10 Ways to Get New Followers


1. Stalk them online for months until you know everything about them. Then one day drop the bomb. Comment on their post, but tie everything in that they have ever said for the past year into one paragraph. You will impress the shit out of them… or scare the living shit out of them. Who wouldn’t love that?

2. Ask for help every day on every post. People LOVE to be helpful. It works seriously.

3. Naked photo of self or hotter self.

4. Pretend to be a little younger than you are and if you are really old a lot younger than you are.

5. Don’t tell people you have kids. I torture my readers with pictures of my kids all the time only because I am mean as hell.

6. Steal pictures off the internet of new locations so it looks like you travel the world every day. Be sure and include a new car, bottles of champagne, and hot women of course.

7. Pretend to be dying.

8. Battle a shark, youtube it, and lose.

9. Write offensive material that no one should give a shit about, but they probably all will.

10. Just tell us about your day. No one else is living that day but you so someone will find it interesting.

-OM

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WordPress Meet and Greet – All Bloggers Welcome


Well this is the third post I have done like this so far and I have seen some great connections. I’ll keep doing these off and on and I think they provide a great way for “active bloggers” to network. This post now has over 2,000 active bloggers waiting to connect in it. I encourage anyone looking for new blogs to view or people to converse with to browse through the comment section and network.

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Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter


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She comes into your life and brings nature’s blessing. And with her entrance comes a curse of wanton passion. The grass is still alive as it blazes in the sun. The chorus of our laughter floats gently in the Spring breeze. We are the definition of love and our hands are linked as we dance amongst the growing and the grown alike. We enjoy timeless sunsets on picturesque settings creating canvases waiting to be painted at each moment. We love.

Time works wonders and bonds grow firm. We resolve to walk quietly into the night together. Hands held tightly against the shadows we once faced alone. We pick each other up in the heat of the Summer, against the blazing sun and humanity’s punishment. We turn as one, in unison with one another’s needs. I am your need and you are mine. And like an oak tree we grow together.

The rain has come and we have weathered storms. We still touch… but sometimes our hands Fall like leaves from our tired limbs. The chatter of children running around our base keeps us united, we are still united with finger painted signs and chalk figures. But some nights are cold and the moon shines two shadows upon the ground.

It snows here in Denver. The Winter seems to be most of the year… at least lately. But even with the constant ice, it does melt with the strength of will. A will we share each morning and return to each night. The seasons form a timeless ring that hardens into a golden promise. They touch each time our hands unite with infused emotion. Regardless of what emotion that is the presence of feelings means that we still care.

Jason Cushman

-Opinionated Man

7/11/2014

A Blogger Evolution


I thought I was done writing these types of posts, but I was wrong. This may be my last “in depth” article on blogging so I hope you all enjoy it.

Blogging has evolved a lot since it was created, however, notice the title says “blogger evolution.” That is because I can really only speak on my own personal evolution as a blogger over two years. Compared to many bloggers on WordPress and other platforms I am still just a noobie. The sad part is that in two years I have gained a larger audience than many people that have far eclipsed my time on this website. I think that if I retrace my steps it may help a few people learn how a “frame of mind” can either liberate you or entrap you depending on how you use your own internal thought process.

I created my blog on January 3rd, 2013 as a way to keep myself amused during my new graveyard shift in IT. It was meant to be an online journal. I remember the day I found the “reader” while clicking off in disgust from a Freshly Pressed article, possibly on Margaret Cho being the most “progressive Korean idol” we have in America. I noticed right off that the reader filled instantly with posts from people blogging on all kinds of things. That was the day I found “the connection” that so many other bloggers take for granted. They don’t realize how awesome the reader pool truly is on WordPress.

I hosted a blog on blogspot for about half a year that had a total of five subscribers. One of those was my mom, it was a highly popular website obviously. The lack of easy connections on blogspot is what made WordPress stand out because it was so EASY to find new bloggers to read and connect with. The WordPress Reader was literally continuously spitting out new posts and each blogger had a “follow button” that had never been pushed by me. The connection between the unattainable and the obtainable became clear at that point.

I have always enjoyed activities, sports, or contests where I can visually see results from my input. The problem with blogging for most people is that they pour their hearts and souls only into the writing and they ignore the other aspects of “blogging” that generate both recognition and response. Blogging is an interactive sport unless you are already famous or you are one of those rare individuals that writes gold every time they pick up the pen. Even if your posts blow everyone else out of the water there is still no guarantee that anyone will read them because your post is a drop of water in an ocean of other articles spilling into the Reader every minute. People hate the feeling of having to compete for attention, but that is basically what we bloggers do daily regardless of our content.

Within three weeks on WordPress I found a simple way to attract attention to my blog by showing interest in other blogs first. A virtual hand extended to another has become such an uncommon thing that people are now surprised if you actually visit their website. Now bloggers sit in their corners and expect their audience to flood to them “just because.” Tales and fables of “going viral” plague the internet and every blogger now seeks to be the next “Candy Crush maker” of the blog world. I grow tired of this enslavement to going “viral” and I find that having that type of mindset is counterproductive. It is in many ways like the spammers that now plague every website with a forum base, if those same spammers were to legitimately throw their energy into a real website I would think their work ethic would carry them far. The same can be said for those that only seek to go viral. If those bloggers instead worked at daily goals and accomplishing obtainable numbers, they would see a much better result than sitting around brainstorming the next viral hit article.

