An Introduction to Powerblogging – Part 1


There is a reason why I have waited this long to write this post and also why I have shared articles on blogging this past week. They were leading to this point, one which many bloggers will hate. That is the price you pay when you share information freely, especially about topics people dislike. If you were to browse the tags “blogging, bloggers, and blog” right now you would find countless articles on blogging and how to successfully make a blog. You won’t find many people writing on powerblogs, except in the most general way. That is because the term “powerblogger” was given as an insult to label those of us that WordPress and Blogger deem to be all about the numbers and audience. The insult is in the assumption that we also don’t care about our writing.

This post will be longer than usual for me and I plan to cover what I have learned about powerblogging this past year. Yes, you heard correctly, I have only been a powerblogger for a year and ironically I have only been blogging for the same amount of time. Success is a distant marker that we each get the freedom of chasing. I did not wait for someone to tell me the “rules” I made my own. I didn’t wait to learn “how everyone else was doing it” because I have often found that people have very “small minds” when it comes to ideas and execution. The human brain can often not be bothered to think outside the box, thus what we readers get are blog after blog of regurgitated, politically correct crap.

We blog for different reasons and I can confidently say that I blog differently than most of you… probably all of you. Some of the following will be known, but I hope some of it is new and might open your eyes to what a powerblogger is and does.

When I began HarsH ReaLiTy on January 3rd, 2013 I had no real plan other than trying to get my writing seen. That was the number one goal, “how do I get people to read my stuff?” It was only later on that I adapted the “wish” for comments as well, because to be honest a view is a view. Period. There is no “fake view” or “fake follow” the bloggers that claim that are idiots. Did a person not have to see your blog title to press like? Did we not have to read at least a word of your article to like and follow you? If you judge your popularity by “likes and follows” then you will have a fruitless writing career. I don’t pay attention to those numbers, they mean shit other than providing a basic understanding of daily traffic. This understanding can ONLY come from studying your numbers and seeing what gets viewed and why. Many might find this boring, that is understandable, but if you are serious about self-promotion, business, and selling those damn eBooks then you might want to start paying attention to your stats and dashboard. That IS your link to the outside world for your blog.

I value every view, regardless if someone follows me, comments, or presses like. I also don’t “like” any article I have not read. I will generally “follow” a person off the reader, so that connection will show up in their email notification as a “like and follow” by me. In truth I have not pressed “like” on that article. I followed a person because I skimmed their post, liked their title, or I see they are an active blogger. I then will wait for that connection to be returned in many cases. Is this a game of “I follow you and you follow me in turn” like I have seen post after post about? No, it really isn’t, because I am not studying the number of followers. I am waiting to see if a person that just visited my site has gone on a “reading binge” and has “blitzkrieged” my website. That to me is the indiciation that a REAL connection has been made. The “handshake” connection is actually where someone reads my about or bio, likes it, comments, and then disappears. That is STILL a view, I still value that interaction, but it is set in a different category from a habitual visitor.

I have repeatedly said that powerblogging is more than just “randomly” clicking on websites in hopes that people will visit you back. If it were indeed that easy, everyone would be doing it AND successfully, which is not the case. “Following” people is a large part of pushing your website out to the public. You will read and hear endless posts and comments on how bad of a practice this is. “It is insincere” or “I think every blogging connection should be a real relationship and not a ploy for business.” If you powerblog you WILL get these comments. You might even make it to the “big time” and will “randomly” happen upon those awesome posts about you while browsing WordPress. The awesome part is because they will be directly about you and your blog, they will name you, and they will villianize what you are and what you do. If this bothers you or if negative feedback causes you hesitation, powerblogging is NOT for you. You will need to be made of tougher stuff than that. Currently I could rattle off a dozen posts just this past month about me. I can also name many bloggers that think what I do is pathetic and a “low” form of blogging. You will have to decide whether or not public opinion matters to you and if it does you might want to reconsider taking any of these pieces of advice.

Generally I follow about 500 blogs a day. On a good day or perhaps a day from last year where my motivation was much higher, I would follow or connect with around 2000 blogs a day. My hope for a “return” on this practice has always been the number 750. I set that as a buffer number, because it is just high enough to push me but not to burn me out. I seek 750 new eyes on my website every day. To an author or someone that is pushing their business or books, this is where I say the marketing really IS. With every follower or every glance at your website you are realizing a “possible sell.” THAT is the name of the game and anyone that says differently is a fool and you should NOT listen to them. But if you instead write “for yourself” and are happy selling your books to only your friends and family… by all means listen to “Cindy and Jack” your kind supporting friends that will never tell you a negative bulletpoint. These people are not helping you though in the long run and an attitude that thinks that they are is the wrong attitude for self-promotion and success.

I listen to no one when it comes to self-promotion. There is so much bad advice out there. So many people with wishful thinking and sugary thoughts of “success will come when it is meant to.” FUCK THAT! I go out and I search for success because success is in all reality the ultimate mythical hart that every hunter seeks. Those that say they don’t care about success, all the while they pour their hearts into their words and product, are not only lying to you but to themselves as well. Living a lie can sometimes be the best remedy for failure. If that is your poison have fun foolishly enjoying it.

