Hello Class!

I’m proud to introduce you to your “substitute teacher” (guest writer) for today. His name is George Angus, author of Tumblemoose Writing Productions.

Please take your seats.

Mr. Angus, welcome to the BWAB classroom.

The floor is yours.

Greetings Class!

Feel free to call me George. I’ll start off the lesson with a short story, and then we’ll move onto the assignment for the day.

Let’s get started.

Blog Pictures | acobox.com

I remember how excited I was to write and publish the very first post on my blog. I had so much to say. There was this big wide world of blogging just waiting for me to open, explore and write about. Every day I found something new and I wanted to share all of it with everybody.

After about six weeks of generalized posts I started wondering where my blog was heading. As I reflected upon this question I discovered I didn’t have an answer. The blog had staled somewhat and there were some minor design issues that needed tending so I had my blog analyzed. I’m glad I was in the position to be able to do that. Amongst the seven or so pages of suggestions, one in particular stood out: “George, focus on writing.” Wow. Just like that I knew what I had to do. Since then my blog has a very specific focus and I’ve seen traffic numbers jump and I’m inspired with each post I write.

Today’s Lesson

The lesson here is simple: If you are serious about this blogging journey, find your niche and stick with it. Focus on whatever field it is that you have chosen and become an expert in the topic. It makes no difference if you are an expert, just act like one. In my former life I trained folks to teach classes in Emergency Medicine. Their biggest fear was public speaking and the advice given to those folks applies here as well: Fake it ‘til you make it.

Is your passion home improvement? Great! You’re an expert! Blog about it. Are you the best cook in your circle of family and friends? That’s right, expert. Blog about it.

The point here is to find your inspiration and your passion. Focus your blog posts on topics that pertain and you are well on the way to being an expert in your field. Once you are on topic, traffic that is specifically geared towards your topic will start heading your way. If you stay focused on your topic, the only direction you can head is up!

Today’s Assignment

• When you think of what are you the most passionate about in life, is that the subject of your blog?
• When you are writing, does your topic make you feel the most inspired and exhilarated?
• If your blog is not about that for which you have a passion for, what’s stopping you?


george.bmp George Angus is the author of Tumblemoose Writing Productions, with a tag line of “Freelance Writing and Writer’s Resources”. In a post titled: “Writer’s best of, a poll and a prize”, George recaps his favorite posts. While there, dig through his archives and find more of his great work.


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Look Who's Talking
  1. It is so important to write what you know. But I also write about what I would like to know. I have literally started blogs as a way to teach myself a certain topic. I hate organic studying. I learn by writing. But I do like to write just for the sheer amusement and joy. My blog Divorce Saloon is my favorite right now. As a New York Divorce Attorney, it is obviously fitting that I blog about divorce, no? Sometimes I worry I don’t sound enough like a lawyer though. I mean, I use a word like “bootylicious” and I think: Jesus, Marion, all your credibility has just gone out the window. I can’t help it what comes out my head, can I? Because when I sit down to write things come into my head and out of my fingers as I tap away on the key board, and I feel like I can’t help it. Some of it might be slightly inappropriate to tell you the truth. And I think some of it is funny. Sometimes I literally can’t stop laughing after I write something. Then I start to worry and wonder if I’m going to get in trouble with the Bar. But it helps me to blog about this topic of Divorce. It actually sharpens my knowledge. It makes the work more interesting and more meaningful too, believe it or not.

    By Marion TD Lewis
    Blogger, Divorce Saloon
    http://www.divorcesaloon.com

  2. Good advice, George. Sometimes, though, the niche finds you, and it isn’t anything like you envisioned. I like that there’s a person (or more) behind a blog. As Marion suggested, it is possible to learn as much as we might teach in this medium. Thanks.

    Betsy and Pete´s last blog post..BRIGHTLY SHONE THE MOON THAT NIGHT…

  3. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    I like what Betsy and Pete said. The niche finds you. True, that.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..Sliding Doors

  4. NeilNo Gravatar says:

    Writing about what’s important to you is key. If you’re writing just to earn a profit or because you think the topic is popular people will eventually see through it. Additionally, your interest in the subject will eventually waine and your blog will die.

