Blogging, Networking, and Growth

How do you grow your website? That’s the question I keep getting emails asking me. Authors, promoters, networkers all want the same thing that those SEO books claim to offer. The trick is defining what your goal is. What do you want?

I wanted a website with a million views. It just sounds cool and I now have that.

But what do you want? Are you an author that isn’t looking for the “passive” driveby view and are instead seeking the hard sale or lifetime reader? Are you an artist that just wants each person that looks to buy something or a cook sharing your recipes daily, but comments help. Writers grinding it out each day for the views, the comments, or just to write. We are all bloggers sharing in some way on whatever platform we use, but we all have our own goals in this all.

I get daily emails asking for tips on growth and I often ask them what they are after because there are views and there are “views.” Wouldn’t it have been nice to have had a book written before the website and sold 1,669,766 copies off https://aopinionatedman.com/? Wouldn’t it have been nice to have this website off of WordPress and gotten paid for those views from ads? Perhaps. There are benefits to having a website connected to WordPress that people obviously leach upon. I am in a “sharing mood” today and I haven’t written anything in a bit. I’ll share some thoughts today.

When I began this website in 2013 I was working graveyard and was able to connect with tons of websites each day. I met people like Linda, Belinda, Nav, and a few others that have since moved on that helped ten hours overnight go by just a little bit faster. When I say I connected with “tons” of websites I don’t mean in the hundreds. It was my goal to connect and visit close to 5,000 websites a day if I could. I used a tablet that had an awesome scroll app and was able to breeze through tags at a high rate. I would use set tags for daily scrolls, re-scroll every six hours and would change tags up daily. My goal was networking, growth, building my internal subscriber list, and producing content through writing my daily thoughts that people seemed to connect with. I commented, engaged people, ran projects to help expose other people’s blogs and created a community around my website. You can’t just run around “subscribing” and liking posts on everyone’s blog and hope to build a popular website. It takes hard work and what I call the “grind.” You have to be a blogger.

I’ve never been a fan of the like button and only push it if I am re-blogging a website. I started doing that as a way to give back to the community I’ve formed here. My little corner away from everyone else’s corners. That is what my website slowly became because I am not an author selling a book yet. I am not running for president or council (possible run for Emperor in the near future though), I’m just a guy that likes to build forums. I built them on several game platforms and WordPress is no different to some of us that see social networking as a chess match. I’ll clarify that by a single statement, What Controls Google SEO. Maybe people like Danny will appreciate the joke as we brainstorm up ways of getting our website seen on a greater scale each day. I did that for the first two years, trying to think of ways to get my website really seen. I don’t care about going viral to die the next day. This website has never been about that. I’ve truly considered what it is I want to do with this place and the thought process is honestly exhausting.

The struggle of coming to the game too late. I wish I had begun blogging in 2000. WordPress has different policies now and I have a growing family with a busy day job in IT that gives me less and less time to blog. You also get tired of it all after a while. The criticism. I could imagine being able to roll my eyes at criticism if I were anyone important, but some of my experiences in and with blogging haven’t been the best. There have been times I have considered selling this website for pennies of what it is worth, at least to me because only I could ever guess how many hours I’ve poured into it. Because that really is why I bought the Premium package with my WordPress plan originally. I wanted my own domain at https://aopinionatedman.com/ without “WordPress” in the name. That is ALL you get! You still have to pay for themes (I use a FREE theme and always have) and you get no added “tag” features. The rules are still the same. I think some people believe if you pay that package and know the secret button your blog posts appear in a weekly board meeting. It doesn’t work that way people. If I were writing this on my iPhone I’d insert an eye roll here, seriously.

If you are truly into getting your posts out there it is soooooooo simple. It just takes a ton of work.

  • Learn how to properly tag. I have posts on this in this section of my blog HERE or you can search “Tags” in my search bar. Tagging is easy and yet if you don’t do it properly you may as well not be writing. Right Gary? No more than 15 tags and if you add categories those count! I always do 14 tags and go check the reader immediately to see if your post appeared. Duh?
  • Join some groups out there. No one is going to get to know you if you stand in front of your window with your arms crossed anti-social jim . There are soooooo many platforms and groups you can join that allow you to “guide” people back to your wordpress site. It all depends on what you are blogging about. Photographers love Instagram because it is easy to upload photos. There is also pinterest for both bloggers and photographers. You can google those websites, I’m not going to google that shit for you.
  • Post more often. One post a week even with great tags is still going to sail on by. Learn some tricks to get that post seen on other platforms and learn how to re-share your “great posts” that may have been missed. I have tips on re-sharing old posts somewhere in that link above. Here it is again https://aopinionatedman.com/category/articles-on-blogging/
  • Read some blogs and comment. People generally comment back and sometimes visit back. Build a community and share!
  • Ok I am done with tips. Networking is simple. Get out there and meet some bloggers. Stop being lazy.

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

44.1

Do You Have a Corner Coach?