You cannot randomly click “follow” and hope to create a powerblog. There is so much more to this “art” then it appears. I say art because the process itself is an art. Anyone that has blogged on HarsH ReaLiTy and has seen my stats knows I am speaking the truth. They have seen my numbers and even more they have witnessed the fluctuations. Not an hour ago I was asked “why have your numbers fallen since last July and can you explain the bell curb?” Of course I can, it is the product of effort and lack thereof. I have not clicked follow or pushed my blog nearly as hard as I did last year and for good reason. They are my reasons. Last year I was actually “following” and actively pushing my website to the number of around 2000 clicks daily. That is not an exaggeration either. What a person must realize is there is a percentage to explain everything in life, especially a blog. Numbers don’t lie and if you know how to read them they can actually reveal the “heartbeat” of your blog. When I was actively pushing my blog I would have over 750 new visits a day and the retention rate of those visitors was higher as well. My content also has a large amount to do with this rate. Removing an offensive title and tagline would be an immeasurable help in gathering followers, but I refuse to change that. A Good Blog is Hard to Find is actually my new sample test against this theory. I can firmly say that it has shown me I have lost A LOT of potential followers because of what HarsH ReaLiTy now “stands for.”

The amount I blog on HR has fallen this year because I always intended it to be so. I never really planned on devoting more than a year to HarsH ReaLiTy, but I have also adapted that plan slightly. The problem with HR is that it has capped in many ways. I still gain followers daily, but the issue is when you get to a certain size people stop seeing you as an attraction. You gain a label and an outlook, regardless if your practices stay the same. When I say practices let me elaborate on what I mean by that. Last year I received anywhere from 300 – 600 comments daily and much of that is due to the fact that I posted on average 5 times a day. I want to reiterate here that “over posting” doesn’t exist, but pushing out tons of posts ALSO won’t gain you tons of followers. The reason being is that you will find few bloggers that actually read ALL of your posts. I have a few people like that, but it is rare and it basically takes time to find a reader such as that. They are what writers seek though. I spend a lot of my time responding to comments, reading blogs (yes, contrary to popular belief I actually read around 200 blog posts a day), and writing articles. The addition of the comments and emails adds considerable amount of work. I work four days a week in Information Technology and have the luxury of being able to blog at work. I therefore spend around 8 hours daily on my blog and often this includes weekends. I sleep very little and because I have kids I force myself to do a lot of my writing at night. This is neither practical nor possible for many people, but I am trying to provide a full picture of what I do.

7 days a week I was on my blog last year. It has only been recently that I have started to take weekends off and my guest bloggers will attest to the fall in stats because of this. I don’t care because I KNOW what drives stats and views. There is no “dormant stage” for a blog. There is either motivated blogging or lazy blogging to me. I hate laziness and will never entertain the thought of being called lazy by anyone. I have had this word fielded in my direction and honestly, it didn’t deserve the snort that it got.

Powerblogging is about money and making money. Whether you are pushing a product, sharing your writing, or basically trying to create a business for future ventures powerblogging is where you want your website to go if you are truly after numbers and success. Writing is a skill and something to be treasured, thus I have time and time again tried to present the difference to my readers. I take writing and blogging seriously, but I separate them. I always have and always will and this post should share why I do. Blogging is the business and traffic aspect of pushing my website, the writing is something I am always working on and trying to improve. As one commenter said, the reason I post so much is because I am not hindered by public displays of negative feedback. That is why I am writing, any review is welcome. To pick and choose is to pick and choose your followers and that to me is a mistake in principle.

I wrote an eBook back in May of 2013 and I shared my blogging principles and methods. This is a much larger elaboration and I have more still to share. The irony is that this post is probably more in-depth than the eBook, but I have also learned a ton since last May. Well, that is debatable, but I think I have.

Mirror blogs and secondary blogs are becoming more common. You will see many current “powerbloggers” (some of which don’t meet the description to me) hosting mirror sites in which they are simply refunneling their previous posts. While this in itself is not a bad practice, nor is it a bad idea, there needs to be some clear understanding as to what, why, and how this is done. There are some bloggers that will reblog themselves to gain views. The issue I have with this is when they reblog their own post… ON THE SAME DAMN WEBSITE. Who wants to see you reblog yourself? If you have been blogging for years and think you have posts hidden at the bottom of the pile that people might genuinely enjoy “again or for the first time” then simply repost that article. Don’t reblog it and make it obvious you are recycling your posts. When a singer lip sings do they make it obvious? No, they try to play that shit off because people don’t want to think that YOU “think” they are fools. Treat us like adults and instead just repost that entry and see if people like it again.

You will find many bloggers are using “separate” mirror blogs to push their current blog. This is a GREAT practice that has been in use FOREVER! People that think this is a new idea are either not in marketing or failed out of marketing 101 in college. Business owners and strategists have been using the “wall theory” forever. Bouncing ideas off a smaller target or “sample audience” OR simply using a secondary website to get eyes on a topic or issue. There is nothing wrong with this, WordPress isn’t going to run out of room because you decide to make a second website. Anyone that tells you that making new websites is “clogging WordPress” is OBVIOUSLY the best network engineer in the world…

Another thing some powerbloggers do is they create a second website that is completely unaffiliated to their first. They will then “rehash” their previous year’s materiel onto their new blog and by using the scheduling features they are essentially able to create a blog with no new materiel and one that is ready for a year. It is still their writing that they are proud of and are trying to push in front of the public’s eye, so fair is fair when it comes to motivation and even more importantly dedication to promoting yourself.

I don’t schedule my posts, but I have before. I enjoy writing “real-time” and allowing my audience to feel and understand what I think of the moment. I also don’t try and cram every single thought for my day into one post. Many bloggers create well thought out, scripted posts that read like a novel. That is great for them and all and they deserve the recognition and likes people give them from doing that type of task. For me I don’t think a post has to be perfect. When I press publish on this post, an article that is about 7 times longer than most I write, I will probably have a ton of grammatical mistakes that will be obvious to the reader that cares. The thing writers need to remember, especially writers of a blog where they are pushing their thoughts out every day, is that there will be just as many readers that don’t care and will still read. They will also come back and read more, as long as you are putting out new content. If you sit there and second guess your worth and the readability of your articles, you will only filter your website down to a point where it is no longer you. It is a filtered you and who really wants to read that? You should also take note that finding people that are writing about similar topics is the best practice in finding bloggers that “might” like your website. This is particular telling when you actively find people writing about your subjects, even as your topics change daily. This provides a mixture in viewers that will pay you back.

