Back in the day, when I was in the ad biz as a creative director, I often marveled at the so-called “creative partnership” between writers and graphic designers. As one would marvel at, say dogs and cats sharing a dish of meat.
That’s how it works at most agencies of any size, they have these little pods of creativity, pairings that at first compete with other pods for the best assignments, then become the primary creative engine for generating billable client work.
The Account Manager role? That’s just an intermediary. Someone who takes the client to lunch a lot. It’s that creative team that makes or breaks the account, and frankly, they aren’t all that much fun at lunch.
On paper the writer and the designer share equal responsibility for the concept, content and execution of projects, but in reality the roles and expectations are more clearly and succinctly defined.
One writes, the other designs. And often, when one tries to hop into the other’s sandbox, trouble ensues. Especially when one is operating under the naïve illusion they can do the other’s job.
In over 25 years in that business, I never met a graphic designer who could write killer a line of copy. Vanilla, sure. But vanilla isn’t worth $200 an hour.
And I never met a writer who, even if they could wrap their head around it, aspired to the mastery of design software.
A Pod of One
These days, as a blogger with a whopping six online months under my belt, I see such partnerships differently.
Because for the most part there are two core competencies required to get a decent blog up and running – that’s on top of the wheelhouse expertise the blog is all about in the first place – and once again, it’s pretty rare when someone is a mad genius at both.
Perhaps not as rare as a designer who can write pithy copy, but I’m just sayin’.
The secret weapon in this business, even if you are all alone with your blog, as most of us are, is to find an expert resource to cover your ass.
The CYOA of Getting Mentored
If you’re a writer, you’ll need someone to make sense of the techno-gibberish that dominates the how-to oeuvre of blogging’s conventional wisdom.
If you’re a technophile, you may need a real writer to make you credible and marketable.
I’m of the former ilk. I can write my techno-lame ass off, and I understand that I need to cover that ass with a vendor who knows their way around the requisite software.
I’m lucky. I’ve hooked up with a bit of a wizard, one who could, for a modest fee, reprogram the space shuttle on short notice. And she’s only 25 bucks an hour.
Such a secret weapon is the best investment in the blogging universe.
If it’s your writing you need shored up, chances are you’ll have to spend more than $25 an hour to get a proven pro, unless you outsource to a third world country via Elance or some other sweat-shop level of intermediary, which are out there in spades.
Good luck with that, by the way. In writing, you absolutely get what you pay for. On the technical side, that’s not as true — for $25 an hour I have a consultant who knows everything I don’t, and then some. Which, rather than saying something lame about me, actually says something pretty amazing about her.
Getting Out of Your Own Way
One difference between the two camps – professional level writers and people who are at home with HTML – is that one often takes the other for granted.
Writers who are technically challenged realize they are dead meat without a propeller head in their camp.
Tech geeks, however, too often think they can write well enough to brand them in the bloggosphere, or that writing isn’t that hard or even necessary beyond a fifth grade reading level. It’s the great and eternal trap of engineering-think, one that I remember well from those ad agency days — if you build it they will come is no truer in blogging than it is in advertising. And if your client was, in fact, an engineer, you were in for a fight.
For some types of blogs that may be valid. But if you want a massive influx of readers, you need to give them something read that transcends codes and plug-ins.
Because always, a blog’s essence is delivered through its words, as well as its content.
It’s just like dating, you may be a cool person with deep emotional substance, great personal integrity and a significant trust fund, but if your personal hygiene suggests Mickey Rourke after a week-long camping trip in an equatorial climate, good luck getting beyond eHarmony.com.
Sometimes the difference between loneliness and stardom is a good tailor, a competent barber and a gym membership. Toothpaste, too.
With blogs, it’s not just about content, and it’s not just about writing.
You need home runs in both core competencies. And unlike that little dating analogy, the good news is that you can – and should – go out and buy whatever it is you lack.
