Whats This About Getting Rich Through Blogging?

When I tell people I “blog” part time they immediately blurt out one of three responses: They, 1) seem confused and ask what blogging is, 2) want to know how much money I make -or- 3) ask if I can get them making money immediately.? For this reason, I usually don’t get into the topic of what has become my part-time job.? On the other hand, I use my PayPal card often (a card bloggers get paid through) to buy my wife, kids, and friends stuff like pizza and Baja Fresh (Baja tacos in the photo were paid for through blog money)? .. that’s enough for me to feel successful!? In fact, it’s amazing to me that I get paid for writing and tweaking code!? That, to me, is blogging.? This is probably due to the fact that 1) I don’t do it primarily for money, 2) I love to communicate and broadcast ideas, and 3) I prune my blogging to fit into no more than 15 hours a week (strict personal guideline).? I read an article tonight a Stumbleupon friend sent me that decries blogging as a “get-rich-quick” method.? I’d have to agree with that.? You won’t get rich quick doing it.? Having said that, you can make “fun money” through writing and tinkering with code and graphics.? I couldn’t ask for more in a part time job.

I did my time in college earning a BA, MA, and a teaching credential in California, one of the most rigorous states for credentialing.? I have a great job as a teacher and I work 185 days a year developing young minds.? What more could I ask for?? Well, there is something and I am doing it: blogging.? I have developed, after over 2 years, a method of setting blog goals and strictly organizing my time to create income as I go.? When I did my 2008 taxes I saw that I made nearly $3,000 blogging … it adds up!? Who would have thought you can make that kind of money writing about things like: appetite suppressants? If I was seeking a full time income, this would be disappointing but I am not.? Without my job, what would I write about?? Beyond that, I feel my blog helps my career.? Reflective journaling has been proven study after study to be an ideal habit for leaders in their fields.? I don’t blog to escape my life, my blog is integrated with my life.? Reading my blog you get life as I see it and I wouldn’t want to sit around in pajamas raking in millions through my blog.? Furthermore, I get comments and emails all the time from readers who tell me my “journal” has helped them in some way.

This year I hope to make more than last year but it still won’t be enough to pay my student loan each month.? One of my blog tenets is “100% transparency” and I publish my blog stats every month.? I’m not seeking to get rich blogging but I am seeking to get rich-er.? My college degrees, my teaching career, my 3 children and lovely wife make me rich in ways far beyond money.? I am comfortably writing about that every day and broadcasting a weekly podcast every weekend.? One part of my individual earning method is having 4 blogs instead of just one and scheduling post deadlines for myself throughout the week.? This allows me to have more variety in advertising pull and all I am doing is journaling, in essence.? I have been a mentor to a total of 11 people formally since I started this.? I tell them all I don’t know how to get rich at this, I only know how to manage time and tasks to write good content and and make some side money.? No one has backed out of being my mentee after hearing that.

In conclusion, If you read blogs to learn how to get rich, don’t waste your time on mine.? On the other hand, if you want to compare notes on how to get tacos and pizza and take your wife out on a fancy date once in a while, you would definitely profit from reading and listening to my stuff:

http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My thoughts on psychology and inspiration
http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My personal blog
http://www.rileycentral.net/ – My teaching reflections blog

What’s your take on blogging?

Reflections on Grind Show 7-28-12 and Why it Was Awesome

Reasons the Grind was awesome last night:

  • It was an encouraging crowd (as opposed to the silent kind).
  • I felt really relaxed which allowed me to hit some of the single string stuff better.
  • My family came and that rocked.
  • My dad took some great photos which I can use to promote future gigs.
  • I got some tips from people who thanked me for the music
  • and … I remember most the lyrics!!! (Bonus) Rocket Man felt really great as if the room changed colors.
  • I play the Grind again 8-11-2012 7:30-9 I hope some of you can make it out.

50 Blogging Tips that Deliver

Needs revision

If you want to set yourself apart as a blogger, you have to do a few things differently. These tips have helped me in my blogging career. They are the result of intensive and committed blogging. Some are guidelines, others are more like explicit instructions. Good luck with your journey. I welcome feedback as comments or questions.