I post lots of times in a day, but each post is generally directly related to a singular topic. I don’t try to carry my readers on some long epic journey through multiple layers of thought because blogging is a “quick fix” type of enjoyment. People read blogs, instead of books, often times for a fast read. Under 1000 words and they really don’t want to think too hard. This is not the case for all bloggers, but understanding the existence of this predominate group will help you when considering what to write, how to write it, and how to present it. If you bury your audience in tireless posts and an overwhelming amount of imagery and mental pictures… you will lose most of your audience.

Titles are everything if you are a writer. If you run a photography or art blog, your titles “might” not matter as much because pictures will show in readers. I don’t post a ton of pictures, actually I rarely do, and because of that I must hedge my bet on a catchy title. But the title won’t make or break your article, it will simply go hand in hand with the percentage that you gather while writing it. It is thus harder on a “true writer” in many ways to gain an audience. This is also why I don’t stick to one topic, theme, or type of writing. I try my hand at anything and that “unpredictable nature” is also a bullet point in my “how to blog” manual. Humans are creatures that grow bored faster than any other animal on this planet. Keep that in mind when you are wondering why people aren’t returning to read the “same type of post” you have been doing for years.

WordAds is a great feature for WordPress users to see at least “a little” monetary gain from their efforts. Why write for free? Also, if your followers aren’t paying the price tag, why should it matter to them if you have Ads? I once had an “Ex-Follower” (yes, we powerbloggers actually get “ex-followers”) who claimed that it was shady of me to gain anything from my followers. I responded with a wake-up call. You do realize that you are paying someone every time you log into any website right? Gmail, google, and EVEN WORDPRESS ITSELF makes money off your usage. Don’t feed me this crap of “it is bad form to make money off anyone” because EVERYONE is making money off EVERYONE. Wake the Fuck Up!

This is getting long and I may come back and add to this later or write an addition. There will be many bloggers and powerbloggers alike that will absolutely hate this post. They will hate that I share this info, or that I do it in such a nonchalant way. As if I am supposed to care about what other bloggers think of it. Unfortunately for them and perhaps fortunately for my audience… I could give a shit less what other bloggers think of me or my methods. To prove this, I will even post this article on my new blog and see if it runs any new followers off. If you are always worried about what others think of what you are doing, saying, or thinking then blogging for an audience is not for you. Save yourself some heartache and instead take on knitting.

-Opinionated Man

2/16/2014

07:02:44

Echo Me


How sad the voice sounds when echoed back from emptiness. A validation that your words were not heard and instead clattered down the well of humanity hitting the walls on the way down. I pen a thought in the night so that I remember the deed with the coming sun. The blessed light does not erase the shadows of doubt that I was able to scrape together on fallen wood. I create a sailboat from my unpublished drafts and send them drifting down the stream. They collide with a myriad of other boats at journey’s end… thoughts left to silently die by me. And turning away from my failures I look up as the rain begins to fall. The echo of droplets hitting puddles beneath my feet compound the reality of the moment. A reality I embrace with my last breath.

-OM

Guest Post – A chance to live by Alisha of The Invisible F


Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey

I almost died last December.

I woke in regret. Three days after the deed, and out of intensive care unit, I lay in hospital on a ward with a middle aged woman, a pensioner and a stuffed monkey.

“Do you like your new friend?” the middle aged woman asked cheerfully. She continued in cheer despite my unresponsiveness. “What will you call him? Cheeky monkey?” she grinned.

It’s not like me to not say thanks or be polite. But I wasn’t me. In the throes of a major depressive episode, zapped of all will to live, and consumed by the devil that is depression, I was not me. I was a mere shadow of me.

Months after the failed suicide attempt, I sat in my bedroom and I remembered the middle aged woman in hospital. Mr Cheeky Monkey was staring at me still, this time on my book shelf.

“Damn it, I forgot to say thanks. I wish she knew her kindness was appreciated” I thought aloud.

It might seem an insignificant thing to think about in the backdrop of all that had happened, but my devastating war with depression has done something to me that I actually appreciate.

The little things, starting with the Cheeky Monkey.

The little things mean so much more. They matter so much more. And for the first time in my life, I feel I might have a chance to actually live.

I want to live.

I have been existing. All my life I wondered how I would and could carry on and after each breakdown or trauma I told myself my miracle would come in the next phase of life.

But my miracle never came.

It is impossible really to put into words the emptiness and misery that envelopes one dealing with clinical depression. I can only try to explain. And it is important that you understand or try to understand because depression is a killer. It is an indiscriminate killer. And no amount of accusations of selfishness or condemnation will save lives.

What will make a real difference is people like that middle aged woman in hospital who empathised and was brave enough to reach out to me while I was blanketed by a darkness no one wants to confront.

Noticing the little miracles

My state of existing slowed down the pace of life dramatically. I had readied myself for the end but after standing on the brink of death, it wasn’t easy to return to the road of life.

Bob the squirrel

Bob the squirrel

I survived partly by following routines fastidiously. This, the doctors ordered. What surprised me was the inspiration that came with the little things I noticed during these routines. And I really think it started with that Cheeky Monkey.