    Your advice on ‘just write’ is key, as bloggers that’s what we do. If we write it, they will come…

    Neil´s last blog post..7 Tips On Selecting An Investment Professional

  5. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    @Marion: Thanks for your thoughtful and heartfelt comment. I do the same thing on occasion. It can be difficult to strike a balance and sometimes I really feel like I’ve got no control over what the brain is feeding the fingertips. I learn by writing as well. Heck 6 months ago I would have that that seo was a typo.

    @Betsy and Pete: Sage advice “Sometimes the niche finds you” I like it. Hmmm. I smell a post idea…

    @Writer Dad: Thanks for stopping by. Don’t you have a Men With Pens Drive By coming up this weekend?

    @Neil: True story. I can always tell impassioned writing. I know that the posts I’ve done where I was absolutely inspired about the topic have always been the most popular and they tend to draw the most visitors.

    Great comments, all. Let’s keep ’em coming!

    Cheers

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Writer’s best of, a poll and a prize

  6. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi George – my blog was originally just about business. But when I started writing it, my life was really all business and no life. As I began to write more – I realised that having a life was important. So although my posts are about business – some are about life too, as the two really do overlap.

    I do agree though – it’s best not to deviate too far, or too often from your chosen niche.

    Cath Lawson´s last blog post..I’m Not A Bloody Fortune Teller But….

  7. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Cath. That is such a good point. They key to success is having the focus to make your dreams become reality without losing site of the forest because all those darned tress are in the way.

    I do think it can take a while for our blog to settle into it’s groove. Go along for the ride and know you will eventually end up exactly where you were meant to be.

    Cheers!

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Writer’s best of, a poll and a prize

  8. @Barbara – Great guest post!

    @George – Really, my blog is all over the place. 😉 Some personal, some more biz related but it is all stuff I enjoy. I wouldn’t say I have a particular niche, though. Not for my main blog, anyway. I do have weight loss blog and that’s about all I discuss there.

    ~ Annie

    Annie Anderson´s last blog post..More christmas wallpaper

  9. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi George,

    I somewhat agree and disagree – Niche is good as long as it empowers and does to constrain us.
    Blogging needs inspiration and if the niche ceases to inspire us, then we need to morph our blog into something else …. into whatever inspires us, I think….

    But yes, having our niche in our heads is a great way of not getting distracted – it is about finding our place in the blog world.

    Maya´s last blog post..A Simple Happiness Equation: A Picture

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Teach – Ironically when I started blogging my main blog was going to be my “observations” on life issues, including product reviews (unpaid), plus hints and tips. This blog was more of an online journal of my blogging process. As time passed the tables turned and this blog became my main focus and here is where I spend most of my time now. My second blog which has 200+/- posts still gets traffic, but the part I love about blogging – community – can be found here. So like Betsy said, the “blogging” niche found me. Who knew?

  11. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    @Annie: Thanks! I think it’s all about what you are trying to accomplish. If your blog is used as a place to post things that are as wide and as varied as your interests, I say good on you! If you want your blog to monetize and fill a niche, then go a different direction. Either way is fine.

    @Maya: I think it’s ok for a blog to niche morph. In fact sometimes it is necessary for the very survival of the blog. There do need to be consdierations for readership and traffic and whether or not you are making money – or even want to make money – from the blog.

    Cheers

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  12. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Ms. Barbara,

    First, thanks for having me here. The class has been great. They have been interactive and they all turned in their homework this morning. I think Cath was passing notes at some point 😉 but other than that they have been very well behaved.

    I think for a lot of us we start off with kind of an idea but we don’t really know about our place in Blogland until we’ve had a chance to see what is out there.

    George

  13. My blog was all over the place early on but I found what people responded and what I enjoyed discussing. I don’t cover just one topic but it’s all about online stuff, I guess. Hmm …

    I remember the first time I visited your site – it was when you announced that you were going to freelance full time. You have really found your focus since then.

    Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..Jing Screencapture for WordPress Easter Egg

  14. I’ve found that people will generally consider us experts, unless we give them a reason to believe otherwise. Everyone’s an “expert” at something, though they might not have a degree that says so. Just be confident, share what you know, and keep improving.

    Hunter Nuttall´s last blog post..Does Work Suck? Fix It With ROWE!

  15. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    Mr. Angus,

    You sure don’t sound like a regular sub. I like the fact that you started your lesson with a story and then use the story to support the concept you want to teach.

    We’ve heard this advice before but it always sounds new every time I hear it. This is probably because we often forget the reasons why we write.

    chris´s last blog post..I Shall Return

  16. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Ouch!

    Mr. Angus! Did you see that? Someone just hit me in the back of the head with a spitball

  17. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    @Barbara: I saw that. It was that Hunter guy, all the way in the back row. And stop being a tattle-tale 🙂

    @Kim: Great to see you here, KW. Thanks. It was right about that time I had my blog analyzed by Webdesi3. Best investment in Tumblemoose so far.

    @Hunter: Thanks for posting the words of encouragement for folks. People need to have that. Oh, and see me after class about your spit-ball manners, Mr. Man.

    @Chris: Hey thanks for the comment and for stopping by. It sounds like the post spoke to you. I hope so, that’s the idea.

    Cheers

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  18. Mrs. MagillacuttieNo Gravatar says:

    As the Principal enters the classroom, paper airplanes are flying. One misses it’s mark and hits the Principal in the face.

    MR. ANGUS. DO YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER THIS CLASS?

  19. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, um, Hi Mrs. Magillacuttie. (displays biggest “charmer” grin) I think I lost control of them right after recess, when Kim showed up…

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  20. melanieNo Gravatar says:

    Great questions and ones I cannot answer yet because coincidently I have been asking them of myself lately. This is something I will reflect on a great deal this weekend because I too want my own answer to these questions.
    Cheers and Thank you

    melanie´s last blog post..Op shop love

  21. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Melanie:

    Thanks for stopping in and I’m glad this has given you something to ponder. If I can be of help just let me know.

    Cheers

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  22. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I love to write and was writing everywhere – you should see my bathroom walls right by the tub….so my IT daughter said here is a blog write here and stop messing up the walls…and the odd pieces of paper all over the house…envelopes and paper towels …

    So I write on blogs and on my blog…and it just is pouring out and I have never had so much fun…and so much work and now I must really focus on learning how to do the background things and I need to make some money…so I am working with Cath and taking all the courses she recommends and writing and writing and writing…
    making comments and writing some more.

    I have been sentenced to many hours of exercising too…so I write in my head as I swim or walk or lift weights…

    and in my spare time I have been editing papers for my kiddos in higher education – because the Internet makes that so easy and I trade pointers with the Trainer on exercise for editing his master’s papers…

    looks like we will be needing food on the table so I must expand my focus…but I just like writing, writing, and more writing.

    I know I am not paying attention I am writing in the margins of my book and practicing my penmanship and making word lists on the edge of the paper…What was your question again – something about cameras and bears?

    Patricia´s last blog post..People Are Often Unreasonable

  23. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Patricia – Yeah, something about those. You certainly do have a flair for writing. Good for you. The focus will come and you’ll get settled down, trust me.

    Thanks for coming by and thanks for sharing your story with us.

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  24. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Quite frankly, I’m tired of experts. The world wide web is full of experts. Everyone is claiming to be an expert. We can’t all be experts.

    So much of what I read online seems to be the same old, same old.

    I don’t think people should try to be experts or even “fake it.” I think bloggers need to write about things that interest them and be true to who they are in the process.

    I would much rather read about someone struggling to figure things out than claim to be an expert, as long as they are genuine about it. That is one of the reasons this blog works so well. Kudos Barbara!

  25. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    You’re right – it’s the passion.

    I think the best blogs are the intersection of passion and value.

    I also like evolvable blogs that reinvent themselves. Life’s not static.

