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Do you remember when you first started blogging? Wordpress publish button image

Although I don’t think about it often, I still do.

I was scared to hit “publish” the first few times, and I worried because I kept switching my theme.

I didn’t know any of the blogging terms either.

Being self taught, I spent most of my non-writing time searching for help, but even when I found help, I usually didn’t understand what to do with it.

I was pretty naive.

Today’s Lesson

When I think back to when I first started blogging, I didn’t have too many expectations except for thinking I could make lots of some money by having a blog.

  • I wasted a lot of time signing up for affiliate networks and tweaking my Google AdSense ads.

  • I didn’t know that without thousands of visitors a day, making a decent income from a blog was out of the question. When I figured it out (that I needed traffic to make money), I wasted time trying to get more traffic, too. Instead, I should have been learning more about SEO (search engine optimization) and spending less time looking for an “easy way”.

  • I wanted comments. Little did I know I should have kicked the “If I build it, they will come” attitude and should have spent time visiting and commenting on other blogs.

  • Although I worried about changing my theme so often, I should have realized without a steady stream of visitors, it really didn’t matter.

  • I love numbers, so for me checking my statistics became a daily obsession. Instead of wasting time watching the numbers rise and fall, I should have spent time either writing and publishing or learning techniques which would take me closer to my goals.

  • Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook can be fun, but they can also be addicting. Before signing up, I should have asked myself if the benefits of participating in social networking will outweigh the investment of my time.

Truth be told, I wasted a lot of time on blogging activities I should have postponed until later or maybe not even got involved in, but that’s in the past.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

Looking back, if you had to do it all over again, where would you have spent more time?

Where would you have spent less time?

Care to share?

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If you blog, in some sense, you’re a teacher. You’re sharing your thoughts, opinions, life lessons, and/or stories from the past. In many cases your words will resonate with others and they will learn “something” be inspired to do “something”. Our work may create a light bulb moment leaving our readers contemplating what they read.

Today’s Lesson

When I started my blogs my hope was others would learn from what I had learned, and continue to learn. Although I don’t teach bloggers how to make money online, how to gain more RSS subscribers, or how to code pages, by asking thought provoking questions, providing links, sharing interviews with experts or sharing my finds, I do think I can teach others to be better bloggers.

In life, I learned to never accept the first thing I read about something. Being an analytical person I like to dissect the information and figure out what makes it so. As I continue my research I note if other sources are saying the same thing, or if I find conflicting information.

Blogging has been no different. I’ve found RSS feed reader numbers can be manipulated, page views are over rated , and a “visit” may not be a “visit”. When it comes to numbers, there is always a way to misconstrue the facts.

With the assignments I post on this blog, my hope is the questions I ask will make you think (and hopefully respond). Your answer, and other answers may open our eyes to greater possibilities.

For me, when I read the comments you leave, I too, am learning and expanding my knowledge base. Isn’t blogging grand?

Today’s Assignment

Yesterday we discussed what we are learning from our blogging experience, today we’ll discuss the opposite.

When you publish a blog post, do you hope the reader will take away a lesson?

If you blog in a niche, are your visitors learning more about the topic?

Based on the comments you’re receiving, are your blog posts conveying the message you had intended?

Let’s discuss this further. I’d love to hear how you hope to teach others.


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Photo Credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com’s photostream

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The tag line for this blog reads, “It’s MY blog, but it’s all about YOU”. And that’s true.

I write for you, I do my best to help you, and I’m always open to questions or concerns from you.

Recently I was honored to be interviewed by Blogger Dad.

It’s all about me.

Although my “About” pages gives you some insight into who I am, Blogger Dad asked questions about me and my blogs. Here’s a sampling:

“What are the origins of your blogs?”
“What are your blogging pet peeves?”
“How has your blog helped others?”
“Who inspired you?’
“What are your plans for your blogs?”

It was a fun and thought provoking interview.

Want to know more about me? Check out the interview on Blogger Dad’s site. It’s titled:“Eight Questions – Interview with Barbara Swafford of Blogging Without a Blog”

Want to know more about Blogger Dad? Stick around his site, dig through the archives and join me and be part of his community.

I hope to see you there. 🙂


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