In my recovery phase my mind was processing things more slowly. I always had an eye for detail but on the bus the crying baby mattered more. I marvelled at the perfect ringlets in the lady’s hair, the cute freckles on the child’s cheeks, the picturesque view during my Sunday walks over Waterloo Bridge and the adoring nature of my neighbourhood squirrel (Bob) who visits me daily for food.

Somehow being compelled to slow down caused a strange reaction in me. I started to engage with the babies and children I met, I made them laugh or stopped their tears, I started smiling genuinely with strangers. These experiences warmed the coldness in me.

“Is that your Monday morning face?” I asked the frowning mister in the lift. He laughed, then I laughed. My friend says I’m brave to engage with total strangers but in truth having almost lost myself, has made me curious and keen to lift low spirits and interact with every lovely thing I come across.

My friend brought me a bubble blowing thingy and I started blowing bubbles, admiring their delicate beauty and ephemeral state. Every day I observe the closed flowers in my vases, watching them slowly blossom before they quickly fade.

I have appreciated and loved the beauty around me, but merely existing in this life has somehow lifted a veil over me, to reveal the depth of the ethereal and often transient beauty around us. How quickly some of it fades. And now, I don’t want to miss a thing. Not least the chance to love and be loved. Or look into beautiful deep blue eyes.

The battle continues. But amid the darkness I found a flicker of light. Something good has actually come out of depression. Every journey is different but I hope sharing can help someone else.

The view from Waterloo Bridge in London

The view from Waterloo Bridge in London

It is good that more people are listening and talking about depression following Robin Williams’ suicide (bless him). But we mustn’t forget. We often do as time passes until someone else loses their battle. We mustn’t forget. We have to help each other, with no judgements. Perhaps if we listen, and love, truly love, we can help our brothers and sisters in this life to start seeing the little miracles that have given me hope and a renewed will to live.

Gentle hugs :)
Feel free to stop by my blog www.theinvisiblef.com or contact me at theinvisiblef@hotmail.co.uk

Guest Post – Labels (I Hate Them)


It’s something I can´t stand: Mr. “A” is a doctor, Mr. “B” is an attorney, Mr. “C” is a writer, Mr. “D” is a painter and so on.

Only a few understand that this guys,”A, B, C or D “can radically change their lifes, by “Mr A” becoming a farmer, Mr.”B”a winemaker, Mr.”C” a painter and Mr.”D” a writer.

The majority of people understand that once purchased a “label” (either by one academic degree, or a metier) it is eternal, i.e. (and illustrating), who has always worked in a coffee can only work on a similar job (Restaurant, Hotel), who always worked in a bank can only work in the financial sector, who always wrote can only be a writer, who always teached can only be a teacher, and so on.

Wrong, completely wrong, each of us can change our life radically. If that means to “cut straight”, to  fight againt “mainstream” and take risks? Yes, but if humanity did not have this ability, we would still live in caves …

The ability to challenge what is established in the quest for self and / or others’ happiness, is probably the greatest gift that any of us while humans have within ourselves.

Wasting this gift is stupid …

 

Originally published here by Pedro Cunha. For the ones that are able to read in Portuguese I provide the link for my Portuguese blog.

Guest Post – In Praise of Survival, by an Unviable Man


NOTE: This is a rewrite of a post that originally appeared on my blog under the same title.

In a blog post I read recently, a peripatetic fellow describes the various hitchhikers he has picked up during his long commute-style drives through the rural American West. Many of them are a type of person I didn’t think existed any more: hobos. Not the inert homeless you see lying on the pavement of a city’s banking district, sleeping their lives away while people in suits step around them. No, these hobos are proud and resilient in their transience and homelessness, doing very well despite not having even the most basic security net, and living lives that, in spite of frequent hardship and privation, are odysseys of romantic freedom.

An unviable guy like me gets charmed silly by stuff like that.

What do I mean by “unviable?” I mean exactly what the word says: incapable of survival. My practical intelligence has always been zilch. I can’t problem-solve my way out of a wet paper bag. The few episodes of homelessness I’ve had, including the voluntary ones, have ended in mere hours with me igominously begging for rescue from birth family. Without the help of my aged father, my late mother and my younger brother, I would long ago have died of thirst, because I wouldn’t have been able to figure out how to get a drink of water on the street. Yes, I can write up a storm, but writing is the only thing I’ve ever been even passably good at. I don’t even wipe my ass all that well.

The hobos in that old blog post are my idols and heroes, people who have the intrepidity to survive and even prosper in absence of even minimal support from any quarter. Sometimes they accept the generosity and fellow-feeling of strangers, but they rely on nothing. They are the finest examples of humanity, those who would have been just as good at survival at the dawn of our species 200,000 years ago, or as late as 200 years ago, as they are today. And there is an added benefit to the way they live a life they often choose. In a world of strangling confinement filled with social security numbers and credit ratings, they remain free.

Kheleya Fahrmann
public@kheleya.com
blog: Verbal Diary-Ea: The Life Journey of a Prolific Diarist

Guest Post – The Boy Who Wanted Nothing


There are things in life I value greatly but avoid discussing because they sound kind-of weird.

One such thing: At one time I was co-owner of a kid’s consignment store.

failed-retail-business

The location for a consignment store left something to be desired.

It was something my wife-at-the-time wanted to do, so I decided I would want to do it, too. I had trouble acknowledging my own desires at the time. It was as though I didn’t know my desires well enough to state them clearly, much less pursue them.

Similar to most of my endeavors, it took off fast, gained some altitude, struggled to remain airborne for a while, then mercilessly augured itself into the ground. That sequence seemed to represent a lot about my life at the time.

