Be A Better Blogger- Sustain Your Effort Edition

English: Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging

Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to the Be A Better Blogger- Sustain Your Effort Edition. This is where I share all the tricks of trade at cut rate prices with you. Ok, that last part was a lie because what I am sharing here is absolutely free.

The only word in the entire English language that sounds prettier than Free is your own name. That is right, people love the sound of their own name. And remember if you are  someone who doesn’t it means that you suffer from severe mental and emotional problems. Don’t you just love how I insult those who disagree with me because everyone knows that the best way to convince someone that they are wrong is to insult them.

Or maybe that just works in politics, I dunno. Sometimes I think about becoming a politician. Might be fun to be completely detached from reality and say whatever the hell I want and pretend that I have all the answers.

There Is a Point and A Purpose

There is a point and a purpose to all that I do here. Every single dot, dash and semi colon has its place. Don’t talk to me about being grammatically challenged because I have forgotten more than you once knew, probably forgot more than your parents too.

Does this mean that I am doing a good job of  following Judy’s advice in using my blog to build a believable brand as an author? I don’t know but I can say that I feel pretty good about what happens here. I still like showing up each day and I still feel like I can punch out hundreds of thousands of words with reckless abandon.

That reckless abandon is important to me. It is part of how I know that writing is something that is filled with joy for me. And that is part of my daily mission to find joy and do the things that help me manifest it in positive ways.

Ideally that means that you feel my joy and it rubs off on you just a little bit.

Relate to Others

These words we share here are offered for a million different reasons by a million different people. If our purpose is to build a community of readers, writers and others than those words have to help others relate to you. They have to serve as a window into your world and shine a light on things that others recognize within themselves.

Blog posts about old jobs and the experiences we had are good at doing that. Most people have found a day or two to be challenging. More than a few have wished that they didn’t have to sit at a desk all day to make a buck. Write about the boy/girl that got away or might still be and you’ll find an audience.

Stories about children, parenting, family, your dreams and of course blogging are good too. Don’t let a lack of comments fool you into thinking that you should quit. Goodbye Grandma receives a steady flow of traffic but there are no words in the comment section that show that.

Sustain Your Effort

There are a lot of important things to remember about blogging and no doubt that sometimes it can feel overwhelming. A good design that is user friendly, fast loading page and pleasing to the eye goes a long way.

It is something that I need to work on here. I need more images and I need to tweak things. Eight years into this crazy game I am constantly juggling and adjusting this and that. But in my eyes that is only part of the package and in some respects secondary.

Great content makes a huge difference too, but if you can’t sustain your effort than it might not matter. There are no overnight success stories in blogging at least not the way that I define it. You need time to figure out who you are and to find your voice but you also need time to build your community.

When you sustain your effort these things happen at a natural pace and you wake up one day with a broad smile on your face because there is beauty in blogging. You have built something. You are the creator of a world that otherwise would not be and you are privy to something special.

While you ruminate upon that I’ll leave you with links to the last set of songs that I listened to on iTunes today:

Waterfall “May This be Love” – Jimi Hendrix

Fire- Jimi Hendrix

Closer– Nine Inch Nails

Plowed– Sponge

Hurt– Johnny Cash

Heart of Gold– Johnny Cash

I Hung My Head— Johnny Cash

Suspicious Minds– Elvis Presley

In The Ghetto- Elvis Presley

Blue Suede Shoes– Elvis Presley

12 Comments

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  3. Jen DZ March 16, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Hey Jack, I appreciated what you said about comments. For so long now, I think no one’s reading my work because there aren’t any comments (or not many). This is like therapy for me because it teaches me to not place the value of myself or what i write on whether or not someone writes in the comments that they “like” it. With that, when I started blogging, it was not only because I love it and (if I may be so bold) love my site, but I wanted to give my readers an opportunity to create a community via my site. Like leave comments that would inspire others and they would interact, whatever.
    It’s funny to read about the name thing. I don’t so much feel like I love seeing my first name as much as my last…”Jennifer” is so common. There are so many of us from my generation (X) who share it. I even read once about a Jennifer out there who created a support group for us because we lacked a sense of identity! Ha!
    Have a good weekend!

