Motivation Needed For A New Blog

This article is entirely dedicated to motivation. It actually took me a fair while to get to this topic because I had to clear the ‘research’ element of starting a new blog first and I was determined to publish these articles in order. This piece is more useful for the novice, but as a mid-term blogger, you may also find this useful. I would hope that those veteran bloggers with established blogs wouldn’t need to know this information, but it never hurts to remind yourself.

In the series, this is step 3, by now you should know what your blog is about and what direction you plan to take it.

This is the crunch point of your decisions. Beyond this stage, if you choose to commit, you are going to commit resource and if you back out after this expenditure, you will lose that resource.

 

Motivation Needed For A New Blog

Commit or don'tThis series follows on from part 1: How and What to Plan When Starting a New Blog and part 2: The What Where How of Research Before Starting Your Blog.

This is stage 3 of starting a new blog. A more in-depth look at step 3  from the 7 Steps to Take Before Launching a New Blog in January.

This step is intended to make you think about what blood, sweat and tears you are going to be pouring into your new blog (potentially). This is the penultimate point where you can back out, the next article will detail the final stage where you can commit.

 

What Resources Do You Commit?

#1 Time

Time should be self-explanatory. Your time is valuable. You will expend time performing all kinds of work on your blog and the elements that go to support that blog.

Your time is also a shared resource. There will be lots of other tasks in your day-to-day that will separate you from your blogging. If you have a day job or a shift job, you aren’t going to be effective with a river of time through the week. You have to be tactical when you put works together. Your weekend might be sacrosanct for relaxation but you may need to find time.

#2 Money

Money is something you will require in order to operate to make money. You can do this blogging without investment of money but the returns will be far less than you are hoping for, and will take longer to develop. This adage is true; “you have to spend money to make money”. You can start out blogging cheap but in order to realise real returns you have to be smart and invest. Free only goes so far to satisfy.

#3 Momentum

Momentum is the odd member on the list and it needs explanation. Momentum is tangible in a sense that if you are not working on one project, your resource in terms of effort will be directed elsewhere. Momentum is also a direction, it is pressing forwards with focus. You can only attribute that forward drive to a few projects at a time, everything else goes on the back burner. Momentum partners with time. Humans only take on so many challenges at a time. Momentum is a finite resource.

 

Looking At Motivation

Blogging is something you have to perform consistently. I know this from my own experience. It is also something I personally struggle with, and I know many other bloggers struggle with.

Those who can keep to the rhythm and improve with each post, are the kinds that eventually win big.

Blogging is a long game, not a short one.

It is most definitely 10 marathons rather than a sprint.

Motivation in general, is a huge subject, a Human scientific study that has spawned countless areas of intrigue. NLP is one such area, Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Motivation is an area that many self-help books concentrate on, many people have opinion on, and many people are lacking at some point in their life.

Discipline engenders motivation but in order to activate discipline you need to begin.

 

Commitment For Your New Blog or Your Mid Term Blog

In my original article, 7 Steps to Take Before Starting a New Blog In January, I framed this step as Ask Yourself, Can you Commit? In that step I poised the work of keeping up a blog as running a campaign.

What you have to realise about a blog is that it is war. Not only is it a war, it is a series of wars.

You are in the trenches, fighting for audience attention. Your Campaign goal, depending on whether you are for profit or not, is to reach as many people as possible to drive the harder stage of engagement. The point at which you get back from the audience, by providing to them.

For that to happen and for you to win those wars, you must have grit.

Staying power. Determination. Belief. Call it what you will. You need it.

Commitment for blogging is time. You need time. You need uninterrupted time to lay down your posts, maintain the blog and keep it all going.

You can’t start well then leave it to run. Once the machine’s belts are turning, they never stop and they always need feeding.

 

Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do

Doing what you love helps with motivation. If you are writing on a subject that sits inside your happy zone, finding motivation to write about it on a regular basis is child’s play.

A lot of people, and I’ve been reminded of this fact in a previous article, don’t do what they love; they do what they think will make them a lot of money, fame or reward.

I wrote an article a few years ago which instantly had someone argue that they don’t do what they love.

Not doing what you love is not a bad thing.

95% of the world population are committed to tasks they don’t like doing on a regular basis, that remaining 5% will do something they don’t enjoy at one part or another in their life, even the staggeringly wealthy.

