What the objective of EVERY blog post should be!

What is the secret to writing a great blog? How do you propel your blog from a blog to one of THE blogs?

I’ll tell you one thing, treating it like a diary or a list of your accomplishments isn’t going to do (Well, unless you’re already someone famous or successful, in which case thanks for reading!).

You need to have something that people want, and you need to deliver it to them in an attractive way!

Lets say you want to learn how to make a Cheesecake (sorry to people who don’t like this). I’m going to link to two possible posts you could read/view to learn how to make Chocolate Cheesecake, read both of them and be honest with yourself, which one do you like more?

http://www.ehow.com/how_10053_make-cheesecake.html

http://allfare.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/my-first-cheesecake/

The first link is an easily found article with millions of views. It’s exactly what you might have searched for. A recipe for cheesecake and instructions. Thats it. Now you’re done.

The second link is to a blog I found about cooking. The authors post isn’t just the bare instructions on how to make a Cheesecake. It’s a unique recipe, from a unique source. It has personal information and personal pictures. It tells a story! She even added extra hints and warnings for executing the recipe, an interesting and useful post.

Maybe you don’t care about cooking. Maybe you’re thinking, Uh Leo if all I care about is the recipe why would I read this lady’s post? But if you think that the blog readers of the world don’t care about story and personal content you’re a fool!

I don’t care what you’re writing or blogging about. Don’t write a text book or a manual, you have to tell a story, and if you can’t think of any good characters to feature in it, look in the mirror.

Besides, it’s so much more fun this way ūüôā

 

 

The Greedy Blogging Noob’s First Mistake

“I should make a blog, theres money in that!” you say. And it’s true there is money in blogging. There are tons of people thousands maybe even tens of thousands of people making money from blogs. Some pull enough to buy a new pair of shoes every once in a while, some pay for their groceries with it and some even LIVE off of it.

But not you. Wait what? Thats right, not you. You want to know why? Because you don’t even have a blog yet. Or least not a very well established one.

You can’t start blogging with only money on your mind. Although tempting, you really shouldn’t try to monetize from the beginning. It’s not like blogging is a one time gig. You’re just going ‘go do the¬†successful¬†blog thing’ and then be done and do something else.

It’s an art, it’s a trade, its something people do for years and years and years. Some people even take that long just to start making money.

It was hard for me to accept it first. I was thinking, wait, I’m paying money for a website, and I’m just go to write and people will read it… and… thats it? Well yeah, thats how it starts! If you fill you blog up with ads from the start you’re making a multitude of mistakes.

1. You’re alienating your readers to be by trying to make money off of them before they even know you. If you have a bike for sale, you’re not going to open a conversation with a friend to be with “want to buy a bike?” right!? (I hope not)

2. You’re waisting your own time. Chances are you’ll have little to no¬†subscribers/readers for the first weeks and months of starting your blog. If you spend hundreds of hours picking¬†advertisements¬†and developing money making schemes, you’re waisting time you could have been using to make actual quality content people WANT to read.

3. You might not really be cut out for blogging. If you just want to make money, and you don’t care about the content or your audience or your reputation. Go get a regular job, blogging isn’t for you.

I don’t want to seem to critical, because honestly this was me at first! I had this novel idea in my head, of starting a blog and being like wow I made 25 cents on the first day, this is easy! But what does that say about your priorities? You need to shift to a better goal, and see money making as a secondary objective, or something that just happens in addition.

Speaking of goals… Maybe I should more¬†thoroughly¬†establish mine…

 

The Perfection Prison, Keeping you from Living and Blogging (Part 2)

There are two basic symptoms of being in a Perfection Prison.

The difficulty of starting, and the impossibility of finishing. Lets tackle starting first, I will naturally use myself as an example, and I will use the subject of weight loss because it is popular and easy to relate to.

How to begin…

When I first decided around a year and a half ago that I wanted to lose weight, I had visions of grandeur, I was going to be totally different, sexy, hot and confident. That was what my new body was going to bring me. I was so excited I wanted it as soon as possible.

I was obsessed with the idea of doing it right. I was immediately drawn to all encompassing diet and workout plans. I wanted to do a sudden life overhaul that would bring me super fast results. I researched blogs, books, even medical journals to find this absolute (and perfect) fix.

Guess what? It doesn’t exist! It doesn’t matter how many qualified professionals guarantee that this plan is the best for you or how many people have said it worked perfectly for them. There are just as many scientists and customers (if not more) who think it is absolute crap or had horrible results.

It doesn’t actually matter what plan you pick. What matters is that you START it. Now of course I’d say, try to shy away from stranger and more extreme plans. Just find a decently reputable plan, send an email or check in with a doctor to make sure it is healthy for you and any conditions you have and just do it.

As an extra tidbit of advice, don’t find a program you WANT to be able to do, find a program you CAN do you. No one goes from a total couch potato to an absolute gym nut in one day.

Wait, it’s not quite perfect yet…

Not everyone has both of these problems, some people once they finally get around to starting on something have no difficulty finishing it. But some people suffer from the other type of Perfection Prison, the one that never lets you out!