During the brief flight of the rural mountain kiddy boutique, there were rationalizations, laughs, tears, self-reflection, and entire days spent in an insipid sort of panic inspired by an overwhelming sense that there was nothing in it for me but the opportunity to suffer.

And socks. Lots of used socks.

My sister — a failed retail entrepreneur herself — put it best: “Owning a business is like having a profoundly retarded child who hates you.” Those were her words, not mine. I admit I laughed the time I first heard it. I thought she was joking.

I stuck with the kid store it until it nearly destroyed me. I was determined to get something out of it. When no money appeared, and it didn’t succeed in bringing me and my wife-at-the-time any closer together (quite the opposite, actually), I decided to make pain my portion.

Yes, I decided I would harvest rich bales of pain from those racks of onesies and Sunday-best combos and semi-broken Matchbox car garages. I would learn from this, even if the lesson would only be to never, ever do anything like that ever again.

Ever.

And in that, I succeeded. I also made untold thousands in filthy lucre disappear into the thin atmosphere of the Rockies.

Mission accomplished!

But anyway, one episode from that time pointed up something profound about life, in a very odd way.

One day a family visited while I was working the register and pricing socks or something. Customers weren’t common. We treasured each one of them.

It was a nice couple with two nice kids. Their boy was about seven or so, and the girl appeared to be about five.

“Do you see anything you like, Jacob?” the mother asked. Jacob looked around at the toy aircraft carriers and Nerf guns and other things that might entice a boy his age. His expression was flat. Slowly, he shook his head and looked off in the distance. He took his mother’s hand. “No. . . no . . . ” His voice was soft and hollow. His parents glanced at each other, sighed and slumped their shoulders.

The father had been talking with me at the register. After his son’s response had dashed his hopes, he looked back at me — grimacing a bit.

“My son is autistic. He never wants anything. No matter where we go, he never seems to desire anything.”

At the time I had a 9-year-old stepdaughter who definitely didn’t suffer from that particular effect. I flexed my eyebrows. “I’m sure it’s worse than it sounds.” The father smiled, chortled a bit and shook his head. He had made peace with certain things, but was still hopeful.

“Yes, not much we can do. I hope he can find something he wants someday.”

Then, I heard his sister — the little 5-year-old. She had found something she wanted in addition to the toy her parents were already buying for her. I think I recall it was a Barbie set.

“Jacob,” she said softly “Tell daddy you want this. Ok? Just take it to him. There.” The boy nodded, then blankly handed the toy to his dad who had been witnessing the whole conspiracy. Dad took the item and returned it to the rack, laughing softly as he shook his head at his daughter.

So, this is what I got from it: You need to know your desires–your own desires. And you need to pursue them with everything you’ve got.

Because if you don’t, you’re going to get played.

And so maybe it was worth it after all, that store.

Bill LaBrie is a Phoenix-based single father, author, musician, and IT manager. His first novel “Eye of the Diamond-T” will debut this November. Follow his daily blog posts at http://billlabrie.com

billlabrie_1391033207_63

Today I killed


Today I killed. It was the most random thing, it was everything, I feel the need for more. I close my eyes and savor the sweet sensation of death, I feel the dying pulse still in my fingertips. Staring into the eyes of my lover, my victim… a stranger. We became so close in such a short time. It is a shame our meeting could not last. I watched as confusion and anger turned into despair… sweet despair. I shattered the reality of another and forced my will upon them. Slowly did the light dwindle in their eyes as tear drops leaked their life’s regrets onto pale cheeks. I marveled at how much sorrow one could feel from the release I was giving.

Today I killed. Tomorrow I will live their life.

-OM

It’s all feelings… of excitement


Opinionated Man:

That is a lot of love! Thank you! -OM
Note: Comments disabled here, please comment on their post.

Originally posted on Relax...:

http://aopinionatedman.com

^^^^^

What is this feeling, of getting your first ever follower??? Should i be scared or happy?

 

When i was in high school i was always trying…not hard enough but still trying to start up a blog (i have around 20 with forgotten passwords and super embarrassing website titles – oh the shame), but i never really knew what to write about. And being a teenager you don’t really have much to write about anyway…Not saying i’m old enough to do this now, but let’s face it, i have been through more than a few things in my life that i can write about (and there is no age limit on writing a blog!!!). Be it life lessons, love lessons, job experiences, or maybe the amazing things that are now happening to me. Isn’t it wonderful to write it out? It is like a diary…like a big…

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Guest Post – Happy Ever After?


I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile now and I want to thank OM for giving me this opportunity to do it as a guest post for his awesome blog.

Happiness. If you think about it, it’s such a big word. What is it, really? You’re always hearing stuff like, “Winning the lottery would make me happy”, “Finding my soulmate will make me happy” etc etc. Do you ever think for example, if you had tons of money, trouble would also follow suit? Say, thugs and relatives (as far as I’m concerned they belong in the same category) will be after you for your money. Even if you did find your soulmate, do you ever wonder what happens after you meet him/her? Do you, like ride off in the sunset and live happy ever after?

Are you ever truly happy? Can anyone say that for sure?

Ah, the elusive, never-ending search for happiness. It’s like the Holy Grail, everyone’s after it. It’s sad how so many people depend on others for their happiness or don’t have the courage or willpower to reach out and grab it. Over the years, I’ve learned that you can only depend on yourself for your happiness. If you can figure out how to be happy on your own, no one can ever take that away from you.

Happiness is fleeting but contentment lasts longer. When you’re content with your life, you won’t ever be unhappy. Bad things will still happen sure, because, come on, life’s like that—its favorite hobby is throwing hurdles the size of mountains in our path. But when you’re content with who you are and what you have, you’re also stronger—your willpower to deal with those hurdles is stronger.