The important lesson is that if you have already invested time in an activity that means something, you owe it to keep on building that legacy.

 

The Passion Prerequisite

Those who really excel normally have something beyond passion for what they are familiar with.

You need passion to hold your writing ambition on course when what you planned goes wrong.

If you don’t really do what you love, you have to love what you do. Sounding circular?

Loving what you do means that despite what path you have chosen, you commit in the spirit of enjoying the process and capturing a growing passion as you come more to terms with improving what you are doing.

You are never going to truly love what you have committed to but you at least enjoy and look forward to the challenge.

Work is work. There is always some drudgery involved.

It is always more preferable to do something you love but in that vein, you may become sick of what you love if you find the grind starts to take a grip.

Turning a hobby into a job can kill your love of that hobby. This does happen so be mindful of this.

There is a balance to be struck.

 

A Tip From Pat Flynn

This tip has stuck with me for a long time, it is simple but awesome, and it works.

Give yourself 30 minutes and write as many titles to articles in your chosen niche as you can.

If you are really struggling for ideas. This niche is too narrow to start.

If you have hundreds of ideas, this niche is too broad.

A niche is a niche because you have set aside some of the broader expanse of your topic zone to laser target a specific area.

If you have barely anything to write about, that niche is too specific and will severely limit the audience you can attract.

On the other side of the double-edged sword, too many ideas can be indicative of a niche that is too broad.

It could also mean that you are just brimming with ideas and if that is the case, you are likely to do well.

This exercise is going to become one of many routines that you, as a blogger, are going to have to come to terms with.

 

Early Blogging Days

These will be the most fun and the most rough on you.

When you have written your first couple of articles you are buzzing when you are a blogging noob.

It’s exciting to push content out.

It is also exciting to see green shoots.

Starting from zero is a great time.

You don’t really know what to expect.

The trouble is that you, as a new blogger, are going to be receiving views that are not large or significant. (unless you have planned to perfection).

You are bound to look at somebody else’s stats to get a gauge of where you should be at, and feel rather small in comparison. Human nature.

 

Early Blogs Don’t Have ‘Traction’

Traction is what you get when you have a small force of regular readers who are the beginning of your tribe. This nucleus occurs not only on your blog but on social media connected with your blog and the mailing list.

It takes a lot of grit, effort and patience to gain traction.

It is not an overnight event.

Only the very rare blogger is 100% successful out of the gate and you should not concern yourself with that kind of individual, they are out of your league, or in some cases have cheated the system to start more positively than you. It doesn’t mean that you can’t catch them and even pass them by later on.

Run your race!

Being ultra-fresh in any niche means that you don’t have any implied value and it is going to take you a while to be seen.

There are tasks you can perform to improve this but your initial posts are not going to attract as much audience as later articles.

It’s a numbers law.

I have no good advice on this beyond being better forearmed. There is only so much you can hustle and brute force in the beginning. The only advice I have is that you need to be consistent and keep up the hunt. You need to be committed, any less and you are wasting your time.

You need to put posts behind you to gain momentum.

 

A Word On Mentorship

Having a mentor in the beginning is a brilliant situation to be in. Having your hand held through the early stage makes you less paranoid about how badly you are doing.

The truth is that everybody does badly in the beginning. It is not worth striving if it was easy. Audience pleasing and retention is hard, don’t be under any illusions otherwise.

I didn’t start with a mentor, I started blogging cold and my learning curve was steeper as a result of that.

I made a lot of newbie mistakes in the beginning. It is the normal process.

If you are provided a golden opportunity for a mentor, take it. Shortening that learning curve will mean a lot. You will be more satisfied with your accomplishments sooner.

 

Quality/Quantity Argument

Quality is always more valuable than quantity but you don’t always win a war with quality.

Often you can boost your traffic, numbers and authority by posting slightly less, more frequently than you intend to for your standard campaign.

In 2014 I posted almost every day for a month and overall engagement increased considerably during that time.

It is the older, more incumbent bloggers, who can relax their pace and drop a large bomb slightly less frequently. You can’t do that. You don’t yet have people waiting for you with bated breath.

Quantity can be replaced long-term by consistency but early doors, the more you float to get you noticed, the better.

 

Hustle

What you do regularly requires hustle.

It is a business situation even if you plan to run your blog not for profit.