And if that particular and analogy floats your boat… to paraphrase Moliere, think about this: blogging is like prostitution. First you do it for love. Then you do it for a few friends. And finally, you do it for the money.
Hopefully, you’ll never completely lose the love. With a secret weapon in your pocket – no analogous pun intended there, I swear – you have a good shot at having both.
How Do I Teach Bloggers if I Am a New Blogger?
I see that question popping around in your head.
The same question danced around in my head 10 years ago. How could I teach people how to blog if I did not know how to blog? Plus I had no connections. No skills either. Big time problem.
Here is how to solve your problem:
- learn how to blog from top pros
- write 500 words daily offline
- publish 1-2 posts weekly, turning around and teaching what you learned
- continue to learn both about blogging and your blogging niche
Learn then teach.
Or absorb then teach.
Jan Verhoeff published this post yesterday:
She led off the post explaining how she watched one of my Facebook Live Broadcasts recently and delved deeper into the topic I discussed, said topic being blogging overlap.
Jan is a seasoned veteran blogger but she and I both use this concept of learning or absorbing then immediately teaching the concept to our readers. Knowledge ain’t getting stale in our brain boxes.
Newbie bloggers; I get it. You may feel intimidated to learn, then to teach. But being a blogging student is hands down your most important role as a new blogger because learning and studying gives you confidence to turn around and teach your new found knowledge quickly.
Check out my guest post on Janice Wald’s Mostly Blogging:
Janice regularly shares this post and noted it still drives blog traffic.
New and seasoned blogging veterans alike know deep down we are all perpetual students. Plus we know that in order to teach we must first learn, being open and willing students.
Newbie bloggers; you better become a voracious reader of blogging tips and tips aligned with your niche. Learn to gain confidence and clarity. Then you better practice writing like crazy. Pen 500 words daily offline to become a confident writer.
Being armed with knowledge and improving writing skills sets the foundation to learn, then to teach.
10 years ago when I was a new blogger I read a post on Ray Higdon Dot Com.
This iconic network marketer introduced me to the simple concept of how you can teach folks how to succeed in your niche, even as a newbie. Learn. Teach.
Allow little time to elapse between learning and teaching. Teaching does not require 10,000 word blog posts or 45 minute long videos or eBooks or courses.
Practical Examples of Teaching
Peep these examples of how you can learn a concept and teach as a new blogger:
- record and upload a 1 minute long video on YouTube
- write and publish a 600 word post on your blog
- record and upload a 5 minute long podcast
The idea is to learn a concept and to be comfortable teaching the concept without being an expert. Fraud energies may arise guys. Fears attempt to shame you into remaining quiet. Don’t trust these fears. Don’t believe these lies.
If you want to become a blogger you better get comfortable with being a teacher because blogging is teaching. If you want to become a teacher you better be a hungry student, learning the in’s and out’s of blogging and your niche and practicing your writing to more easily convey your blogging message.
Hit the ground running as a new blogger.
Nobody begins blogging as an experienced blogger.
Nobody begins blogging with blogging skills.
We need to learn and practice persistently as a new blogger to become a successful blogger.
Just don’t hesitate to turn around and teach what you have learned immediately, to drive traffic to your blog.
Do I Look Lucky to You?
Many people believe me to be lucky.
Folks think I am so lucky to travel the world.
Like a magic fairy alighted on my shoulder, tapped me with a magic wand, and sent me to that location in Bali you see in the featured image.
As if I lucked out to circle around the globe for the past 7 years.
Not quite guys.
Luck does not exist.
Smart, generous work helped me retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
Peep this link:
Does that sound lucky? Was I lucky to write and publish 583 guest posts on Blogging Tips alone? Am I lucky to have written and published thousands of blog posts during the past decade I spent online?
Have I been lucky to work hundreds of thousands of hours during my life, in order to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging?
Did luck make me a full time digital nomad? Have I been lucky to write and self-publish 126 eBooks?