    J.D. Meier´s last blog post..Personal Productivity Quotes

  26. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Ahh, Chase. Yes but isn’t the expert in the eye of the beholder? Be wary of those who claim to be experts. I think that you can be genuine, describe your struggles and still be an expert in someones eyes.

    By”faking it until you make it” I don’t mean to imply that you should be anything less than genuine. I mean that you should put yourself into the mindset so that it is true from your perspective. This often times gives folks the confidence boost they need to take those first few awkward steps.

    Thanks for your well thought and intriguing comments, Chase!

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  27. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi J. D.

    There is no substitute for passion. My most popular posts are always the ones that held the most passion when they were written. Something about that shines through and rings true for the readership.

    Cheers!

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  28. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara and George. I hope those spitballs have stopped flying by now 🙂

    1. When you think of what are you the most passionate about in life, is that the subject of your blog?
    Yes, I’ve always been curious about what makes us who we are. I like the mystery.
    2. When you are writing, does your topic make you feel the most inspired and exhilarated? Yes!

    But… I have reached a point where I’m questioning about what direction to take my blog. Feels like it needs “something”.

    Davina´s last blog post..Future Self Meditation Invites Guidance

  29. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Davina,

    Yeah, It’s amazing what the threat of detention does for class discipline…

    Thanks for the comments and answering the questions. My best advice about the “something is to relax and meditate on it for a bit. The inspiration will come when it’s supposed to.

    Be sure and let us know when it does.

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  30. Jeremy DayNo Gravatar says:

    Hi George,

    Glad to see you as a guest teacher. Here is my response:

    • When you think of what are you the most passionate about in life, is that the subject of your blog?
    Heck yes! I love helping people learn and improve. I feel my three prong approach is the best way to do it too. 🙂

    • When you are writing, does your topic make you feel the most inspired and exhilarated?
    Um, yes again! Passion, inspiration, exhilaration all seem the same to me.

    • If your blog is not about that for which you have a passion for, what’s stopping you?
    Ok, well nothing is stopping me I guess.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

    @ Chase – I actually think we can all be experts. There are so many subjects out there and there can be any number of experts on a certain subject. Not a single person holds all the information for a single subject. Although the lines to define an expert are fuzzy I think anyone that has put a lot of work into a single subject area can be called an expert….

    Jeremy Day´s last blog post..How Emotions Wreck Your Finances

  31. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jeremy. Great Comment and I’m glad you stopped by.

    I can tell from my visits to Insight Writer that you are an impassioned soul when it comes to your writing and your blog. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but people can really tell when what they are reading was written from an inspired place.

    Cheers

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  32. George, I am both a fiction writer and a mother, and my blog posts reflect that. I’ve thought about doing a strictly writing blog, but I think that would be a little dry :-). (Not that your blog is!). I just mean that I would have a hard time not letting real life creep into my thoughts on writing. One always affects the other!

    So I write from both angles sometimes, and it is always interesting when the conversation is joined by both fiction writers and non fiction writers. And then I realized that really, ALL bloggers are writers, so my writing posts usually resonate with them, too.

    Great guest post, Barbara!
    Jewel/Pink Ink´s last blog post..To-Do List

  33. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jewel Pink Ink,

    Great comments. I cruised on over to Pink Ink after you commented at Tumblemoose. That is a great writing site and I think you’ve managed to balance it very well with your very own personality.

    A little pepper on the potato makes the potato.

    Cheers!

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  34. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi George – I really enjoyed reading your post and all I can say is I agree! That we need to be passionate about our topic. I’ve thought for a while that a blog needs to be about something we think about all the time anyway, so writing isn’t a strain. The “faking” advice is great!

    Robin´s last blog post..Festival Of Life

  35. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Robin. Thanks for the comment, I’m glad you liked the post. That faking it advice really has worked for a lot of my students (and myself) in the past.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  36. I write about what I enjoy: self improvement, humor, observation, and philosophy.

    These are what I enjoy exploring and immersing myself in – so I write about it.

