My Blogging Resume


How many blogs have you owned? – I have owned three blogs in my life. My very first blog was “Splattered words and Forgotten meanings” on blogspot.com. I ran that blog for about 8 months and had a total of around 20 subscribers. My real blogging began on WordPress with the creation of aopinionatedman.com and shatteredsmoke.com. Aopinionatedman.com is my main blog and shatteredsmoke.com was created to prove that a non-offensive presentation will gain you more subscribers faster.

How long have you been blogging? - Technically about 3 years, but I have only been a powerblogger for 21 months now.

What is your blogging method? – I share clearly my blogging methods in my Blogging Model found HERE. I seperate my focus on blogging into three parts. 33.3% on writing, 33.3% of my time on interaction, and 33.3% on finding new readers. I have stuck to this business/blogging model since I began HR. My true blogging “form” though can be found in my articles on powerblogging found HERE.

How do you interact with so many people so quickly? – I ran forums in my gaming days so I turned my blog into a community forum. It was easy to do because I understand what makes a good forum and the balance between presenting info and working for interaction. I make and take the time to respond to comments as quickly as I can because they are important to me and are a large part of why I blog. Without the numbers and the engagement back from my audience I would not be blogging.

What is the hardest part about blogging? – The hardest part about blogging is seperating the good advice from the bullshit. So many bloggers want to share their insight and two cents on blogging when many of them don’t have a damn clue what they are talking about. Most of it is just noise. I try to present raw views on my experience from blogging and the tips I wish I had known when I began.

If there was one thing you could go back and change when you began blogging what would that be? – Easy, I would have immediately linked multiple platforms together while I was in the “build” process of my blog. Now I have to catch up on my FB and Twitter and that is an uphill battle.

What would cause you to stop blogging? – If my site gets shut down I will either stop blogging or use my backup blog. I would probably just stop though because the amount of time I have put into HR would be gone in a poof.

How many hours do you spend blogging a week? – Because I get to “blog” at work some I can safely say I spend more than 40 hours a week blogging.

Why do you blog so much if you don’t get paid for it? – We all have dreams right? I am chasing mine and sometimes that takes slaving away for free at things you are passionate about. That you care about and that others may not “get.”

Why do you spend so much time helping other bloggers and authors if you don’t get anything back from it and the views you receive from such efforts are miniscule in comparison to your daily numbers? – I believe WordPress is a great website and offers so much more than people realize. The ability to connect and to support each other is an amazing opportunity and communities are created when people care more than just about themselves. I help others when and where I can because I want to and I hope people pay that effort forward to others.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now? – Running an eggroll truck that looks like a giant eggroll.

-Opinionated Man

WordPress – The Truth About SEO


Let me share what I know about SEO, Google SEO, and how it all connects to WordPress. Some of you may know this info, but many are clueless. I’ll explain.

If you are hosted on WordPress.com you do not need Google SEO to find an audience. Your audience is right here already waiting for you to connect. That is on you and how much you want to be “found.” That doesn’t mean SOME of the advice you read on SEO isn’t relevant because it still can be. Photos will make your post more noticeable (I rarely use them), the title does matter (my titles suck), tags really matter (I mainly tag with the top traffic tags), and the time of day in which you post is also important (for me that is about 10 am – 11 am MDT due to a large American audience). If you self-host or cannot access the WordPress Reader you must rely on Google SEO to be found and that is why I strongly encourage “new bloggers” not to go that route.

WordPress is already setup to “step you through” creating posts that are easily found by internal search. It also helps that WordPress has its own search engine internally built. That is why you don’t have to rely on Google to be found by a “random reader.” To have your post read, however, does take effort and some of the “tricks” SEO experts preach are relevant in this regard. Bloggers still need to realize that if all you are seeking is new connections those connections can be found right here on WordPress without ever stepping off site. Think of WP and Google as cities in this regard. To have people from the Google city find you they must search for you right? That is where learning how to create the right posts with the right titles and tags can be important if traffic from a third party website is your goal.

Why would someone care to be found through Google? You have a far greater chance of going viral from a Google connection because you honestly have no idea who that is finding you. It could be a Congressman, it could be a Instagram forum with tens of thousands of members gawking at your post which someone has pasted on an alternate site. It has happened to me before and trust me I was a bit surprised to find one of my “feminist posts” on a forum with about 40,000 feminist followers. That was an interesting day. Your chances of going “viral” on WordPress aren’t as good. You can get Freshly Pressed by chance or have a larger blogger share your posts… which most powerbloggers don’t do. I think I may give the wrong impression by how I act towards my fellow bloggers because most “large bloggers” don’t give a shit about you unless you can offer them something.

I quickly learned that my target audience was other bloggers. That is why my readership is 100% WordPress. I learned this after only a few weeks of blogging and the proof of that is my graph below where you see a sudden upsurge in viewership around February to March of 2013.

Capture2

I also want to show you what I have said before and that is the fluctuations that take place from the work and lack thereof I put into this website. That can be witnessed by this second graph.

Capture1

Notice the plateus in views due to my weekends and the times I take a break. This is explained in my blogging model in which I tell you that people find me because I work at them finding me. I do not sit around and wait for visitors and again my readership is not fueled by Google. I am almost at 1 million views in less than two years and that is due to hard work. I did not moan about what others have, complain about fake followers and spammers, it is all about what you want to accomplish. If your goal is to have people see your writing, photos, blog, or anything you are promoting you must go out and find those people willing to give you a chance. They won’t find you unless you strike gold and get lucky.