I think that is a very encouraging term! I like it! -OM
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Untangled

“You’re a hard stick.” I hear those words each time I have blood drawn. Yesterday, after four sticks, for five tubes of blood, and a very upset phlebotomist, I found myself cheering her on, telling her she can do it, she’ll have a great day once she’s found a vein, all you need is confidence. I was determined to have her shake it off and find a vein because she was the only one working yesterday; she couldn’t pass me on to a co-worker and I was not going to come back another day, to hear the same words, “You’re a hard stick.” That’s the kind of stress I prefer to only have once a year if possible, not two days in a row. She finally found a blood-giving vein and off I went, hoping to never lay eyes on her again!

I love the term corner coach. I used it…

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Our Jeweled Sanctuary

Check out the blog of Alexis Rose for her posts and info on her book! -OM
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Untangled

I am beauty calling you

from the canopy of my lush home.

Notice the bright colors that mark

our different, equally beautiful bodies.

Listen to the song of my brothers and sisters

as we invite you to find peace, mutual respect

joy and safety in our Earth, our jeweled sanctuary.

jungle

©Alexis Rose, image: Pexels

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856

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Mesmerised by Culture

It makes for a great story and I’m sure the book is good as well. Find the post and book info on their blog! -OM
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thesixfootbonsai

During my first stay in Japan 1980 During my first stay in Japan 1980

I was born and raised in nowhere special. A rural Michigander– a real bumpkin whose feet were always black and leathery in the summer, culture to me was playing in the woods and streams.

That is, until a mysterious flyer about an exchange program appeared in our rural route mailbox. This little piece of paper, a piece of junk mail really,  brought a girl named Yuki to our house. The year was 1979.   In short order this petite girl from Tokyo and I became best friends.

This is how it all started for me. I was still in high school when I first traveled to Japan, to stay at Yuki house, and it was mesmerizing. I had only known Japan from old encyclopedias and post war history films. Shoot, I thought Japan was all geisha and rickshaws! But when I got there…

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March

It would be interesting to have each of my siblings describe their experience of the week that my father died. It was the first time since my sister’s wedding ten years earlier, that all four of us were together for any length of time. And yet, there we were, keeping a five-day vigil at my father’s hospital bedside.

It was fascinating and frightening to watch my father move through the stages of dying. He was quite lucid as he called each one of us to his bedside and asked permission to die. He didn’t ask for forgiveness, or apologize for hurting us; he just wanted permission to die. As the doses of morphine increased he began to go in and out of consciousness.  He was seeing and talking to his deceased family and his beloved cat. These were all ghosts to us, but they were real and comforting to him. For two days before he died, he held conversations with his mother, who had been killed in the war when he was seventeen years old. Eventually, he spoke only in Hungarian, his first language.

He struggled to die. Part of that may have been the morphine, but he seemed to have a need for closure with certain people before he could let go. The day before his death, a steady stream of people came and went, said their goodbyes, and he fell into a deep sleep.

Once he drifted into that sleep state, we were told that he would probably die within a few hours. We opted to stay in the hospital that night and wait. Each of us was dealing with our father’s death in our own way, and nobody was talking to or comforting one another.

Once a year while we were growing up, my father had made us sit in a line on the couch and recite, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” while he took pictures. Waiting for word of his death we seemed to be recreating those moments, sitting in a row staring blankly into space.        

My sister Lucy loved my father with all her heart. He was always her daddy, and she was grief-stricken that he was dying. She spent a lot of time in his room feeling an otherworldly connection to him and reporting many sightings of his mother. My brother, Thomas was filled with guilt for never living up to the rigid standards that my father had so often reinforced with his fist.  Thomas’ mix of guilt and grief was making him angry and contentious. Adam hated my father too. He could never live up to the impossible standards that had been expected of him either. He was distant and off in his own world; silent and withdrawn.

I felt a lot of ambivalence about my father dying. I had watched him struggle with three rounds of chemotherapy and had seen the disease ravage this once very powerful man. I didn’t want him to suffer any longer, but at the same time, his suffering was the only restitution I would ever extract from this man who had abused me since I was a baby.

When I moved to Minnesota, he and I had spent countless hours together. He taught and then quizzed me for hours about national and international politics. He spent a lot of time telling me his life story.  He seemed anxious for me to learn his past so that he wouldn’t be forgotten by his future grandchildren. My father’s entire family was killed in the Holocaust and he carried immense survivor’s guilt. It was confusing for me. He was unbelievably abusive to me and yet I felt compassion and respect for his life story. I would have preferred to feel a neat and clean hatred and disgust towards him.

Early the next morning, the rabbi on the hospice team came into the room to talk to the four of us. Rabbi Lyon had spent many hours talking with and comforting my father during his extended hospital stays. The four of us siblings were exhausted from lack of sleep and the endless waiting. The air was heavy with grief, confusion, and boredom. The rabbi told us he wanted to relay a few words from my father to each of us.  I had an instant distrust of this man when I met him, and that day, chills ran down my spine when he began to speak.

He stopped first in front of my brothers and told them that my father loved them very much. He knelt down to my grieving sister, took her hands into his and began telling her how much my father loved her, how much my father spoke of her and that he himself would be there for her in her grief.

Then he walked over to me and without a moment’s hesitation said, “You are our tough little shit, and you will be fine.” He walked away. I felt three things simultaneously: hurt, rejected, and a profound sense of dread.

excerpt from, Untangled, A story of resilience, courage, and triumph

Featured Image -- 1269

Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222

https://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph-ebook/dp/B013XA4856