Self-Made “A Daily Gamble”


Most of us, at least those reading this post, are self-made bloggers. Meaning that our work is backed by our own sweat, tears, blood, and motivation. We are not corporate bloggers, we have no advisors or backers, and daily we decide on our own what to put out on the internet. It is a gamble and just because you are “self-made” or “self-published” doesn’t mean you have any less to lose. Recently I read some forum comments attacking Christina Grimmie, a contestant on The Voice, because she is a self-made Youtube.com artist. Suddenly her hard work, her countless hours of self-motivated labor were considered “cheap” in the eyes of ignorant critics who think she has an unfair advantage. Why are these critics ignorant? They, like so many others, do not understand the work that people like Christina put into their profession.

When do you get to call yourself a professional? Is there a dollar mark, hours spent doing something, or some other standard that is set before a person can consider their “passion or hobby” their profession? Just because I work 40 hours a week at a day job, does that mean I can never obtain the title of “professional writer” myself? Is the benchmark of such an occupation these days only publication of some sort? There are other factors people don’t consider that I do. Factors that people like Christina Grimme and all the other talented artists and writers I see and read each day know. We gamble with what we can lose and we can lose our audience any minute. That is a sad truth that those of us that love social media realize. Everyone is a hair breath away from going viral AND being forgotten.

The people bashing Christina on The Voice are morons because they don’t understand the courage it took for her to even go on the show in the first place. Before entering as a contestant she had over 2 million Youtube.com subscribers. That is a very good following on any platform, I can only dream of such numbers. She put that ALL on the line when she decided to go on TV and even if that “following” helped her voting numbers it still could have gone very badly for her had the judges said she “could not sing.” When you leave the comfort of your platform and more importantly the safety of your own channels and websites, you open yourself to criticism you may or may not have heard before. Published authors that go on to create a blog generally already have a “readership” and the feedback they receive is usually expected. It is a much different scenario for a person that began their profession by first gathering an interested audience, rather than putting something of “note” out first.

What is the price of fame and what is it worth? I suppose for every peak of accomplishment for one, that peak simply presents another level for a different person. Some of us want it all and we see an unconquered land in social media. We put all our chips on the table because each day we are playing till we bust. That is the struggle and gamble of a self-made artist, writer, singer, actor, or anyone that represents themselves solely. Consider this before you assume someone has leverage in anything. Often they are putting much more on the line than you are aware.

-OM

Guest Post – Five Mistakes I Made as a New Blogger


I’m still relatively new out here but I was your poster blogger for clueless newbies a year ago. I wasn’t familiar with blogs; it was a friend who introduced me to WordPress. Once he sat me in my dash and taught me how to pilot the thing, I just wrote like I was drunk. Well, writing is one thing but getting it out there another. These are some things I wish I’d known in the cyberworld fresh off the ship from Earth.

1. Don’t wait last-minute to come up with a good title. After putting in all that thought and time into the post, I would scrounge for a good title just before publishing. There were times I didn’t do justice to the text just because I hadn’t prepared. I’ve since learned: good title, good views. It’s our first – and possibly last – shot at inviting a reader in. It should be catchy or intriguing and while it pegs the topic, you don’t want it giving everything away. Though a finished post will often suggest its own title, I now sometimes mull it over before or during the writing. Point is, I don’t want to be grasping at straws at the eleventh hour.

2. Deleting a category will create 404 “Page not found” links. WordPress Support said, “all the category links assigned to the posts will become broken links in search engine results. Every time a person anywhere online clicks that deleted category link they will be presented with a 404. The exact error message they see will vary from theme to theme.” So especially if you’re starting out in blogosphere, give good thought to the categories you create. I don’t think you want detailed technical advice from me. I might break your blog. Ask Support if you’d like more information.

3. Don’t tag out the wazoo. WordPress will accept up to 15 tags and categories combined on a post. Exceed the limit, and your tags will not appear in the Reader. You are way ahead of me. I didn’t even know what tags were those first few months!

4. But everyone’s doing it. I wrestled at first with the notion that I had to step out on social media to build my blog, though I had no idea where I’d find the time. Then I came to see some bloggers are able to harness media platforms more effectively than others and I don’t need to spread myself thin trying. I don’t need to anything. It helps that I love my WordPress community of readers.

5. Good luck Ostrich Blogging. I did not know the heart of blogging is relationships. I told you: I knew nothing about blogging but that I could write my art out. I didn’t know to read other blogs or to introduce myself out here. Naturally, my readership took its time growing in the beginning. I hope your head’s not in the sand. Make friends and support others, and you’ll attract like-minded readers. Hope you do better than I did.

Wayfarer on A Holistic Journey

Social Media – My Biggest Mistake


I have built some perspectives on social media platforms through the years. My entrance into the “internet” was actually not like most other kids. My parents were very religious and hesitant about the internet and the content we might find on it. I got a late start, but quickly connected with people through different platforms such as mIRC, ICQ, MSN, AIM, Trillian, avidgamers, and a lot of gaming sites at the end of high school and through college. People might not realize how “geeky” gamers can get, but I think that most gamers were the first to begin social media connection purely for the sake of video games. I built forums, created webpages, slayed some dragons, and enjoyed learning about social media during those years.

My biggest mistake when creating www.aopinionatedman.com was not making mirror platforms on Facebook and Twitter (@smokendust) sooner. It just wasn’t important to me at the time and I also hated Facebook. I am now rushing to try and catch those numbers up and it is simply not possible. Google + is also a great tool for social networking that I wish I had begun when I created the website. I regret that the most when I consider the road of this blog and that is honestly saying something considering I have already tried my hand at a number of things. I don’t look at “attempts” as either a success or a failure. I just see opportunities to learn, try, and do. I have always been what I consider a “doer.” I absolutely hate procrastination… I mean you still have to do that “thing” later right?

I enjoy the interaction without obligation that I get on social media. I blog because I like to write and once I pen my thoughts I can lay them to rest. Mentally at least. I really don’t strive for perfection on HarsH ReaLiTy. Instead I hope that people read what interests them and pass over the things that don’t. Someone once said they love my blog because they never know what to expect. Well I appreciate that description and it amuses me, but I also work hard to present a forum of possibility. I don’t live in a “busy city” so I created a place where I hope something is always happening. Consider it the ADHD in me.

-OM

My Twitter Purge


I just completed my first Twitter purge. I never understood how someone can have 10,000 followers and only follow 200 people back. Are those people that interesting? I wasn’t aware anyone could be that exciting in under 140 characters. Well you aren’t that interesting to me! I have decided it is annoying to see such an offset number and will probably do this regularly. To those following me @SmokeNdust I appreciate it.

-OM