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

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Selling Books the Write Way

Authors and bloggers both hate promotion, but at the same time they need it to gain visibility. Unless you are fortunate enough to have thousands of people reading your words daily and that are willing to spread the word like wildfire about your new release, you have to do much of that promoting yourself.

I am a blogger. I have done some book promotions, but really all I have done is present books by writers to those that frequent my blog. That is all I have done and it is the same thing I’ll do when I publish my own book. There is a fine line between promotion and spamming people. I’ll explain how I view that line.

People that get annoyed or upset by promotion are the same people that will get annoyed and upset over my posting habits. They are the same bloggers and writers that feel everyone should view social media the same way they do and they are the ones that will unfollow and unsubscribe from you as soon as you promote something other than your blog posts.

Here is the thing about those people. They don’t matter. They were never going to buy your book, they were never going to help spread the word about your writing, and they aren’t worth limiting yourself in hopes of appeasing their sensibilities.

As a social media networker and a blogger, I understand that many bloggers don’t share my views on blogging. I understand that the tricks, tips, and practices I employee aren’t for everyone and probably aren’t for most people out there. That isn’t going to stop me from doing things the way I know how to do. I adopted an attitude a long time ago that I will blog in the way I want. Promotion and networking are all part of blogging to me and those techniques I have learned will be used when promoting any book I write.

I have a blogger friend who has written a book. She has also created and carved out a nice niche for herself in the blogging world. I received an email from her asking the best way to promote a book and I gave her my honest answer. My answer was this, “learn the balance between spamming and promotion.” There  is a line between the two and you can obtain a balance that will help to not irritate all your blog readers.

The problem is that self-promotion itself is irritating to many people. The bloggers that haven’t written a book will think you are bragging or “forcing” your novel on them, the other authors will suddenly see another author in the mix that may steal their limelight, and new readers will begin to label your website as things it is not. This is all due to the post they happen to see that day or a post that led them to your website.

What does the opinion of other people matter to you? For many it matters a ton. For bloggers that have worked tirelessly to gain regular readers, there is a real fear that you will turn off those same readers because of your new pride and joy. Honestly if they are true readers they will not care how you promote your book or even how you blog, they will simply be happy for you. They’ll support you even if you publish a post a day about your release because that is what true support is.

Writers and authors must decide what is their best method of getting their title out there without turning off potential readers and buyers. Much of that has to do with how you advertise and promote yourself. There are tricks and methods to do this that MANY book bloggers can share with you. The only thing that will keep your book from getting bought is lack of awareness. Luckily you control that as the author, the blogger, and the promoter.

How badly do you want your book read?

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

@smokendust

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Below Average Poetry – By: Jason C. Cushman

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Would you ever, if you never

Would you ever, if you never saw the stars.

Learn to dream in the dark away from the light.

Would you ever, if you never had a cause.

Fight for those that cannot fight.

Would you ever, if you never knew love.

Share a moment and create a memory.

Would you ever, if you never knew the truth.

Find peace at night and learn just to be.

Could I ever, if I never knew my past.

Find something worth holding and make it last.

Could I ever, if I never cared for you.

Find forgiveness for you too.

Could I ever, if I never knew the man I was.

Be the man I was meant to be.

Could I ever, if I never wrote again.

Live my life with no beginning or end.

 


 

Break Me

Broken body how you break so well.

Breaking as if under a spell.

Outer shell you look divine.

Straightened by determined spine.

Inner core what is this?

Half a core what is amiss?

Who did you offend!

Living half a life on lend.

Broken body, go on a break.

End the pain so I can wake.

Broken body why do you break?

Where did I make a mistake?


 

Burning Rose

 

Burning rose. You burn so well.

Burning like a nightingale.

Burning beauty. Burn so bright.

Bleeding color into my night.

Dying heart. You hang so well.

Dying underneath my spell.

Dying promise. How you die.

Departing without a single cry.

Loving tender. I love you still.

Loving still the space you filled.

Loving memory. Come love me back.

Don’t leave me wanting what I lack.

Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter

 

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

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

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

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

Fallen Stars

 

I walk upon a land of fallen stars.

Rising so high, how they fall so very far.

I hear the crunch of souls beneath my feet.

Graves upon graves till there is no beat.

Silence becomes the silent ones.

Those that weep and those that run.

They intertwine till they bind.

Forming a tapestry of my mind.

A cold grave where thoughts go to die.

And as they die they twinkle before my eye.


 

Crushing Roses

 

Could I share my broken heart?

Allowing you to see it fall part.

Or would I hide the pieces there.

Ashamed of my broken despair.

Should I borrow a smile?