You know the best way to be content with your life? Find a little happiness in everything and anything. Create happy moments—don’t wait for them to happen to you. Make time for that bucket list, to at least do some crazy things during the life you’re living. Just look at me, I went zip-lining the other day. Whoah, zipping through empty air like that—the adrenaline rush was awesome! I believe I’m now officially, an adrenaline junkie. I can’t wait to try it again. Yeah, I know, I’m a totally insane person. But, god, I love me! :D

Love yourself, who you are. I’m sarcastic and stubborn and I love that about me. I hope I never change :) My dearest friends have termed me as hopeless. But they love me anyway.

I find those small happy moments in everything and it’s made me stronger.

Find your happy moments and make yourself stronger. And you’ll see, your happiness was within your grasp all along.

Thanks a lot to OM for letting me do a guest post. I hope my experiences can help others.

Regards,

S.R. McKade

http://mckade.wordpress.com/

Dreams and Goals


I have dreams and goals like everyone else. I ponder these as I type through the tired and push myself towards the task at hand. Would it be easy to simply lay back and appreciate what I have accomplished so far, absolutely, but that would not be me. That has never been me.

Goals are like mile markers and there is always another one in the distance. There is a hunger and a drive for some of us that seek to fulfill our dreams… regardless how many tell us it won’t ever happen. And they do, make no mistake, I have far more naysayers than supporters in this world. Online and in real life. I shelve the negative next to the kimchi, it ferments in my fridge now.

Sleepless, I dream of reality… I dream of restful accomplishment.

-OM

Just Write


I am often asked how I come up with my posts. At first I took my prompts from fortune cookies, but those got old after awhile. Truthfully I simply write when I feel like writing and I feel like writing all the time. When I look back over my posts I consider most “sloppy” and very few do I consider “good,” but I do appreciate that other people enjoy them. I believe there are some people that always love there work, some that never like their work, and many like me that rarely like their own writing. I once said that I came onto WordPress to improve my skills, but that is a lie. I come on WordPress to write my current thoughts because texting is so tedious and where better than here to rant at the world?

Just write. Don’t think so hard about it is what I tell people if they ask. If it is interesting to you that is the first step. I have never understood why anyone would write on topics or spill out long articles on subjects they don’t have any concern over. Why write about it? If you see a post on this website it is because I thought about it, I cared about it, and hell… I decided to write about it. I think fear stops many people from voicing their opinions on the world and that is tragic to me. The day we give up our voices and the right to our own opinion is the day we might as well place the chain around our necks and stop caring. Because you are then truly a slave to the world at that point.

My parents brought me up to take ownership of my own views and not only that, but to stand behind my convictions. We are given so few things on this earth, but the one thing no one can take from you is your internal opinion. Now whether or not you can actually voice those words is a different story, but that should never stop someone from formulating their own outlooks on what is going on in their lives and in this world. Break your bubble people and more importantly share your thoughts. You never know how many people might relate or find courage from your actions.

I wish I could write more and had the time to write more in depth on this blog. I micro blog because writing is only a portion of what I do on WordPress, as I said in my blogging model I only spend 33.3% of my time on WP writing posts. I do sometimes wonder at and envy those “celebrities” that can just write and have people read all the time. They have no obligation to interact back and their fame brings them view after view. I will never be famous in this life and because of that I have to work for my views. Each and every one. It is called “the grind” people and we do what we must for things we care about. I care about writing because I love it.

-Opinionated Man

Look People, I make my rounds


I get irked by the accusations that I “don’t ever read or visit blogs.” Look people, I make my rounds. I have a very large circuit I cover each day and the matrix I use ensures I get everything done I need to. That includes visiting blogs and yes, I spend hours doing that. More importantly though is the fact that people “think” one visit from me is going to make a huge difference. If you are asking me to visit for advice on your blog I can do that… but honestly the way your blog “appears” really doesn’t matter in the long run. An audience can be found by any blogger, even those with ugly pink websites.

Notice I did say “irked” above and not “angry.” I am starting to lose the ability to get angry at bloggers online because I am repeatedly reminded that bloggers are people… and people can be stupid. Like the ones that steal your article and then get mad that you “check-in” on their website to ensure they aren’t thieving still. Yea, I never forget a website and YOU are definitely on my matrix. I added you right after the blogs I “don’t” read.

-OM

There is always a sale…


I just want to point out to the husbands and men not to fall for the line “but there was a sale honey!” I worked in retail… we just moved the signs around. There is always a sale going on people! Women you don’t fool me.

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Personal


My eyes bleed sleep. Droplets of concern puddle at my feet, they reflect my humanity in the moonlight. I mumble hope and walk in a daze, a zombie to the life I live. I pass people, places, and things… they create a cascade of reality around me. A reality I do not touch, but instead I am simply aware of their surrounding existence. I yearn to live even while I wish for sleep. But sleep does not visit this vessel. Instead she turns and kisses another… a fickle bitch till the end.

-Opinionated Man

Anger and Addiction


I have anger issues. I know this, I accept this, and I like to think I am working on them. My wife has suggested a few things namely acupuncture, hypnosis, and possible counseling. I am ok with that, but I won’t take anymore “zombie” pills. People take medication for everything these days and I will present myself as the ultimate hypocrite now. I hate pills… and yet I have been an addict for most of my life.

I have an addictive personality. I also have very little patience and this presents an issue when one has a 4 and 5 year old. I make efforts to be a better father each morning because I know I still have a lot to learn. No one is perfect, but our tendencies towards imperfection are no excuse for the allowance of characters that bring us down as a person… as a father.