  1. Be mentored: offer someone doughnuts!
  2. Monitor inbound links.
  3. Don’t link out more than you have inbound links.
  4. Write a dynamite “ABOUT” page for your blog.
  5. Have a “Best of” page.
  6. Guest blog out there.
  7. Host guest bloggers on your blog.
  8. Write reviews with proper references (ie; IMDB for movies)
  9. Optimize use of categories.
  10. TAG by idea, not by words used.
  11. Write great excerpts, summaries, and introductions.
  12. Use search words in your title.
  13. Pick a simple theme and then test, test, test.
  14. Paragraphs no longer than 10 sentences.
  15. Here today, gone tomorrow: remember your post is not a bestseller in process. Write it and move on.
  16. Submit your best stuff to social media. Even better, ask your friends to.
  17. NOFOLLOW when you should NOFOLLOW.
  18. Outline your post. Don’t “freewrite.”
  19. Use pictures.
  20. Get a picture hosting and posting routine you like.
  21. Use Google Reader. Leave comments.
  22. Have a minimal sidebar. Most the “flair” out there is so distracting and lame.
  23. Make subheadings in BOLD.
  24. Don’t “create” topics, wait for them to come to you. be ready with a yellow pad or tape recorder.
  25. Use the future posts timestamp feature of WordPress to get more than one post started in one sitting.
  26. Schedule deadlines to be mailed to you through Google Calendar (No, I don’t work for Google … wish tho ;) )
  27. Find your “niche” and become a slave to it.
  28. Value SEO and learn things about it.
  29. Set goals.
  30. Monitor results of goals.
  31. Spell check and correct basic grammar. Try Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style.”
  32. Make posts over 100 words, around 200 words and usually not more than 400 words.
  33. Get away! Time off captures ideas.
  34. Go to the Library for inspiration.
  35. Use RANK then do not pay any attention to it.
  36. Value real readers not empty “click-through” traffic.
  37. Know your stats.
  38. Be entertaining.
  39. Regularly post.
  40. Be accessible as an author.
  41. Blogging is not instant gratification.
  42. Spend most your time working on your own blog and smaller amounts commenting and blog hopping.
  43. Adjust as necessary, be flexible.
  44. Don’t look for advertisers, rather look to be the type of blog that would have advertisers.
  45. Check out addons and plugins available to you.
  46. Take an official photo.
  47. Be a brand.
  48. Ask for feedback
  49. Put ideas in your blog as “drafts” for rainy days.
  50. Measure success on your own terms.

I Didn't Realize Google Gave Free Images to Bloggers!

Just ran across this on Twitter. This looks like a cool feature for getting fair use photos for free through Google. Google rocks, I must bow down. This is an excerpt and then a link to the original article below that.

I like to use images in most of my blog posts. Whether it’s for my own blog or a client’s, the use of the right image can enhance the post and compliment it perfectly.

Whilst in some instances it does require for a stock image to be purchased, more often than not there are suitable royalty free images available to use online – it’s just finding them that’s often the problem.

Fortunately, Google Images makes the process so simple that you can be presented with a screen of suitable images in a matter of seconds and all you have to do is go to the ‘Images’ section of Google’s search engine, click on the ‘Advanced Image Search’ link and then choose ‘labeled for reuse’ from the ‘Usage Rights’ dropdown box.

via 5 Reasons Why Google Rocks My Freelance Writing World | Get Paid to Write Online.

The Type of Blogger to Be

I’ve been writing in speculation on blogging for almost 4 years now. I have pondered what blogging is and what it is not. More than that, I have passed judgment through words on what respectable bloggers are and what they are not. In the process, I think I have been a little of all the things I’ve despised. There is an upside of all this however, I have let the meaningless stuff fall away and have focused on what matters. Because I have done this, I feel qualified to describe the kind of blogger to be.

Let me start by saying what kind one should not be. An automated blogger is to be despised. This is pretty self-explanatory but basically it means the coward blogger who has nothing to say nor inspiration to spread. These blogs are all over the place and some people even make some money at them. Unfortunately for them though, people catch on fast and expert seo with good keywords tend to burn out when blogging is automatic. Another type one should not be is the emotional gusher. Need I explain the lack of appeal these hold?

There are other types to avoid but I leave it for you to think about. The type of blogger I have become and strive to remain is one who writes from an area of specialty or expertise and works blogging into her/his routine of life. This causes less headaches and produces a blog that is much more interesting. If you can monetize this type of blog you are set because it is integrated into what you do, automatically.

How to Monitor the Analytics of Your Blog

Nowadays, a lot of people have blogs. At the same time, not as many know how to check and monitor their stats in a productive way. This is a quick way to check the daily visits, or analytics, to your blog and how you’re doing compared to your monthly average. Just like custom address labels are there when you need them, so a few tools can help you check your analytics quickly on demand.

What you need (materials):
A Google Analytics account for each if you have multiple blogs.
Optional: Mozilla Firefox (for ease of shortcuts)

Steps:
1) Make a new folder on your shortcut bar entitled Analytics (or whatever you choose).

2) Go to your blogs “Overview” page in Google Analytics.

3) Drag that url into your new Analytics folder on the toolbar.

4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 with any other blogs you wish to monitor.

5) Click on the folder. When all GA shortcuts drop down. click “Open all in tabs.”

6) Start on the left tab. Look at your graph. Note yesterday’s number of visits by scrolling over the point. (ie; 151 etc.)

7) Now find the monthly number of visits on the bottom left of the graph (ie; 4,846 visits etc.) Click on that.

8) In the same area you will now see a visits / day number. That is your daily average for the past 30 days. (ie; 156.32 etc.)

So, if you had 151 visits yesterday, you were about 6 visits lower than your monthly average.

9) Go back to step moving one tab to the right and repeat the rest of the steps until you’ve monitored all your blog analytics.

10) Note the changes or lack thereof. Make tasks for the week that will help you raise your analytics or keep them high.