You have to be in the mood to hunt down engagement with your content which means that you have to work on ways to bring your content to the right people.

If you are chasing the wrong outcome, your hustle is for naught.

 

The Question of Authority

What you are trying to gather in the first year of your blog is an overwhelming sense from a visitor, that you know what you are talking about.

The purpose of what you write is to provide your audience an answer to a question that has been troubling them.

What is ever so more important is that you have people returning for more, because they like the cut of your silk.

 

Hustle is More Than Just Writing

Hustle is finding your audience then making them engage, either through tailoring your content, or finding the exact person that benefits the most from what you have put together.

Hustle is not cornering someone and badgering them until they relent.

Hustle is;

  • Expending resources.
  • Not sitting back and hoping they’ll come.
  • Putting the next round in the chamber, or the next post in the pipeline.

 

Early Day Blogging is Failing

This is a point you will move past by applying patience. It is also a period where you have a good chance of learning from what you are doing wrong. Someone is either likely to tell you or you come to realise it isn’t working.

Some lessons come sooner than others, Some are harder learnt.

Failing is learning, and learning is more valuable.

Sometimes, as counter intuitive and as painful as it may seem, you have to fail more to start learning more. You have to put yourself in some uncomfortable situations to test if a solution is water tight or not.

 

Mid Term Blogging

This comes after you are a year into the process, you know how one year (not necessarily a calendar year from January to January) plays out.

You are getting some traction but not all that you hope.

People are starting to find you on the Internet through the search engine but not quite as many as you want.

You have expectations now. Ones that you didn’t have in quite such a grand scale as when you were a noob. These expectations have shape and scale. You know roughly what you are shooting for. You have number goals.

That expectation brings pressure. As a writer we always hope that with every piece we write, we gain a small bump each time. It doesn’t always work that way.

 

It Takes Time

Mid Term blogging can last for a long period of time, much longer than you would have thought.

There are some bloggers who take years to click into place with their strategy and find the magic engagers and influencers that catapult their name into the frame.

You have to stick with it to make that point and to validate your effort in the blog.

That, or you quit.

Mid Term Blogging is;

  • Quality
  • Engagement
  • Looking for gaps
  • Shoring up your library of responses

Mid Term Blogging involves;

  • Social media beast mode
  • Person to person communication in spades
  • Inventive methods and out of the box thinking

Mid Term Blogging can also become;

  • A different kind of drudge
  • An opportunity to rest on your laurels
  • Lack of freshness
  • Target fixation
  • Laziness

 

Motivational Challenge

As a mid-term motivational challenge it is easy to become complacent about increasing numbers. You have to remember that this is only achieved by continual effort.

Stepping off the gas can be hazardous for blogging at any time but especially before you have attained celebrity status.

Whilst you are still a potential nobody, you can quite easily sink back into oblivion, by not keeping up the pressure.

You have to constantly be thinking how you are going to chain things together and optimise the provisions you pass out to your audience and those you plan to become your audience.

 

Dangers of Mid Term Blogging

It is quite easy to get lost from your main purpose, your niche direction and your ultimate goals.

I’m going to explain some of the changes and challenges that will occur.

 

Your Writing Will Lose Some of It’s Softer Edges

Your rose-tinted ideas from early blogging are going to be swallowed by more cynical views.

If you ever read back some of your oldest works, from the beginning, you will see how your writing has changed.

You will construct articles differently, and be more mindful of constructs and means of presentation that now work, that didn’t before.

There will be a sharper edge to your works. Wham, Bam, Thankyou Ma’am.

Simply put, you will know how to please but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t bear much resemblance to what you used to publish.

You will change;

  • Reducing the amount of flower in your descriptions.
  • Anecdotes, stories and imagery will increase.
  • Language might change for a wider world audience.

It is important to realise that some of these soft edges might be required to make you a unique voice in a crowded market. Try not to lose too much of you by becoming a robot.

 

Changing Tack

By following your audience you are not necessarily going to be charting the same direction as you had originally intended.

You may have forgotten what the point was to this steer and why you came this way.

Blogging is evolution. Even in the late game. Nothing stays the same, especially in a medium that is changing more rapidly than traditional writing.

In terms of motivation, you just need to keep the thread, wherever you are moving. Don’t think about the destination so much as the journey.