After three weeks I realized I wanted to be a powerblogger. I read a few articles on powerblogging, most of the info was outdated, and I realized that powerbloggers technically flared out around 2005 when blogging began to downslope. I also consider my powerblogging far different in technique, goal, and daily procedure than most of the other “powerbloggers” out there. That is probably why many of them want nothing to do with me or my website. That is ok, I am not angry and I have never played well with others. Besides, to be honest most of the larger websites and blogs on WordPress run by these groups are lame as shit. They have nothing at all to offer me.

There is a point at which even a powerblogger evolves into something else. That point for me was this past December when I almost shut down HarsH ReaLiTy. There are many reasons for blogger evolution, but the most basic is due to happiness. What makes you happy? Does the same hold for blogging? I realized a long time ago that I blog for numbers, audience size, interaction, success, and to reach my next milestone. I consider myself a grinder in that aspect because I do push myself to reach a daily goal. It is the only possible way a person like me can stay motivated while blogging for 7 – 10 hours on average a day. Add a real 40 hour a week job, two children, a marriage, and a home to take care of and you suddenly have a busy schedule. It all comes back to the question I have always asked. “How bad do you want it?”

I will admit that part of what adapted for me was my goal on WordPress. Originally I meant to create a “viral site” that I would then sell. That adapted into wishing to blog for a living and in turn that changed to wanting to write a book at some point. All those reasons only pushed me to want to blog more and to make my “platform” as successful as possible. Of course I read the articles by authors and “newly published authors” on how their publishers had encouraged them to blog to gain interest and a readership. I just didn’t see the point in writing a book and THEN trying to get people to like it. It sounded backwards to me and thus I set out to create a blog with one million views and 100,000 subscribers before I had even written anything worth reading.

Fear of failure and doubt are constant enemies of anyone and no more so than bloggers. There are so many instances and situations that fuel this fear and push bloggers to simply bow out. Trolls, negative comments, the wrong post going viral, family members getting offended, being worried about your job firing you, your spouse becoming angry over your time management, and possibly retribution from corporations are only a few of the things we bloggers face daily. It takes such a small match and such a little amount of fuel to put our dreams up in flames. The worst is when we set that match ourselves.

A final evolution for me as a blogger was when I began to “care” about other bloggers. Not in a love sense or even in the realm of friendship, but rather the same human concern a person might have for another in their occupation or field. I view all bloggers as equals and that is why I make a point to support those I can when I see someone faltering. A few words of encouragement can go a long way and what does it really cost? A few minutes of my time? I make that time and I form that connection because I feel like it. Many people have suspected ulterior motives for how I blog, they are free to speculate. I do what I do and I do what I want.

I understand doubt and how quickly inspiration and motivation die. I have had doubt directed towards me since day 1 of my blogging “adventure.” You may see a successful website, but most people I know don’t. They just see a hobby or something I do for fun. Some even see a waste of time. I say all this to encourage you and not to garner pity, I don’t need your sympathy. It is all to say that no one really has to believe in you, it is all about how you view yourself. Would it be nice to live in a fantasy world where everyone I encounter throws praise in my direction, Freshly Pressed staff floods to my posts to reblog them, and publishers knock at my door at all hours begging me to sign a contract… yes it would. But that isn’t reality and often you have to fight the fight yourself. There will be no words of encouragement and even if you should succeed or become a true success many won’t even give you credit then. Does that matter to you?

There are so many stages to blogging and not all of them follow the same order for some of us. If you have gotten past the “hump” of finding an audience and you have a good readership you may run into the common roadblock of becoming disgruntled. If you aren’t angry about having people reading your work, you might be angry instead that too many are reading your site. That you are essentially writing for free, because that is what bloggers do to gain interest. It is a common complaint though for many writers that hate the feeling of giving their words out for free and it especially becomes troublesome for them when they have to wake up at 7 am for their day job. It is during the mundane activities of the day that many bloggers will evolve into the “angry blogger.”

The “angry blogger” is mad at everyone else’s success. They have gained an audience, but instead of appreciating their readers they only see work. Work, work, and more work and it comes in the form of writing for free and responding to comments. They may or may not have a book yet published and this compounds their frustration because they feel that if they are that “popular” they should be making money off this whole lark. This is a sad part of the blogger evolution that I think many people don’t get to, but the ones that do understand it. Again, it comes back around to “what do you want” and what are you truly looking for from blogging.

I understand the “angry blogger” and have even been one before. You just feel stuck as if you can’t get past a certain hump. It is similar, but not exactly the same, as the blogger that has an article go “viral” and can’t repeat the feat. That is a frustrating feeling for anyone I am sure, but of course I am only speculating since I have never gone viral myself. The “angry blogger” either flares out due to emotion or they close up shop and turn their blog into a book. You’ve seen these bloggers before I am sure. Normally when you see this occur it is solely due to frustration at an inability to advance their dreams. The death of a blog normally follows closely behind the death of a dream.