This is an excellent way to monitor the “A” in my acronym CAN. CAN is a method I created of improving blog stats through setting strategic goals.

Add V.A.L.U.E. to Your Blog :: "E"

Here in this post you find series links to 5 aspects of a valuable blog. I gave the blogosphere this post because the others sites and books I ran across failed to define. I also give you examples to make the abstract aspects apply a little more. This short series I have published over a few days will pack a powerful punch for your blog’s value and what will that mean for you? well … 1) Greater traffic, 2) longer bounce rate (people will stay longer to read your work), 3) More fans/readers, 4) Possibly higher rank and authority on the web. Let’s review what we’ve covered up to now and then I will close the series by discussing the last letter: “E.”

  1. V stands for visceral
  2. A stands for aphoristic
  3. L stands for linkage
  4. “U” stands for ubiquitous
  5. “E” stands for extracurricular

Sometimes you have to walk away from your little world that is your blog. While away you will find out all kinds of new matierial for posts as well as a new appreciation for other types of blogging. A couple great places to “get away” are:

BlogCatalog.com

Chawlk.com

Twitter

Search out forums and social networks. These are great places that will add value to your post and your blog.

I’m closing this series but for me this concept is never ending. I am always asking myself: “What makes my blog valuable?” I hope I hit some of these ideas, but these are just what I do. My advice? Ignore what Google Page Rank and Technorati say is a valuable blog. Find your own purpose and goals and then measure your own “rank” based on what you set out to do. I feel like in the future, arbitrary measurements of a blog’s worth are going to fall by the wayside. In some people, they already have.

Add V.A.L.U.E. to Your Blog :: "A"

Ben Eine Letter a stands for aphoristic.

In many posts here I’ve written  about how Google PR and other ranking systems for blogs fall short of really determining blog value. Let’s face the fact at the start though not everyone agrees on what is valuable. There are some things that are universal though. I started this series writing about an acronym v.a.l.u.e. and specifically the “V” in value for a blog. I chose the word “visceral” and targeted to a nice short 200 words because so many blogs have posts that are too long and not heartfelt.

In this post, I teach you to make posts that are short and “aphoristic.” An aphorism is a short quote or phrase. Another word for this might be “quotable.”

Writing a blog is unlike writing a book. Readers rarely will “curl up with a good blog.” On the other hand, when they read a book they are more patient and allow more time for ideas to develop. SO, be careful to not fall into the trap of thinking you are a JK Rowling or Eckhart Tolle online. Even if you write that well, you have a different sort of audience that doesn’t want to hang out long.

Here are three tips on how to add value to your blog by being aphoristic:

  1. Wait to create your title until you have written your 200 or so words in your post. 9 times out of 10 you will have a better title after you have the post.
  2. As you write thing more in sound-bytes, or lines people could quote. I did that when I wrote: “Readers rarely will “curl up with a good blog.” On the other hand, when they read a book they are more patient and allow more time for ideas to develop.”
  3. Use the blockquote function as much as possible without being over-the-top.

So now we’ve covered 2 aspects of a valuable blog: 1) visceral, and 2) aphoristic.

Add VALUE to Your Blog :: "V"

VWrite no more than 200 Visceral words

Improving your blog should be a concern if you are a blogger, especially if you are looking to make money blogging. For years I have studied how to increase the value of my blog. As a results I started this series with the letters V.A.L.U.E. The stuff that has been worth my time doing however has been stuff that increases the VALUE of my posts and blog. I am talking about the stuff that increases my traffic and decreases the bounce rate: So, having said that that, I will examine a letter from the word VALUE in each post in this series. I’d encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss anything. Let’s start with what you can do to create more value for your blog: V.A.L.U.E. V=visceral

  1. Be visceral with a target of 200 words

If you are like me, you have to look up visceral to know what it truly means. I knew it meant to be “of feeling” but check out the other definitions:
Visceral Vis”cer*al, a. [Cf. F. visc[‘e]ral, LL. visceralis.]
1. (Anat.) Of, pertaining to, or affecting the viscera;
splanchnic.
[1913 Webster]

  1. Fig.: Having deep sensibility. [R.] –Bp. Reynolds.
    [1913 Webster]

  2. proceeding from emotion or instinct rather than from
    intellect; deeply emotional; — as, a visceral reaction.
    [PJC]

  3. dealing with coarse or base emotions; — as, a visceral
    literary style. –[RHUD]
    [PJC] (source)

Doesn’t that say it all for a valuable blog post? Write from a place of inspiration. That will vary from writer to writer, but many things never change. I chose 200 words as my target because shorter that that is often considered spam by the search engines and more than that often makes me click away. Let’s face it, who has time in their bloghop to read more than 200 words. Oh and guess what else? IT’S EASY TO WRITE 200 words! Everybody likes stuff that’s easy. Sometimes longer posts are okay when they contain excellent research, but as a general rule, 200 words will be read whereas more may not.

Write 200 visceral words is the first part of adding value to a post/blog. Stay tuned to my blog for the next post in this series.