 

Clone Drone

It is very easy to become caught up in what the Jones’s are doing by looking at your competitors and trying to steal the wind out of their sales, or being a Johnny (or Janey) come lately.

This should be replaced by what you need to cover and what is important in your frame of the niche.

Don’t be a clone. Don’t be vanilla.

Serve your audience.

 

Comfortable But Vulnerable

You might feel comfortable that you’ve covered off a topic, but actually, the way you wrote it didn’t work for your audience and the wider audience.

Sometimes going back to represent your ideas in a more cognitive fashion is better than updating what you already have.

It may not need a repost as much as a completely new direction, one you haven’t considered yet.

 

Complacent Marketing Strategy

There is a great likelihood that you have become complacent with your marketing mix and the methods you use to hook interested readers without depending on the search engines.

The methods you employ will change subtly over time and you have to move with new trends.

Your audience aren’t a fixed point. They are not binary in their makeup, they aren’t yes and no. Sometimes they are maybe, not sure, stop asking me.

 

Attrition Management and Retention

You will have to manage attrition and move with the times.

Attrition will form in losing people who followed you for a long while but chose to abandon you (either through neglect or change of taste or situation).

You have to remove these people from your mailing lists before they start listing your email as spam.

Otherwise you have try to tempt them back somehow or try to capture the reason why they left and try to improve on that shortfall/oversight for future retention.

In the same way, your social media will have dropouts and on some platforms like Twitter, you will have to remove people to maintain the balance.

You have to be disciplined to do this, even if your attention has waned.

 

In Conclusion

Motivation is nothing without discipline.

As a blogger, one that may not see the recognition you hope for, the important point to keep in mind is that as long as you make the effort, you are not failing.

All bloggers, from all ends of the spectrum, have problems with motivation. It is human nature.

I’m sure there are the odd few days that bloggers like Pat Flynn and his ilk, can’t be bothered. They have the benefit of teams to fall back on and processes they have developed to get them past these feelings. These processes are ones you need to develop to be successful.

Guilt free holidays only come with precise tactics and strategies.

 

Next In The Series

The fourth step is the most important beyond Planning, Research and Motivation Assessment. In this step I will look at the notion of whether blogging is for you or not. You have to try it out and see if you like it, and I have tips on where you should go to try that.

 

Photo credits

All available via Pixabay.com, content is CC free but a pixabay link has been provided as a courtesy for an awesome service.

The What Where How of Research Before Starting Your Blog

I have a confession for you. Research might seem like the most boring thing you might get down to.

When you are looking to commit many hours, that you could otherwise spend on more joyous activities. The research you perform is key to determining the best way to roll the dice. Research is equally as important as planning.

If you go about research gently but progressively, you will find that it was a lot less intensive than you thought, and a lot more eye-opening.

The What Where How of Research Before Starting Your Blog

Dip your head in the books

Research is invaluable.

In essence you go away, collate informative data, and then arrange it logically into an action list. That’s what research is.

The information provided by Research provides you a direction, a steer, a path.

When you are thinking about getting your blog under way from scratch, or even from a long period of inactivity, you need some research.

This article follows step 1 of a series derived  from the “7 steps to starting a successful blog in January.”

Click here to get a taste of  the first step you should take (plan).

What Does Research Do?

There is no way to answer that concisely in a 20 word or less answer. Look at these points:

  • Informs you what your potential competitors are doing
  • Offers ideas on what you could try
  • Provides clues as to what really works and what really doesn’t*
  • Presents you an idea on how to layout your work
  • Identifies what language to use with your audience
  • Points to a profile of a typical member of your target audience
  • Alludes to gaps in the market
  • Outlines strategies you should avoid by cutting the corner on silly mistakes

*Blogger’s caveat: What works for one audience may not work for another, specifically yours.

If you didn’t already come to a conclusion on research, it is definitely an activity you should spend some time on. The more quality time you spend the better.

Research rocks. When you finally decide to start your project you will realise that you didn’t do enough of this and you will find that you had wished you had spent more time researching. Trust me.

What to Research?

