $1000 or $10,000 monthly – or more – level of blogging income.

Time unearths fears for feeling and releasing, to reach the next level of blogging success.

Be patient.

Time is a great blogging ally.

All you need flows to you over time.

Generously create, connect, follow your fun and nudge into fears.

Success is yours.

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Blogging

What Does Your Blogging Network Look Like?

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I do nothing on my own.

Everything is a team effort.

As I teach in my blogger networking eBook, the way to increased, ever-expanding blogging success is to look for, grow and tap into a huge, loyal network of blogging friends through the power of generosity. Be generous. Help people. Shout out fellow bloggers. Release expectations. Get super connected. Most of us understand this is how to succeed online; be generous and get connected because 100 is better than 1. 100 friend efforts are far better than your effort alone.

One basic problem arises for most new or struggling bloggers: overcoming the deep fear of networking. For odd reasons, humans cling to pulsating fears concerning reaching out to other human beings. Bloggers fear being rejected, failing, being criticized or giving up credit for their blogging success. Honor that fear. See how far you get on your own steam. Not only that, the agony of micro-managing makes you sick, broke and quite dumb, if you are honest with yourself. How silly of you! Why do everything on your own today? Why not comment genuinely on a few blogs, retweet a few blogger blog posts and mention a few bloggers on your blog? Begin networking. Build a network. Succeed online.

What’s It Look Like?

Be honest, my blogging sweet robbins. What does your network look like? Is it even there? Do you even have a network? Many bloggers publish a post, share it to Twitter and Facebook and sit there, dumbfounded. Do you honestly believe your network just materializes out of thin air? Nope. But if you buy my eBook, follow my 13 steps and build your blogger buddy network by being generous, you can land on famous blogs, earn coin and drive traffic to your blog, too. Everything hinges on your honesty. Admit having only 1, 3 or zero blogging buddies. Truths set you free to network generously and successfully.

How to Grow Your Network

Simple. Be generous. Begin now. Publish a thoughtful, personalized comment below. Be seen. I cannot read all comments but the thousands of people who read blogging tips tend to read comments. Somebody eventually reads your blog comment if you comment genuinely and generously every day on Blogging Tips after reading posts. Someone clicks your link because they love your comment and want to meet you. One visit to your blog later, you may have a blogging buddy, or even a client or customer. Or maybe you have a loyal reader. This is networking 101; be generous, engage people and you build your network.

But do not stop after commenting on Blogging Tips. Branch out. Go wide. Read and comment genuinely on other blogs in your niche. Make more friends. Life gets easier and easier if you have more blogging friends in your corner because these folks inspire you to keep going, plus your friends amplify your presence exponentially.

Be generous and genuine. Reach out to more bloggers every day. Networking is a bit uncomfortable sometimes if you look for immediate returns but gliding through these temporary feelings helps you tap into something special with your blog. Connected bloggers have no issues growing their blogging business because 100 is better than 1. Remember that they next time you try to go lone wolf with your blogging campaign.

 

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