    Bamboo Forest – Pun Intended´s last blog post..How to Prevent Being Struck by Your Mind’s Immobilizing Arrows

  37. George – you’re right – focus on what you’re passionate about and write about it.

    I started my blog in 2006 and at first it was about overcoming adversity with a spiritual and personal development perspective but lately I’ve been writing about raw foods because that’s the kind of diet I’ve been consuming the last 3 months (raw foods are basically plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables and other things).

    Not only have I made great strides with improving my own physical, mental and spiritual well being but several of my readers were inspired to improve their diets as well with great results! It’s been an amazing thing to talk about my own food journey and watching others get better because of what I shared with them.

    You’re right-write about whatever you’re doing because you’re an “expert.”

    An idea: Conduct a 30 day experiment like a new diet, a wealth development thing or change of habit and share them w/ your readers b/c you’re the expert conducting the experiment!

    Stephen Hopson´s last blog post..End of the Week Gratitude Theme #56

  38. Hi George! My life passion is the subject of my blog. Living my passion, writing about life balance, connecting with people throughout the world, and hopefully providing great value to my readers is a priceless journey.

    Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..Celebrate Your Life Friday! 12.12.2008

  39. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    @Bamboo Forest: It’s great to discover your passions and then to write about them. This makes all of your writing inspired, and your readers will feel your inspiration as they read. Thanks for contributing!

    @Stephen: Now that’s a great comment, right there. You’ve become a leader with influence. And you’ve done that through a consistent style in a way that makes your readers really trust what it is you have to say. That has got to feel great.

    I love the experiment concept. I’m going to work on that one.

    @Stacey: There is no substitute for passion. It sounds like you really have that for the life balance concept. I’m always preaching about balance in life. I’m headed over to have a look.

    Outstanding comments, folks.

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  40. We have to believe we can do it or we’ll shy away from the challenging stuff. My aim is to give work happiness presentations starting January 2009. I’ve got the content I just need to start contacting companies.

    Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog post..Great Leadership Requires Great Communication – Duh!

  41. JannieNo Gravatar says:

    Fun post!

    Since I’m kind of redefining “the nicleless niche,” with a humorous bent, I think I am selling the funny places my mind gets to.

    When I hit the publish button on something like this; http://www.janniefunster.com/?p=2683 from last week, I feel great. If I get a kick out of what I’ve written I know my readers probably will too, just like when I finally get a song where I like it, I figure it’s time to share.

    Jannie´s last blog post..A Biggie

  42. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Karl,

    I agree. Sometimes the most valuable things are not the easiest. I think the universe is set up that way on purpose.

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  43. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Great post, George! I think I’m lucky that my passion is being silly, so there is no end to the variety of things I can write about. My goal with my blog is just to give people a chance to have a giggle, sometimes I miss the mark but it’s always fun. I don’t know that it’s something I’d ever be able to make a living from, but it’s such a rewarding hobby.

    Tracy´s last blog post..Read Twice, Post Once

  44. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Tracy,

    A most wonderful virtue to have, that silly thing. I will say it does make for a great read. I love your style and following your work around the web. You have obvious passion for what you do.

    Cheers!

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Breaking into freelance writing

  45. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jannie,

    Thanks for coming to class! I looked at your hall pass and understand that you got sent to moderation for a while. Not your fault so you won’t get marked tardy this time.

    So, the teacher stepped out for a moment to go visit the Ten Honest Things room. After that he had to go to the teachers lounge and change his pants because he was laughing so hard he wet himself.

    You are the poster child for passion about what you do. That’s awesome.

    I am STILL laughing.

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..How to make your writing not suck

  46. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    To all of the BWAB readers – Thank you so much for giving George such a warm welcome. It means the world to me to see you all join together and rally around, show your support and share your comments.

    You, my dear readers, are awesome.

    Again, thank you!

  47. Great advice.
    I think I need to act like more of an authority than I do. Self confidence is needed I believe.

    This is something I am seriously going to implement.

    the three dog blogger´s last blog post..All New Posts Now Available In Audio Format

  48. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Three Dog!

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. I’m glad you got something from the post. Be sure and let us know what your new strategies are and how they are working for you.

    George

    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..What this writer learned this week