Walking steps of another’s mile.

Instead I choose to turn within.

Where the pain all began.

Gluing myself back together.

Hoping to create a person better.

Or at least to make the perfect lie.

To shield myself from the whys.

Left Hand, Right

 

My right hand writes my mind.

My left hand writes my soul.

In between lives a torn heart. It battles for the right and left.

It is the right and left.

But what day does not have a night and light?

Writing open truths for those that only know lies.

Telling lies to hope the spirit does not die.

We live as one. My right hand and left.

One mind, one soul, one heart.

Different days.


 

Korean Son

 

Would I wish upon a Korean son?

Only to have it turn and run.

Accepting the American moon.

The American me, a man too soon.

How I miss you in the night.

Your image fading from my sight.

The right to have a mother’s love.

I simply wasn’t good enough.


 

Hanging Faith

 

Can I hang my faith upon a cloud.

And hope to live without a sound.

Would you see my true belief?

Or assume I flutter like a leaf.

Could my god outshine your own?

Would he take a yellowish tone?

Or would he be a stranger to me.

A borrowed godhead, not reality.

Can I still pray to such a one?

My religion completely undone.

Might I instead turn within?

The place where god truly began.


 

Falling

 

Could I fall so very far, but never fall at all.

Gripping, grasping, I try to grab. The smooth surrounding walls.

Falling forever, how I fall. Have I not fallen far enough?

I look to the sky above for the only one to judge.

He smiles at me as I fall, how I feel his love.

I close my eyes to the day and finally accept the night.

Comfort of darkness surrounds me. I begin to write.

Slaying words

 

I could stab a word repeatedly and watch it drip letters onto the floor.

Watching as it tries to crawl its way to beckoning open door.

Stepping over the remains of phrases that it shed.

Retracing our steps from where the bleeding led.

I ponder upon what I have done.

Whether I was moved by sacrifice or a need for fun.

Slaying words into the night.

My moving pen gives me the right.


 

Caress

 

Come sweet embrace.

Caressing face.

I tremble at your word.

Come faster pace.

No time for lace.

Our actions become a verb.

Whisper now.

Gently now.

Given sweet reward.

Emotion brings motion.

I am devotion.

There is nothing I want more.


 

Sleeping Beauty

 

Sleeping beauty rest my eyes.

Slowly dying pain of mine.

Crumpled pills stay my pain.

Nightly cycle spin again.

Wake me up, come wake me now.

Wake me from depression’s cloud.

Kill me now, please kill me now.

Swallowed gently without a sound.


 

A Thousand Lights

 

A thousand lights so bright.

How they twinkle in the night.

Falling dreams and thoughtless things.

Cares and concerns given wings.

Wishes that shoot for the sky.

Wishes that fall and die.

Snuffing out the candlelight.

With fallen tears just right.

Finding comfort in the rain.

A thousand pounds of pain.

Burning light, please stay so bright.

Twinkle with my nightly fight.


 

Tears from a fallen son

 

Tears from a fallen son.

How desperately you seem to run.

Away from me, how you flee.

So ashamed of what we used to be.

Look back as you run to die.

You sweet tear of mine.

Give me back what you take away.

Or stay away. Yes stay away.


 

Our Song

 

Play our song, a single song, on a single note.

Is there one? There must be one. Our unity in words we wrote.

Hear that sound, our lovely sound, our song we sing tonight.

Take my hand. Come take my hand. Our bodies move just right.

Feel that beat, a steady beat, a rhythm fights the sleep.

Who needs sleep? We need no sleep. Come feel all of me.

Can you sing. Let me make you sing. Our song is finally found.

Let me now, come feel me now. Our song has come around.


 

Broken Sun

 

Trickle down broken sun.

Course of day finally run.

Whispers of regret be gone.

Whispers of love so fond.

Shattered sky silence me.

Peaceful bliss inside of me.

Can I be so very still?

Stillness passes without feel.

Would I miss your hand tonight?

Broken trust like broken flight.

Could I turn within instead?

Finding comfort, my own bed.


 

Painted Smiles

 

Painted smiles. Come paint me now.

Evenly painted, spreading trowel.

Painting happiness. Paint me a smile.

A perfect smile to last awhile.

Painting me. Let me paint you.

Let me show you what is seen by few.

Painted perfection. Are we perfect yet?

Painting the outlines others set.


I Dream a Dream

 

I dream a dream within a dream.

With real life endings, not made up things.

People try to kill me. I try to flee.

Only to realize I am killing me.

I sit beside Dante and sneer,

His dreams of hell nowhere near.

Try an Ambien entrapment you can’t escape.