Night terrors are on the menu lately. With day 3 of withdrawal comes the ugly serpent of sleepless nights, anxiety, and the dreams. Only these are not simply dreams, they are in fact the embodiment of my personal struggles. They come in the form of past adversaries, struggles, and the boiling forth of hate. Hate… such a touchy topic for most because it is viewed in utter negativity by many. My hate is anchored to events and people many of which are situations that were left unresolved. And so I hate the part of my mind that these “troubles from my past” still reside. They visit me at my weakest point.

Choices and decisions must be made and I am still sorting through those. I can’t really express how much I appreciate the patience of my wife. She is an angel when it comes to trying to understand me, to be there for me. Is it fair to her? No, it is not. But life is not fair and that is the realest fact of all.

Day 4

-OM

9 Reasons Not to Sue Opinionated Man


Don’t hate me for using third person above. I couldn’t help it.

1. Capture

 

2. Although the Cushman family traces its lineage to David Cushman who came over with the Mayflower our family fortune went into golf carts and property. Unfortunately I have never been invited to the investors meetings… but I am holding out hope I am the illegitimate son of someone rich out there! Hopefully not Kim Jong-un.

3. You won’t find me! I am changing my name to Chang and moving to China! Good luck!

4. I can’t afford a lawyer so I would have to defend myself in court. I guarantee it would turn into a circus that no one, you included, would want to observe. Trust me on that.

5. My wife will beat me.

6. If I fail to pay and have to go to jail I would look awful in an orange jumpsuit. Yellow and orange really don’t go well together.

7. They don’t serve kimchi in prison. Don’t send me there… that would be hell.

8. If you sue me I may die laughing. While that sounds like a pleasant way to “go out” my kids would just be baffled and confused. “You mean daddy actually died laughing?…”

9. I would have to take a second job to pay off the debt. The only other thing I am qualified to do is make French Fries and I really don’t want to do that again.

-Opinionated Man

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

 

To Slay a Shadow


I could slay a shadow by writing light. Cutting the barriers to my heart and allowing the brilliance of others to shine within. But it is my shadow and their light and that presents a conflict.

I close my eyes to the light of the world so that I can understand my own darkness. I take comfort in the blindness of the moment, a blindness we all share from time to time.

I accept the shadow without becoming the shade. Using the support of the world, I seek to support myself in the end. Through understanding our demons we understand ourselves.

-Opinionated Man

Don’t be Afraid


I am writing through the tired. If you get bored or annoyed with my posts please refer to this article – http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/06/24/how-do-i-unfollow-you/

I constantly have people comment and write to me asking how I am so “unafraid” to write on sensitive topics. There is an easy answer. I look down on all humans, therefore their opinions don’t affect me like they would a normal, rational human being. Many are probably laughing right now and thinking that I am joking. I look down on those doing that.

I write what I want on this blog. I love the freedom. I am not Matt Walsh (who I have no issue with by the way) and I don’t write controversy for fun. I honestly believe everything on this page, that is the most amusing part to me. If it serves your own purpose to laugh off my posts and stubbornly adhere to the “idea” that I am just joking, so be it. That is your right. I look down on you for doing it though.

Don’t be afraid. What are you afraid of? Trolls? People telling you that your opinion sucks? That you are a racist? That you are worse? Laugh with me as we roll our eyes at the world. What I did was build a moat and filled it with dirty diapers. No sane person would swim through a river of dirty diapers to attack me and if they did I would smell them a mile away. I also am the first Korean pirate full on with the bird and everything. I sometimes walk around in gold armor too. So yea… if you are looking for concerned you came to the wrong castle. I look down on you… from my castle wall.

-OM

Hypocritical You


Humans are such amusing creatures. They love to think so highly of themselves and will howl at the moon if they feel slighted the least bit. There are so many situations where people show just how hypocritical they are.

1. When humans punch people. Isn’t it amusing how shocked a person looks when they get hit back? Even when they punch first? If you have ever seen a real fight, not a tumble on the ground and “hope” someone breaks it up soon fight, you will know what I am talking about. If there wasn’t real pain associated with it seeing a human getting hit might just be the most hilarious sight in the world to me.

2. “I have the freedom to say what I want… but wait you can’t do that to me.” I get a laugh when I see people waving the banner of freedom of speech in one hand and in the other is a cell phone calling the police for help for harassment. Why is it that people in this world think they can deal out sentence after sentence but never be included in the conversation? It is the same situation when people try to give parenting advice, but don’t you dare offer any back. Are you trying to say I am a bad parent?!? Well… maybe.

3. Limit me. People set boundaries and limitations on others every day. “You can’t do that!” “That isn’t how it should be done!” “Do it like I did it!” Our world is becoming so plastic and fake and that has a lot to do with the death of originality. Don’t allow others to limit your ability because guess what? Maybe you have more potential than they do! That’s right world, not everyone is created equal. I said it. Those same people probably told someone “you can be whatever you wish.” Do we truly still believe that world?

4. Don’t kill that animal murderer! But… go ahead and kill that fetus.

5. “I am not attacking you by attacking you! I am the victim!” Everybody in this world wants to be a victim these days. Victim of this or that, oppressed by this or that just so they can feel justified if they fail in life or at something. Start looking forward people and stop looking back at a past hurdle. If a previous “trial” still holds your attention then it really isn’t “previous” now is it?

6. “I am not blogging for money, success, or popularity… but I sure would love comments!” I just don’t understand the logic here… but ok. If it makes you feel better to state plainly that you don’t need or want something good on you. Just don’t start moaning about lack of traffic or I will have to start rolling my small eyes at you.