Luck does not exist.
Smart, energized, years of work, this brings blogging success.
Convenience Store Luck
Back in New Jersey for a bit.
After spending a few moments at the local convenience store I saw no less than 5 people buy lottery tickets.
Folks spend money on a wing and a prayer, hoping, praying, begging to make money through a game of chance.
Forget building a sustainable online business. Forget rendering service to become successful with your blog. Don’t even bother investing money in solid vehicles.
Leave your life to chance. See if you get lucky.
Terrible mindset to have guys.
Luck does not exist. No magical fairy blesses some folks and curses other folks. Nobody suffers from bad luck. Chance does not exist.
Smart, intelligent service, persistently applied, exists. Learning and practicing the skill of blogging for 2-4 years of your life exists. Spending 10 years writing and publishing thousands of posts exists. Commenting on 50,000 blogs exists. Being generous exists. Helping folks for months before making a dime exists.
Luck does not exist.
Luck Is a Jailer
If you believe successful bloggers are lucky, that limiting belief jails you. Since you believe you are not lucky you naturally will always struggle and fail. Not a good belief to cling to guys.
Many bloggers think I am:
- a natural
but I am not. I just spent years of my life learning, practicing and mastering the skill of blogging. I wrote almost 600 guest posts on Blogging Tips alone. Does that sound like luck, or chance, or like a blessing? Smart, persistent work guys. I committed fully to blogging so blogging committed fully to me. Simple equation but goodness does this journey feel uncomfortable at times.
Early Friday evening, here I am writing this guest post as my 2 year old niece hangs all over me, bopping me on the head. Hardly a crazy challenge but still a bit of a challenge. Try thinking through a post and writing it while a hyper 2 year old does all in her power to grab your attention.
I am not writing this post because Lady Luck sent me the idea. I am writing this post because I have written 2 million plus words during the past decade of my life, so words flow easily for me.
- Creating, connecting and polishing my blogging skills by patiently writing and broadcasting live videos daily helped me craft a neat life for me and for my readers.
- Generously commenting on other blogs and promoting other bloggers helped me become a pro blogger.
- Persisting through thick and thin created my blogging success.
The next time you explain someone’s success as a simple matter of luck, think again.
Luck does not exist.
Why Use a VPN? Here Are 5 Reasons for Bloggers
As a blogger, the internet is your second home. Your blog is literally the house you built from scratch online. The stellar content you created and promoted enabled you to engage with your audience effectively. As a blogger, you also developed professional relationships with influential bloggers like yourself.
Despite your success, you should never put your guard down when meeting people online or engaging with other websites. I’m sure you have your anti-virus and malware protection software installed in your CPU to shield you from online threats. However, there’s nothing wrong in taking an extra measure to ensure your protection not only as a blogger but also your life outside it.
In this post, you will learn how a virtual private network is and why use a VPN to protect your online activity and engagement with other websites not just as a blogger but an online user.
Why use a VPN? Below are the ways
Before we get into the different reasons bloggers must use a VPN, we need to explain first how it works for you to understand it better.
In a nutshell, a virtual private network (VPN) enables you to encrypt your information behind its servers. Whenever you visit a website, it sees information provided by the server and not the ones found on your local computer. This simple process is very beneficial for bloggers for several reasons:
1. Keeps your website activity anonymous
The most immediate advantage of using a VPN is anonymity. Website won’t be able to trace your actual IP address and location, aside from the other encrypted data about your site.
The main benefit of online anonymity is better protection from online threats. Sometimes, your protection software won’t be enough to keep hackers at bay. They’ll get into your CPU without you knowing it. And God knows what they will do with your information once they gain it. They might sell it to third-party services that will send you spam or launch random attacks to your CPU via your internet connection.
Since a VPN withholds your actual information, hackers and malware can’t successfully penetrate through your online activity and intercept data from your browser. This way, you can perform research online or visit different websites without the looming threat of hackers hanging over your head all the time.