Then tell me of suffering.

I see it clearly before my sleeping eyes.

A dream within a dream that never dies.


 

A Nod to Poe

 

How sweet is the tender touch as I caress your every limb.

Our lips meet and thoughts collide on each and every sin.

Even as I take you into my warm embrace.

I smother the image by destroying your very grace.

Transforming now our reality to fantasy.

Pain brings the passion to ecstasy.

You shudder, I feel you tremor to your bones.

A sweet sensation adding to the quiet undertones.

Softly now, gently I lay you down.

I board you up with a golden crown.

And there dies the buried light.

Another name, another dove takes flight.


 

Jason

 

Could I say what I wish to say, a whisper in the wind.

Yesterday died and tomorrow is a lie, but still I begin again.

Will I write what they will write or can I own my pen?

I use my words as I want. It is the only way to win.

Can I stay true to what I know, a voice inside my head.

Holding opinion’s hand so tight, we are surely wed.

I can only be what I was meant to be. A writer of the night.

Sharing opinion where opinion is dying, I fight for that right.


 

Midnight Thought

 

Could I wonder just because?

Without pondering on what was.

Following fully a trail of thought.

With borrowed courage I brought.

Seeking for that which hides.

Words with no surrounding sides.

A morning cup of midnight thought.

A pondering upon dreams I bought.

Midnight becomes the living day.

I have learned to live this way.

The Church

 

There sits a church upon a hill.

The sound of prayer in the air does fill.

Inside stands a man of God.

Preaching to a growing mob.

People unaware of one small thing.

As they hope and pray and sing.

That the kingdom has already come.

For a man who has already won.

Riches given in hope of salvation.

Instead they have created a nation.

A church of this very earth.

A church that God never gave birth.

Pain Born Tears

 

Pain born tears never die.

Instead they slowly seep inside.

Watering hidden graves within.

Waking sleeping demons again.

At night they come out to play.

Upon a field of tears that stay.

When does sadness finally die?

When tears stop falling from waking eye.

Accepting pain for what it is.

A part of life that I miss.

Finding Yourself

 

The past unknown can be bore, when no knowledge is had of that which was tore.

When the seal of history is cut, A piece of your heart can be seen to jut.

From that wound so small, so infinite. All you knew is surely bent.

Pain deeper than any well, can surely seem like the fires of hell.

But that pain, that gift, although so small, Starts the pieces of the puzzle to fall.

That puzzle, the key, to finding yourself, Is the inner soul’s manna, its being, its health.

That stranger that walks a different life, with whom you have so much strife.

Your identical twin, your brother, your soul. Whose relations with you takes its toll.

It is his place you wish to be. To be able to say, hey this is me.

But his life is not your path to take. The Gods have rolled their dice, it is their choice to make.

What trials and tribulations each shall endure, we should rejoice we don’t have more.

Kill the image you wish to be, Your fate before you never flee.

Until those gates you should climb, Be glad of the days that you may dine, On the fruits of life and wine.

Until you dance with death and die, To spit in the devil’s eye.

-Opinionated Man

Jason Chandler Cushman

@smokendust

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Not a Writer

I don’t consider myself a writer and I am pretty carefree with my publishing. I edit once, miss most of my mistakes, and still publish because perfection isn’t my goal here. My goal with writing, not blogging because I consider those separate things of course, has always been to push my limit. See what I can write and what connects with readers. Sharing your writing through a blog affords the writer an easy connection between their words and a possible reader. The instantaneous feedback is as invigorating as it is addicting. Where else can you find such freedom to express yourself and interact.

One day I’ll care enough to write something worth getting bound between two covers. I have such respect for any published author and I know that writing that many meaningful words that connect takes a ton of work. It takes discipline and dedication, and I obviously respect the shit out of that because that same level of dedication is applied to this blog. I pour hours into this website, this little project of mine. But one day that will change as all things change.

My mother has several publishing deals lined up. I know life isn’t a competition and honestly as far as role models go, my mom is my writing role model. She pushed me to start a blog and she pushes me to write. Her and my wife are why three rough drafts are sitting in my archive which no one has read and why one day those drafts won’t be so rough. Maybe one day they’ll be polished and published with my name on it. My real name… Jason Chandler Cushman.

-Opinionated Man

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@smokendust

Cover Wars – All Good Stories

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Want to help an author out???

Linda G. Hill’s book “All Good Stories” is in a Cover War for top spot!

Many of you know Linda as a blogger and have interacted with her through her blog. Her weekly prompts help generate community and inspire blogging.

Want to help her out FOR FREE?

Click the link below and VOTE FOR HER COVER on the blog!

http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/