Archive for the Category »Lessons Learned «

 The Flinch“Pass it on” is the final assignment in the ebook I read over the weekend.

The book, “The Flinch”,written by author and blogger, Julien Smith is a free download from Amazon.

To complete the assignment, I am passing it onto YOU.

Today’s Lesson

My blogger friend Davina told me about this book and when she forwarded the link to me, I downloaded it immediately. Within the first few sentences, I was hooked.

I knew “the flinch” played a major part in my life and wanted to learn more.

The first words which resonated with me are in the introduction,

This is a book about being a champion, and what it takes to get there. It’s about decisions, and how to know when you’re making the right ones. It’s also about you: the current, present you; the potential, future you; and the one, single difference between them.

It’s about an instinct “the flinch” and why mastering it is vital.

This book is about how to stop flinching. It’s about facing pain.

Now you might be asking, “What does this have to do with blogging?”.

Let me share a few more paragraphs,

Forget secondhand learning. It leaves no scars. It doesn’t provide the basic understanding that sits in the body as well as in the brain. There’s no trace of its passing. It might as well have been a dream.

Firsthand knowledge, however, is visceral, painful, and necessary. It uses the conscious and the unconscious to process the lesson, and it uses all your senses. When you fall down, your whole motor system is involved. You can’t learn this from books. It just doesn’t work, because you didn’t really fall. You need to feel it in your gut – and on your scraped hands and shins – for the lesson to take effect.

But if you’re surrounded by padding, scar-free learning is all you have left. It defines who you are. It limits you, but those limits aren’t actually yours – they’re the limits of the men and women who came before you.

When I read those words, I was reminded of how easy it is to learn blogging from others. How we can avoid making the same mistakes they did, and how we can possibly advance faster in the blogosphere if we follow the lead of fellow bloggers.

But, is that REALLY beneficial? Is it REALLY helpful for a blogger to NOT go through some of the pains associated with trial and error?

I think it’s one thing to learn how other bloggers succeeded, what steps they use(d) to promote their blog, what they think of different blogging issues and to even hear about the mistakes they made, but that’s their blogging journey. Not ours.

To copy what others do (or have done) “may” work for us, however not learning from our own mistakes, could be detrimental to our authenticity.

It could also make us lose sight of other possibilities.

That’s not something I want.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

How do you prefer to learn blogging?

Trough trial and error, including by making mistakes?

Or would you rather fast track your blog and avoid the pitfalls?

Care to share?

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image for blogging post on bloggingWe start blogs with no idea of what to expect.

But most of us have seen other blogs and said to ourselves, “I want that.”, “And that.”.

“That” is usually more readers. More subscribers. More comments.

Take your pick.

Today’s Lesson

In the comments of the post titled, Become a Blogging Phenomenon in Hours, Maddie of The Kids Ate My Homework shared (in part):

While I’m working on the fundamentals, I’m not aggressively trying to drive traffic to my site. I’m practicing and learning. In the beginning, I wanted to have lots of people find me. I’ve since learned that I wasn’t ready

I agree with Maddie. In the beginning, most new bloggers aren’t ready.

And here’s why.

Let’s say you’re new to blogging. Still learning the ropes. Spending time tweaking your theme, learning behind the scenes stuff and maxing out your daily blogging time allotment.

Let’s say one of your blog posts goes viral and you become an overnight sensation.

The readers pour in. As do the comments.

Now what?

After you’ve done your happy dance and called all of your friends, you’ll be asking yourself, “How can I quickly add enough quality content to keep these new readers?” as well as, “How will I find the time to answer all of these comments?”.

Before that happens, here’s a few things I’d suggest:

  1. Become comfortable with blogging – the process of using your preferred blogging platform (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad…)
  2. Try and figure out who will be reading your blog – your target audience.
  3. Concentrate on writing quality posts – build a portfolio of articles your visitors will enjoy.
  4. Learn what happens behind the scenes of a blog – either ask for help, hire a professional or search online.
  5. Introduce yourself to other bloggers – via comments and/or social networking sites
  6. If it’s in your plan, build a blogging community.
  7. From there, work on the growth of your blog and/or your community – at a pace you’re comfortable with.
  8. Most importantly, enjoy the journey – blogging is not a race.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

Would you be ready if one of your posts went viral?

Care to share?

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Photo Credit: Tiny Froglet

I have heard it said, “When you start blogging, to help you get found, visit other blogs in your niche.”

In some ways this makes sense.

After all, if we are frequenting the same blogs in our niche others are visiting, not only do we get our name out there as a blogger who blogs about the same topic, but we could become part of a community of like minded people.

All thinking the same.

Although this can be good, it could also create tunnel vision.

Today’s Lesson

Let’s say we blog about blogging.

If we only visit blogs about blogging, even though we can learn why one blogging blog is more popular than the next, we might also start comparing ourselves to others. We could easily begin to feel intimidated. Or worse, we could become a copycat blogger and lose our authenticity.

We may begin to feel there is only one way to blog about blogging. Or, we may begin to think “their” way is gospel.

By following the herd, we could easily forget to question if another way is better. Better for us.

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy visiting blogs on topics other than those in my niche.

Not only can I expand my knowledge base, but I get to meet bloggers whose interests are different from mine.

Other bloggers give me ideas for blog posts, ideas to experiment with in real life, plus help me to become a more well-rounded person.

By reading a story from someone who has “been there”, not only can that help to broaden our thought process, but it can teach us to become less judgmental.

I’m not saying visiting other blogs in our niche is a waste of time.

What I am saying is by branching out and by reading up on a variety of topics, we not only learn more, but can become better people. Better bloggers.

What say you?

Today’s Assignment

Do you feel visiting blogs in your niche is beneficial? If so, how?

What benefit do you find by visiting blogs outside of your niche?

Care to share?

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