6/05/2008

Blogging: Lessons Learned








I’m coming up on two months in the Blogosphere…two months. For some reason, it seems longer…much longer. When I started out, it was like a new toy. Some days, I would post three times. It was/is exciting and gives me a venue to explore my writing obsession. I wanted to go to college to become a writer when I was in high school. Unfortunately, there was this war going on in Southeast Asia at the time. Once I left the U.S. Navy, I never pursued writing as a career. It’s one of the great regrets of my life. However, in blogging, I have been able to assuage that desire to a certain degree. I have learned a few things in these two months.

1. In the first few days of blogging, it was essentially me talking to myself. It was like being in this big room all by my lonesome self. Basically, it was me, myself and I. I think you get the point now. But, I didn’t care. It was something new. It was something borrowed…hmmm, where have I heard that before? I digress…it was like being the new kid on a huge block and you had to introduce yourself to everyone in this really big neighborhood. It was a little intimidating at first, I admit.

2. SEO. Prior to April 5th, 2008, I didn’t have a clue what that meant. Trust me, I know what search engine optimization means now. I didn’t realize how important meta tags were, only to find out that search engines really didn’t pay attention to them any longer. I discovered keywords and found out they are important. HTML? I had heard of it before. But, didn’t realize I would be living it, loving it. I now know how important original content is in maintaining an SEO friendly blog. I didn’t know inbound links were so important. I didn’t know you could make money blogging (still waiting on that magic three month mark to try that). I didn’t realize that I would someday be blogging about blogging. But, here I am!

3. Three column blog. It took me almost the entire two months to make the transition to a three column blog. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to. It was because I was fearful I was going to completely screw up everything I had worked so hard to achieve. I had read how to ADD a third column and it took many attempts on a test blog to finally get it right. Unfortunately, I never got the widths just right by adding the third column. So, I got a ready made three column template, saved all my widgets html code to notepad (could not get it right in layout, so I improvised). It was a harrowing couple of minutes before I discovered my archive (my worst nightmare) had not vanished without a trace. From then on, it was all gravy. I’m proud of myself!

4. There are a lot of nice people blogging on blogger. I mean some truly great people like Matt at “Matt-Speak” and his equally nice sister. Some are not so nice. Some from a certain country (I won’t mention the name) who are now continuingly harassing me to visit their blog, make a comment so they can “piggyback” on all my hard work. I spent HOURS, each day, submitting this blog to literally hundreds (no exaggeration) of free directories, search engines and just tweaking to make it (drum roll please) “SEO friendly.” I decided to make a comment on one of these pests (sorry, but that’s just the way I feel) blog to get him off my back. Big mistake. Now he’s sending his buddies here. I may have to change back to comments being held up until I can review them to post them. I have deleted a few that way. I don’t like it. But, I may have to do it again. It’s not that I mind helping people out by exchanging links. That benefits me as well. It’s just that when someone continually makes a pest of him or herself about it that grates my nerves.

5. I used to know a girl named Alexa. I didn’t really like her. But, trust me, I really love Alexa now. I do everything I can to accommodate her, to try and stay in her good graces. She started me out standing in line at about 17 million. I’m slowly working my way up to her good graces at 1.4 million now. It took a lot of attention, but I can see my hard work is paying off. I think she is starting to like me. Maybe I’m growing on her. Just goes to show, if Alexa says no the first time, you have to keep trying ‘til she says yes. I’m still trying to get inside that one million mark with her. Luckily or unluckily, her idiot boyfriend, Google, doesn’t even acknowledge me. I’m ok with that.









2 comments:

Interesting post. I am in my second month of my new first blog. I still feel like I'm writing to my self. I also at times struggle with content, sometimes feeling like what I have isn't good enough. Great blog though. You can check mine out at www.newdilemma.com and be thankful for blogrush, thats where I picked you up.

James,

First thing I should have put in that blog entry is, DON'T give up! I got tired of making entries and no one ever commenting. Finally, I think it was the second week, I got my first comment. I have a way now to detect how many visitors I have in a day. It has picked up dramatically since those first days.

Thanks for the kind words. I read with interest a day in your life. Must be hell having a boss like that. I'm not sure I could work for someone like that now. Thanks for dropping by and keep up the good work on your blog.

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