Many of the people who end up reading this will probably be bloggers or wannabe bloggers, so I’m going to use blogging as my subject for this topic.

I mentioned in my previous post about how much I obsessed over starting a blog. But that wasn’t the only issue. I got the domain, I was signed up, I figured out somewhat of a plan, I was ready to go! I beat the Perfection Prison and started up my account and put real money down lets do this!

Yeah not quite. It didn’t seem to matter what I wrote in Word or in the WordPress post writer, it was never good enough for me. It wasn’t that I couldn’t make it perfect, it was that I just hadn’t made it perfect yet. So I just kept editing, I kept adding pictures, resizing pictures, adding new videos, re-uploading them, trying to get them to start at the perfect time, blah blah blah. I was an amateur trying to turn out professional level material from day one.

Anyone with the least bit of blogging experience can tell you that this is just impossible. You don’t even have an audience yet, let alone know what it desires from you.

You have to just let go. You have to accept that it isn’t perfect. Don’t try to convince yourself it is, you never will.

A trick way of doing this is to knowingly publish it as unfinished. Thats the great thing about a blog, you can go back and edit your posts as many times as you want. If you’re feeling self-conscious just put ‘draft’ in the name, or specifically state that the post is unfinished.

Conclusion

If you want to see success, you have to take risks. You have to accept that you can’t be perfect, but at the same time strive to be the best you can be. It’s a difficult balance to make, but damn it feels good to break out of the Perfection Prison.

The Perfection Prison, Keeping you from Living and Blogging (Part 1)

The Perfection Prison is a scary thing.

Its that nagging feeling that keeps you from completing something. It can be more powerful than your desire to do whatever it is you want to do!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you¬†definitely¬†don’t suffer from this… perfection syndrome.

If you find yourself constantly thinking things like…

“I still need to lose more weight”

“This painting could never be as good as ‘X’ so why bother continuing… ”

“I’ll never be able to master this, so why bother even starting?”

Then you’re in the same boat as me. This isn’t an insecurity, its an obsession, minor or major¬†dependent¬†on the individual.

Before posting on this blog, I absolutely OBSESSED over not just what I was going to write about, but the theme, the colours, the font, the style, the everything!

I started dozens of ‘draft’ posts. Trying out different styles, different ways of organization, and I constantly was¬†disappointed. Nothing was good enough. I wanted every single post to be PERFECT. I wanted each one to perfectly replicate those of ultra successful blogs.

At this point you’re either chuckling at my ridiculousness or nodding your head in understanding. It was pretty bad.

But this isn’t just about blogging, In daily life also we can feel this way, my Perfection Prison exists there too.

I’ve lost a ton of weight in the last year or so. Last Holiday season (Oh so PC), I weighed in at 215 pounds or ¬†about 95 kg(And international too!). Now I weigh about 152 (69 kg).

You’re probably thinking, wow great job! You’ve lost so much weight, you must feel so much more confident and so much better about yourself now.

But the reality is for someone in a perfection prison, I really don’t. In fact I might actually feel worse than I did before. I think I had mostly accepted being overweight, and I wasn’t really trying to fix it, so I was okay where I was at. But once I started weight loss, I feel like its never enough. I feel like I won’t be happy until I look perfect.

Okay so I’ve talked about the problems. It kept me from blogging, it rendered my weight loss emotionally unrewarding, but how can you or I fix it?

I don’t know for sure, but I have some ideas.

 

Let’s Do This: Blog Success Quest

Sitting in the library, in the comfiest chair that for some strange reasons most people forgo.

Itunes open (no I don’t want to update dammit), dubstep song (with no lyrics) ripped from youtube on repeat.

Let’s do this.

Blog Success Quest.

I like many other people have a lot of dreams and a lot of goals. These are really two very different concepts. I like to classify them in this way: A dream is something you want, a goal is something you are working towards.

The first step in turning a dream into a reality is making it a goal. You have to start it!

For the better part of the last year I have been playing around in my head this idea of… what if I had a blog? But not just a blog, lets be real here, a MONEY making blog. Something I could pull a useful amount of cash from, all the while increasing my writing skills.

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve thought about it too. Maybe you’ve even does I did and researched a huge amount of stuff on the subject. Google searches like “How to make money on a blog, What types of blogs make the most money?, How can I monetize my blog?” are common and¬†definitely¬†fill my search history.

But that is mostly all that I have done! I mean it gets a bit weird when I’m reading a blog about blogs that¬†recommends¬†I buy a book¬†compilation¬†from another blog about blogs to learn how to… er… blog.

So I need to cut the crap, and maybe you need to too. At the end of the day it seems like the most successful bloggers are the honest ones. The guys and gals who put up stuff they really care about and write effortlessly, because they know what they are talking about and they like to talk about it.

At the end of the day its about just starting and finding out who you are through writing. Are people going to think you’re interesting? Is your knowledge useful? This is the type of gauntlet you’ll go through initially.

It’s the type of gauntlet I’m about to go through!

Let’s do this.

Leo

Blog at WordPress.com.