Striking gold DOES exist. Many of you may have a post that sees far more “spam” than others. That is because your post has been flagged by a search engine or a bot that is directly connecting to your post. This is a “good” thing if you are seeking views only. I of course am after interaction (note that I deleted all the posts from 2013 when I almost stopped blogging last December and that removed over 200,000 comments), so bot views really don’t matter too much to me. You can also score big if you are found by someone important through Google SEO. We have to take into account that most CEOs and Presidents of corporations are probably not sitting around blogging on WordPress. Their companies do have workers scouring the internet for relatable websites and that is where you can get noticed. This is all to say that Google SEO is not complete bullshit, I simply don’t rely on it for my website as a choice.

I am sure someone with a marketing degree will disagree with some of this. That is their right and I don’t have a degree in marketing, only a business degree. I do not work in an SEO related field and this knowledge is all from what I have deciphered. I am providing my graphs to show that I am not talking out of my ass though, so the choice is really up to you if you wish to believe this post. The bottom line is that getting “discovered” is rarely going to happen, but if you put true effort in you can guide others to find you. How much do you want it?

Reference articles:

http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/26/my-blogging-model/

http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/26/my-blogging-model/

-Opinionated Man

9/18/2014

The Old Fellow Goes High Tech (Well Sort Of) :)


Opinionated Man:

I honestly get tired just saying the word “marathon.” Oh god… give me a second. Ok, so yea you have my admiration. I also now miss my old LG flip phone, ah memories. -OM
Note: Comments disabled here, please comment on their blog.

Originally posted on theoldfellowgoesrunning:

This past weekend ended up being quite interesting, as I continued with my full marathon training for October 19th in Toronto.

You see, my sweet wife, Lynne, got a “runner’s app” installed on her Smart Phone, and lent it to me so I could use it on my Sunday afternoon long run.

Now, I know absolutely NOTHING about smartphones.  I have my trusty old LG, a hand me down from my daughter.  With this absolutely AMAZING device, I will send out into the cyber world, approximately 10 texts a year.  And now that my watch is broken, I have been giving it double duty.  I will turn it on, if I really need to know the time.  It is all that I really felt I needed.

It would actually take me several minutes to type this out and send!  :)

It would actually take me several minutes to type this out and send! :)

Yet when my wife handed me her fancy phone with her runner’s app, I was…

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I Blog for Free


I blog for free. I love to write and blogging for me is writing daily. I enjoy sharing my random thoughts and also providing the information I have learned on blogging to those that care to give my site a read. I currently share this info for free instead of through an eBook or something people have to buy because I want to.

I mean it when I say we are all in the same struggle. Those of us trying to realize a dream through our writing share the same daily grind. It doesn’t matter in the end who has more subscribers or gets more views a day, success is found when you can hang your hat up. My hat is still firmly on my head and I am constantly aware of this as I rub the tired from my eyes and inadvertently rub the hat’s bill. There is always a hat on my head in this regard.

I cannot point you in the direction of success or the finish line we all so desperately seek. I cannot sell you the answer to your publishing dreams. In truth there is not much I can offer to bloggers except encouragement and little pieces of blogging advice I find along the way. I hope one day all of you become hugely successful and I see your names on hardback covers one day on the first shelf of my local bookstore. I would not be jealous, I would hold you no ill will, I would simply be happy that others are finding success and chasing their goals. We need not step on the backs of others to find accomplishment in this world. It is all about what we do in the present and the value we find in our own actions.

I blog for free while I try to realize a dream. I watch others chasing their dreams, some catching them and others determined in their effort, and all those examples inspire me to push forward myself. That is what community is and that is what real people provide to those they impress.

-OM

Unimportant Me


I revel in the fact that I am unimportant because if I “mattered” then I would have to watch what I say. I will never run for political office, will never be Star Fleet Commander, and will never appear on TV to defend my views. I have always found it amusing how “random people” get thrust into the limelight against their will and often times it is due to the “one time” they dare to express their true opinions. Isn’t it amusing, for instance, how the Freshly Pressed staff normally picks very soft bloggers to feature and in turn forces them into the arena? They rarely pick controversial blogs that I have noticed and I wonder if that is on purpose.

Unimportant me lives an unimportant life and that life gives me the freedom to say what I wish. There will be no blow back from my work, family, religion, or conscience from the things I write and I must admit… I thrive on that freedom. I love it.

Blogging is for real forms of expression and writers come on here to write. If all I wanted to do is share thought farts I would stick to Twitter.

-OM

 

Tagging – Spreading the love


I know everyone by now has read a post on tagging. I have read many of them and I find that sometimes people leave out some key pieces of info. I thought I would share some of the points I think people leave out.

Yes, we know by now that you are allowed up to 15 tags per post. These tags will then “filter” your post into the appropriate category and they will then enter the overall WordPress reader. Categories count as a tag so if you add a post to one or more categories you must then remove some of the additional tags or your post will go “p00f!”

Here is the part that people miss. Humans are creatures of habit and that flows over into blogging. Often people will habitually use the exact same tags over and over and that is a huge mistake. For starters if you are only using the overall general tags of WP, such as blog, blogging, wordpress, writing, life, love, sex, relationships, food, photography,  and art, then your posts are only visible real time. They get flooded out. Some people will suggest that you use “unique tags” to make your post stand out. That is true BUT to get noticed someone actually has to think of looking for that tag. So if you use a tag like “my cute red socks” your post will never be found off that tag search. Generally people only search for a single or a double word phrase.

I follow a lot of blogs, obviously, but I ALSO read a ton of blogs. I am a silent reader for the most part unless I feel prompted to comment, but one thing I always look at is how people are tagging. What is trending and what are people using these days. Tags and titles ARE the SEO of WordPress. Not of google. The truth is you don’t need “general SEO” to grow an audience if your blog is on WordPress. Your audience is already here and all they are waiting for is an invitation to come to your site.

Tags are almost as important as titles because both serve the same purpose. If you truly want your articles read you need to understand “how” to get them read. Understanding tagging is a good start.

-OM