20 Blogging Tips

Since I’ve been doing this blogging thing for over ten years now, I must have learned some things about it right? Not really. Just kidding. I’d say I have, though I wish I knew more. Blogging is an ever evolving practice and therefore can be a really confusing undertaking.

There are some simple things I’ve learned that make blogging more meaningful to me. They don’t necessarily improve traffic or income. I’ll leave those tips for the pros to give.

Here’s a short list of 20 things I came up with that are helpful to me, use ’em or toss ’em:

25 Blogging Tips

  1. Define what you want out of blogging.
  2. Set goals.
  3. Measure progress toward goals.
  4. Create a cool “About” page.
  5. Create attractive titles using related search terms.
  6. Pick a simple theme (I recommend one created by WordPress.org ie; Twenty Fifteen) and test, test, test.
  7. Use paragraph breaks about every 10 sentences or so. Do not write a whole page with no breaks.
  8. Embrace the mentality that posts have a 12-24 hour shelf life. Don’t expect it to be read after that.
  9. Write posts expecting them to be read years from now.
  10. Read other blogs.
  11. Subscribe to blogs that subscribe to yours.
  12. Comment on other blogs.
  13. Pay attention to what your “niche” is and become the resident expert.
  14. Use pictures when possible. Get yourself a good camera or get good at iPhoneography.
  15. Value real readers over “click through” traffic by replying to comments and commenting back.
  16. Provide entertainment.
  17. Every year or so, get a good quality profile picture on your blog.
  18. Be relaxed when you blog (it shows).
  19. Use Google Analytics or other service to find out which topics get the most reads.
  20. Enjoy yourself, try to not make blogging a chore.
  21. (bonus) Try blogging from Starbucks.

If you have any tips, please share with me in the comments!

The Road Less Traveled

pano school

I don’t usually read books twice but M. Scott Peck’s book gave me a lot to think about and I read it several times. The title is derived from Robert Frost’s classic poem, “The Road Not Taken.” Through years of studying and living the precepts in Frost’s poem, I’ve come to see it means something very different from “The Road Less Traveled.” In fact I have gained more wisdon from the poem than I did from the book.

In both cases it is speaking of being a grownup in life.

Making good choices based on what you know to be true, checking out your sources and above else, remaining open minded.

I don’t mean to judge anyone but along my journey, the times when I read the Bible and tried to follow a sort of Christianity were the times I was the most close-minded and most judgemental. Everyone must decide how open she/he wants her/his mind to be. My mind is all the way open and I intend to keep it that way. Oh, and there’s room for more!

If you are interested in these themes, M. Scott Peck’s bestseller from way back, “The Road Less Traveled” might be right up your alley.

Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

Source: Second Time Around | The Daily Post

Empathy and Friendliness

I think when I was about 25 or 26 I started thinking about my own mortality and that led to thinking about my relationships at work and with family and friends. I knew that one day I would eventually die and whatever I had done on this Earth would stick with me in heaven and whatever my memory on Earth would remain until it disappeared.

I have always seen relationships with friends, work, and family and the most important currency of my life.

By “currency” I mean we all get a paycheck of sorts at the end of our lives. I’ve always hoped to be remembered as friendly, but nobody’s perfect.

I think the key to friendliness is having empathy for others, putting yourself in their shoes, even when you don’t like them or agree with them. Some people are much friendlier than others. I try to be, empathetic and friendly but it’s a constant discipline. Based on what I deal with in my job as a teacher, I know that people do not always “perceive” teachers the same way the teachers see themselves.
One might discipline a student for yelling out in class because it is affecting quieter children who can’t learn because of it. Later, one may get a call or a note about a parent who complained because one “yelled” at their child. It’s all perception. On one hand, a teacher can be perceived as heroic by the quieter student’s parent. Still, the other parent is incorrectly concerned that her child has been made a “victim” of sorts. So, in my microcosm what can I do to deal with perception?

Well, there is just no way to please all people all the time.

However, with relationships with students and all people, I can intentionally try to understand where they are coming from. I’ve grown through a lot of years since 25. The less I care, the less friendly I become. There are many ways to empathize … mostly through active listening. There is also value in “mirroring” as an activity and allowing wait time before you respond. None of this stuff is easy, but it builds empathy which is relationship currency. When you have the intention of empathy, you stand a good chance of being seen as “friendly.”

Mama’s Losin’ It

Accept Everything

I think most people get nervous speaking publicly. One way I work my way through it is to simply accept everything. I had a professor of a writing class in college who told us she knew a famous actress. I would tell you who if I could recall but at the time I didn’t know her since she was a very old actress and the name didn’t imprint in my memory as a result. At any rate, this professor of mine, who was getting to the retiring age herself, mentioned to us that the woman had such grace and elegance in the way she ran her affairs.

It was evident in this woman’s gracefulness in life, she had a contentment few possess.

My teacher took care of her library for her and cleaned the house a bit while in college which was nearby. Because I really respected this teacher as a confident writer, I was all ears when she told this story.

One day she asked the woman how she lived with such grace, happiness, and success and was now aging the same way and the woman said this simple mantra:

Accept everything.

Let’s look at that wisdom three ways. It could mean:

  1. Don’t shut any person or idea out. Let it run completely through your mind and stand or fall on it’s own merits. This is a tough one to universalize. It is more like an inner mantra that can’t be directly applied to some concrete issues. Still, I like the idea of accepting everything in this respect.
  2. Don’t be too good for any offer that comes your way. When you get work accept it. If you get a job for $8 do it like it was a job for 80K. I really like this idea.
  3. And finally, be gracious. This is by far the best way I can think of to interpret it.

We had to write something on those 2 words when she shared them and I don’t have the paper I wrote at the time. I do carry the two words with me in my mind and I say them often.