Your Audience

This is difficult if you haven’t defined what your model audience member is. This article produced by my friend Ahmad Imran over at reasontouse.com, provides an idea as to the ideal group of target profiles Ahmad is aiming for, so a recommended read.

http://www.reasontouse.com/website/blog-audience-profiles/

Each blog’s audience is shaped by those who interact with the information, those who engage, those who get behind what you do. It takes time to encourage but you can shave a lot of that time by researching what triggers might work best for the kind of audience you are trying to attract. You might even have to change the idea of your perfect target audience because that individual might not be the kind of person you really want to attract.

 

What language works well?

Some audiences respond better to a certain type of conversation. If you start dropping the right phrases you will do better.

Blogging is textual, visual and can involve interactive elements. You will have to find the right mix.

Certain audiences respond when you use the right terminology.

One thing you can guarantee is that a conversational tone is the best way to get your audience member on board with what you are trying to convey.

 

How your audience absorbs the data?

Some audiences respond better to the addition of certain types of media. You can supplement and make your data easy to digest if you involve more graphical information. Certain charts will hit the sweet spot. Some infographics will do well.

This can vary greatly depending on the niche you plan to exploit.

As an example, if you run an extreme sports blog, your audience are going to respond well to pictures. It may be more prudent for you to include some galleries in your articles, rather than just one image.

 

Where does your audience hang out?

This helps you stop wasting time.

Fact; Social media is a time sink.

You will need to pinpoint the most effective method of finding your tribe as soon as possible because in the beginning of your blog, numbers will be minimal so you will need to find those individuals who make the effort to share your genius.

You are going to start at zero at some point and it is going to take you some time to generate traction.

 

Your Style

What makes you different?

Business-speak for this can be expressed as USP; your unique selling proposition. Every writer generates their own method of presentation which has a charm of its own. When in a crowded market you have to be a different voice.

Eventually you will generate products and services that may borrow from the dimension that you’ve charted in key depth. These unique elements are important visual representation of the kind of content that a visitor might expect.

All of the successful bloggers I have come across in my time blogging are there by having a key issue that they solve incredibly well. They are the master or mistress of that item, of that viewpoint, of that solution. Whilst the blogger might cover a wide range of items it is highly likely that they have one particular core specialty that marks them out.

What makes Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income different?

I mention Pat Flynn a lot, if you haven’t read my past articles. We aren’t in a ‘bromance’, he doesn’t part own my company. He is inspiring, you can’t deny it. He has evidence that he has become a successful entrepreneur, in major part to blogging and other associated activities. Pat shares a lot of useful information that I can take action from and apply.

Pat is a shining example to me, and I have no difficulty saying that. I only have difficulty emulating his success, but find it reassuring that he continues to succeed. Being British, we Brits often have problems accepting those more successful than ourselves, it is a British trait, we snub or throw dung at those who show us up. With Pat, I feel differently, he gives a lot of information away and if you pay enough attention you can learn a lot.

These are the key areas where Pat is different.

  • His podcast without doubt is the one key area that draws a lot of attention to his blog.
  • He is the foremost specialist on using podcasts in his marketing strategy.
  • Podcasts are his thing. So much so that he has sold a podcast product that has been self-developed specifically for his platform. That is no small undertaking, no small investment.
  • What makes Pat different is Pat. He uses his personality and his own unique story as his USP.

 

What makes you valuable?

This is a surprisingly important question when you weigh everything up. You might be led to believe that you don’t matter all that much in the beginning but you will be surprised to learn how market leaders can sometimes home in on your good works by chance.

The truth is that depending on the given field of what you are researching, you have to determine factual content you can run with that provides enough fuel to the reader.

It is the meat in the sandwich question. If you have no meat in the sandwich, you have just two slices of bread. If you are vegetarian, is there any filler there?

You need your reader to leave your site feeling satisfied.

Your research should therefore try to determine that one thing that makes you valuable to a passer by.

 

What identifies you?

You might ask how this is different to “what makes you different” and in many cases you would be right to think there is no difference.

However, identification goes a bit further into the visual.

In this regard we are looking at brand awareness.

How are you going to stand out against all of the vanilla that is already out there?

A generic blog is white, very much a “denim” site. If you want to do better you have to work on colours and signals. Thinking about a method of making your data unique and memorable is time well spent.

 

What infrastructure to use?

Infrastructure for your blog is something that will start with a foundation.

Theme is important as it is the window for your audience and the heart of your machine for world domination. If you are not using a self hosted blog, the theme is already likely to be a choice out of your hands, there might be some customisation but otherwise you are bound to that particular framework.