-OM

Socks are Important.


Opinionated Man:

I know the struggle all to well. I wish you the best with it and I hope you find the promotion info you are looking for. I don’t have much experience with etsy, but I do have articles on how to self-promote should you be interested. Again, just wanted to say I wish you the best and I “felt” the post. -OM
Note: Comments disabled here, please comment on their post.

Originally posted on Earth to Bella:

Bullet points.

Here we go.

* I’m awake. Again. Tonight I actually planned to be awake. Why? Glad you asked.

* We have been so bored, and so broke for so very long (longest dry spell yet. Started in January) that I started grasping at straws a few months ago and threw Etsy on the table as a “why the hell not” option.

* I don’t care about being broke. Honest. I was born broke and it only bothers me now if it bothers my kids or the Hub. He…well he friggin hates it. So depressed. This pisses me off (by that I mean I am offended that anything should dare to hurt him) and so again…the etsy idea.

* Hub is a pro. Sure…I stand by him with a pit-bull-like tenacity but facts are facts. There’s a reason he hasn’t had work lately. Trust me…I fight myself daily…

View original 277 more words

The Daily Opinion – Top Posts?


What are your top posts? Share as many as you like with links. Mine are below.

1. http://aopinionatedman.com/harsh-reality/

2. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/13/wordpress-meet-and-greet-3-all-bloggers-welcome/

3. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/06/these-people-should-not-read-my-blog/

4. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/06/nine-reasons-being-asian-is-awesome/

5. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/06/19/10-things-not-to-ask-an-asian/

6. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/09/10-reasons-people-hate-me/

7. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/12/blogging-they-arent-coming-back/

8. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/07/16/if-i-could-paint-the-sun/

9. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/06/women-are-crazy-the-way-to-lose-your-female-readers/

10. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/12/your-audience-is-not-your-friend/

11. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/08/11/an-introduction-to-powerblogging-part-1/

12. http://aopinionatedman.com/2014/07/23/final-post-my-adoption-story-depression-and-the-devil/

Gifts of a Stranger


Gifts of a stranger, a nameless man who in some societies would be called my father. A man I have never met, and yet I receive a gift from him every day it seems. With the coming of age comes the revealing of his face. I see it in the mirror, even if I have never dreamed it. My hand touches my cheek and I just stop myself from striking… it is me…it is me.

“Hello bastard,” I sometimes say to myself in the morning. I smile. It is the smile only one that comes from adoption can crack. It is a bastard’s smile.

It is a gift from a stranger.

It is a gift from my father.

-Opinionated Man

7 Reasons Why Men Watch Porn


1. Women are always saying “get in touch with yourself and get in touch with your feelings.” I believe watching porn accomplishes both of those feats in one blow.

2. Men don’t talk about sexual positions much, except for that ONE FRIEND that acts like the God of All Men and won’t shut the hell up about all his “conquests.” If you are that guy take a hint finally, SHUT THE HELL UP! Because men don’t want to show a “lack of knowledge in certain areas” we turn to porn to learn what we don’t know, and to raise our expectations to a surreal level. Show me a guy that will go to the customer service desk at Barnes and Noble and ask “excuse me can you point me to the books on sexual advice?” I give you ten to one odds you get laughed at if the worker is a male.

3. Because books and pictures lie. Porn is as real as World Wrestling Entertainment.

4. It was an accident. I meant to type in Google.

5. You can get in LESS trouble watching porn than with a Facebook account.

6. Because porn will never break up or dump you. It is always loyal and always there.

7. We watch it for the plot just like we read Playboys for the articles.

-Opinionated Man

Hoping to Die


There was a time in my life when the land was covered in darkness. It did not matter what time of the day it was, there was simply no light. I walked the world a ghost and prayed to any god that would listen that he or she would simply end it for me. I wanted to die. I wrote the below poem in remembrance of that time of weakness.

And there they lay. The tools of the day. A razor, a pile of pills, and a bottle of Tanqueray.

I have stared in the mirror for hours. All have gone to bed. With each tear has come resolve. We may as well end it all. I hate you. With a hand I gulp the pills, the bottle is already near. I gulp death’s companion. And to the left are the backup dancers.

A letter to someone… I hope… anyone?

Never there is a reply. I say this aloud now as the razor cuts once, twice, thrice… and as the ice cold water washes away my sight. I feel life fleeing from my nearing empty vessel. And suddenly a wrongness, a surrender of an opportunity? I do not know.

And as the light flees the coming darkness, all I can do is embrace the growing warmth.

People fail to realize that there is depression and there is suicidal. To me suicidal is the point you reach when you just don’t care. You could give a shit less about heaven or hell, they are one and the same because your life has become a living hell. It doesn’t matter how many “do gooders” speak soft words in your direction, you only see darkness.

I remember well that time still to this day. The feeling of that night, sitting online and telling a few “close online friends” that I just didn’t care. That it was time to see what the next page brought. I remember a feeling of finality when I shut down my mother’s computer. My steps were almost light as I walked slowly upstairs. Neither asleep, nor really awake… I walked like a man in a daze to my bathroom. I starred at myself in the mirror for what seems like hours and in those precious minutes I decided I was ready to die. I made that choice. I took those pills and I drank that bottle to the head and I remember smiling. Because finally I didn’t feel so cold anymore. The warmth of death was my friend that night and I was ready to receive him.

It changes you… that type of experience. It is nothing to brag about and many might feel ashamed of that type of weakness. To feel ashamed of being human is a shame in itself. I was human that night, but I am lucky my humanity failed to die.

-Opinionated Man