2. Makes your transactions more secure
If you make transactions online, then you need a VPN to beef up your security. Most websites nowadays have an SSL certificate installed to ensure customers it is safe to type sensitive information on the site. However, an as mentioned, additional protection to ensure your online safety is always welcome. This rings true if you enjoy purchasing tools and software to help boost your blogging efforts (hello, Appsumo).
By setting up a VPN, you can guarantee all your transactions are secure.
3. Prevents censorship
If you live in a country that controls the sites you can see and content you can access, then your work as a blogger is already cut out for you. You don’t need this encumbrance as a blogger – information needs to be free for all. It’s up to the person to decide what s/he wants to see online and which sites to visit. For bloggers, knowledge is power, and you cannot wield this responsibility if you don’t have the full information,
If you share these beliefs, then using a VPN will help you gain access to information that wasn’t available before. As a result, you can speak your message considering all the information there is about the subject. Doing so puts you in a position to become a credible and influential voice in your space.
4. Work in confidence
Some bloggers live a nomadic lifestyle. Because of its inherent nature where you don’t have a boss and you can work whenever or how long you want, bloggers can work anywhere. Whether it be coffee shops, co-working spaces, or even from different countries, bloggers will sustain their income as long as they get the job done.
However, they won’t be able to get it done if the WiFi connection doesn’t afford you the security and freedom to need for blogging. For example, WiFi connections in public spaces are open to everybody. As a result, anything can enter it and disrupt your online browsing, online threats included. If you’re not careful, your laptop can get infected and leave you with hundreds of dollars worth of repairs, on top of days not being able to blog due to the incident.
With a VPN, you can access the web securely so you continue with your nomadic lifestyle to full effect! Your information will be safe in public places and you can gain access to websites that might be blocked at the country you’re living in right now.
5. Unblock geo-restricted content
It’s normal to take time off as a blogger. You need time for yourself to sit back, relax, and live life a little. Part of living your life is watching TV shows and series from your favorite streaming sites. With so many good shows available for binging, you can lose yourself watching these shows for days if not weeks!
But it’s not fun to binge-watch if not all the shows and movies are available for viewing. For example, if you want access to the complete library of movies and shows on Netflix, then you need to be in the US to access the content. If not, there will be content unavailable in your region due to the licensing deals of these shows. If you have a running subscription on these streaming sites and you live outside the US, you don’t get to maximize the site due to incomplete content.
However, you can watch US Netflix with Smart DNS Proxy. Using this VPN services and setting it up on your devices gives you full access to Netflix shows you can take a break from blogging by watching the shows you want. Also, you unblock content from Hulu, HBO, and other streaming sites to make your binge-watching sessions more complete!
Are you convinced why you need a VPN as a blogger?
If you think VPN is just technical mumbo-jumbo, you’re dead wrong! It has practical applications for bloggers who want to continue providing their audience with content they love. Aside from living a more focused blogging lifestyle, a VPN allows people to live a life outside blogging if they’re into TV shows and movies. Keeping these reasons in mind, it’s time you should get a VPN service to take your blogging to the next level.
Search Blogging Tips
Blogging2 years ago
6 Tools For Boosting Content Marketing Results Over The Holidays
Blogging1 year ago
6 Steps for How I Nabbed 6500 Comments on My Blog
Search Engine Optimisation2 years ago
7 SEO Analysis Tools Every Blogger Needs to Know
Blogging12 months ago
How to Start a Fashion Blog in 8 Simple Steps
Blogging2 weeks ago
113 Bloggers share their Favorite Email Marketing Tools
Blogging1 year ago
57 Must-Read Books For Entrepreneurs Recommended by Entrepreneurs
Blogging2 years ago
How to Become a Nimble Blogger
Blogging5 months ago
How to Find Success with Blogging and Affiliate Marketing in Asia