    • Jack March 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Hi Jen,

      Gen X huh? Me too, or so they say. I don’t spend much time paying attention to that stuff, at least I don’t think I do.

      I think it is fair to want to build a community on your blog among the commenters. It certainly happens all over the place.

      It takes a bit of time and work to make it happen. That is something that a lot of bloggers forget or don’t realize.

      And when you sustain your effort it helps to make that happen for you and your blog.

      But if you aren’t really focused on writing about what makes you happy than blogging becomes a real chore.

  4. Joe March 16, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I like your approach because it’s the one I take. I write and refine, every thing has its place, and I know the surest way to a dedicated group of readers is to “sustain the effort”… over several years.

    I figure I’ll be closer in a couple of years or so. Nicely done, sir.

    • Jack March 16, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Hi Joe,

      We obviously don’t know each other that well but I have long had the feeling that we have similar beliefs in a lot of areas.

      Better to have a few good friends than a thousand flaky ones.

  5. Ralph March 16, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Hey Jack,
    Thanks for the hook up to judy’s site. Interesting. My writing could use some massaging. I love it but it needs some help.

    I wonder how many people get into the social web just because they like to hear the sound of their name? Oh boy.

    Anyway, what I find pretty important and to which I totally agree is good content. Sticking with my niche and refining my approach is critical to me as I learn and grow. It feels so right to me when you say “sustain your efforts”. Indeed kind sir!

    • Jack March 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Hi Ralph,

      Judy has a very good blog and it is filled with very solid tips.

      Content makes all the difference. It is much easier to find a better way to ‘clothe your content’ than it is to create better content.

      That is why I don’t ignore the presentations issues here I focus upon the content first.

      You can put a “douchebag” in an Armani suit but at the end of the day he is just a “douchebag” in a nice suit.

      Always good to see you here.

  6. Jens P. Berget March 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Jack,

    What you said about we love to hear/see our own names is interesting. I once bought an ebook that promised that it would reveal the biggest secret to online marketing. I didn’t pay much, I believe that it was $9.95, but the one thing I learned and that was what the ebook was about, was that we should create blog posts, articles and whatever content we’d like, but it should be about other people. We should always add their names to the content and let them know. Because we all love to read our names, we will also help you share what you’ve written and we will also create a stronger relationship with you, because what you did was help us.

    On the other hand, your point about sustain your efforts is even more important. I have been blogging for a long time, and most people would have quit several years ago.. but I won’t, no matter what. And I think that makes a huge difference between us and them 🙂

    • Jack March 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

      Hi Jens,

      The “name thing” is kind of funny to me. I like it when people use my name but if it feels forced or fake it is an instant turn off.

      But having spent years in sales I tend to be very hard on sales people.

      As for sustaining our effort well that is something that I am certain yields significant benefits.

      It provides ample time to develop a voice and comfort level that is quite useful.

      And it obviously helps you develop your readers/community in ways that the new guys can’t always compete with.

  7. Gina March 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I do like what you say in most of your audio posts… I write for me first then you. That’s what I’m trying to do because if I’m interested in what I write then maybe the like minded people will be to, except maybe my taste in a book or too. I never lack for content and have decided I don’t care if anyone reads it but I do know a few ladies that always do.

    Insults may not grab attention but one can try.

    Nice playlist. Have always liked a few of those.

    • Jack March 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      Yo G,

      There are a lot of benefits to writing for you first the primary one being is that your passion/personality is more likely to come through than if you just write about what you think people want to read.

      I am a big proponent of building your community around you. People are attracted to passion and that helps.

      Some of those songs are simply awesome.

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