It is hard to find the complete package. The complete package for a blogger can be learned though, but that learning process takes real effort that most humans are too lazy to pursue. So you generally have either the frustrated blogger or the angry blogger, my two groups of separation. The frustrated bloggers are normally amazing writers or they share amazing content. In most perfect worlds they would be a professional in their field and possibly successful. In a realistic world, however, they are simply one of many and that fact alone kills them. It is so hard to be noticed these days on social media and it is monumentally frustrating for many when they ARE great at something and still can’t gain that notoriety.

I believe that blogging presents many different outlets for many different types of bloggers. There is no singular goal to be accomplished on WordPress, instead blogging can be an outlet or a path to many different dreams. We all attack problems from different angles and that is why blogging is so fascinating. What works for one person may not work for another, but the bottom line is that there are relationships to be had for all bloggers willing to put aside their inhibitions for a moment. To truly walk the path and see where our evolution leads, that is the real life of a blogger. That is where the excitement begins and why I still search for my next goal. What will be your next evolution?

http://aopinionatedman.com/category/blogging-articles/

-Opinionated Man

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Why My Blog is No Different from Yours


I don’t work for WordPress. I have seen some comments speculating that I do… which I find amusing since if I did indeed work for WordPress I probably wouldn’t be blogging so much would I? I think it is people trying to find an “excuse” for why other people are successful. I read a long string of reasons why they feel their own website isn’t worth reading so I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast some of the more popular ones.

My website is plain and I don’t even own my domain. No one would want to visit my blog.” The only think I paid for was my domain. I still use a FREE template and all customizations done on this website were done by me. It took time and effort, but it was worth learning “how.” You can use excuses all day to explain why people aren’t visiting your blog, but this is not a valid one. Everyone has a potential audience on WordPress.

No one will want to read what I write especially if it is personal.” Well that is simply not true. People come on WordPress to read personal views and unfiltered thought. If we wanted politically correct articles we would visit CNN.com or some other “crowd pleasing website.” The first step is finding yourself interesting and only you can do that.

“I don’t have a theme… what kind of blog doesn’t have a subject theme or some direction?” HarsH ReaLiTy has no theme. My blog has no direction. People still get onboard for the ride daily… even though we have no clue where the hell we are going! At least I provide alcohol.

“It takes time to grow an audience. Large blogs aren’t grown overnight…” I absolutely hate this saying or any quote like it. People love to think up excuses as to why they are not succeeding or getting where they wish to go. The whole “Rome wasn’t built in a day” view is worn out. In fact Rome might have been built in a day if Koreans had lived there. You can accomplish any goal you really work at in blogging. There are no rules or standards and other bloggers that suggest to you that there are have no clue what they are talking about. They are simply impressing their own limitations on you. Ignore them and do you.

“I will never have a large following because I will never be Freshly Pressed.” When I read sentences like this I want to shoot something. This is such a horrible way of viewing blogging. I have never been Freshly Pressed and will most likely never be in the future. You control your audience size… not Freshly Pressed.

-Opinionated Man

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Blogger Pettiness


Bloggers can be so petty. They feen to be noticed and for interaction, but only on their terms. They wish to know for sure whether someone actually likes them or not, only to state proudly in the next sentence that they write for themselves. I wouldn’t necessarily call WordPressers hypocrites, but it may not be far off to call some people here whiney ass spoiled brats.

One of the main complaints you will see by bloggers will be focused on the many “Like” buttons found on our websites and on alternate platforms. The disingenuous “Like” is notoriously looked down on. I personally don’t spam people’s websites with “Likes” and have had to explain this to people that email me inquiring about my “Like and Follow” of their blog. I quickly let them know that I do not randomly press the like button on any blog and if I you do get a notification from me then I read your post. That is how I blog though and my blogging etiquette is not shared by others.

I understand why people get mad. To press that like button a person doesn’t necessarily have to even visit your website. This doesn’t mean you can automatically assume that blogger is being deceitful, they may have liked your post for a multitude of reasons. They liked the title, they are marking your website for future visits, they liked the opening line and will come back to read more, they like your username, they like your blog name, or so many other reasons that it is impossible to speculate. Guessing at motives is a waste of time people. Why sit around and wonder who is real or not, what people’s goals are or not. Unless those factors directly affect you they are not important.

I encourage bloggers not to disable any form of “interaction” on their website. The like button below posts is a good indicator of traffic, timing, and the relatable nature of your topic. It is up to you as the blogger to decipher that info and to use it to your advantage. My current subscriber number says 43,766 which is not bad. Do I honestly believe all those are real bloggers that actively visit my website? No, but I also don’t dwell on it. I just have better things to focus on like what I am going to eat for breakfast.

If you are looking for “honest” opinion on your writing then here is a good suggestion. Deactivate your blog. Start sending your “blog posts” to publishers and see what type of response you get back. I guarantee you that you will receive ZERO “Likes.” You may not even get a response at all and for those complaining about a silly button isn’t that exactly what you are asking for?

Blog on people. Blog on.

-OM

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