New bloggers need time to learn, buying an expensive premium theme might not be the best way to go. Your fledgling audience won’t mind a more basic entrance as you find your feet. You can then roll out the red carpet when you have the goods to match the experience.

Alongside merely the theme, you will need traffic sources. In order to supply those, you are going to determine what best social media sites you want to use. The tip here is that you don’t use them all.

In fact, the fewer social media sites you use in the beginning, the better. There is always a danger of spreading yourself too thin. Social Media does take a fair while to get to a head of steam and you’ll find if you relent even for a second, people will leave you in droves. Get one area right and the rest will follow, social media has to be managed as a continuous campaign.

 

Where to Research From?

It is important to spread yourself broadly but focus your research on quality. The sources of your research are important in forming your ideas.

Here are a few sources but you may find more:

Other blogs

You should try and determine the top 10 in your sphere and see what works for all of them.

There are patterns you will be able to determine. For example:

Everybody has a mailing list signup box in the top 10. This would indicate that having mailing list subscribers is a good idea.

5 out of 10 sites use an advert box before you even get started reading the blog content. This might inform you of how lucrative the niche might be, or how resistant the community is to blatant advertising. You might be able to determine what product you might be able to float later on.

The emphasis here is not on ‘parroting’ a site but more on making the smart moves that competitors show you could work. You may find later, that your personal mix of audience, don’t get on so well with the attributes you include which may mean you have to revert to a different strategy. At least you’ve looked into what those options might be.

Other sites

Sometimes sites other than blogs will be inspiration. There are many sites that don’t have a blog element attached.

You should be able to garner what images work best at the very least. You might also be able to ascertain titles and layouts that work well for a larger audience.

Familiarity and ease of use are important for establishing interaction.

Books

Bestselling books can often provide an idea of a hot topic. They don’t even have to be bestsellers (but obviously bestsellers are likely to give you a better steer on what is big).

Questions for Incumbents (those already doing what you want to do, and doing it well)

Why not talk to some bloggers if you get the chance, see what is actually hot and what’s not.

It never hurts.

The worst that someone can do is not respond or say no.

By rule of thumb if you ask 20 people the same question, at least 1 of them will respond. It may be good to impart a time imperative in your request to facilitate a quicker response.

If you get no responses but feel that with a small fee you can pay for some information, this might be a good way to go.

 

How to Research?

There’s no specific way to research. You don’t have to start from a perceived beginning.

The best first step is to start. As mentioned above, it doesn’t matter where you start.

Research has no magic formula. You could try and develop a rigid plan for research but you may miss critical observations that could advise or inform.

I recommend you develop your own method if you need to do this research often. You will find that if you later commit to the blog, you’ll need to reinvent as your blog moves forwards. Research will always return to the fore as an important process.

Curation for content is the most common task.

Curation for research will give you a taste for the kind of work you will have to perform when curating articles for your audience.

 

When to Stop Researching

There will be a natural point where you have exhausted all the questions you needed answering. You will come across a few unanswered questions but when you feel that there is a shape to the answers you can follow the next step.

Setting a time limit for research is important. If you set yourself a month and work hard at it you should have covered enough bases. When you feel you’ve done enough, stop.

 

What happens if I get to the end of my research and don’t want to continue?

You can consider this outcome a success. It might determine that the idea you are trying to chase is already too mainstream, already tapped out. There are a lot of topics that have been covered so heavily that you may stand no chance of standing out, and that to pour your heart out would be a chronic waste of your time.

A lot of bloggers start out in a broader topic but work their way into a niche that they feel comfortable with. A niche market is more effective. You aren’t trying to capture the entire world, you can actually do a heck of a lot with 350 raving fans, and not worry about the thousands that don’t buy in to what you are providing.

You may have to return back to the planning stage.

 

What Next?

Now that you have completed planning and research we will move to motivation. The next step is the most important step in the blog. The make it/break it step.

Step 3 Commitment.

I look forward to bringing you this step soon but please be patient as this is a much more involved post.

 

Call to Action:

Do you have questions or tips? Let me know either in the comments below or through headboy@blogprefect.com

A social share is always appreciated.

 

The Importance of Email Lists for Blogging

There is no hard and fast rule to setting up an email list other than gathering a list of emails from willing participants and providing the audience with what they need. In this article I go into detail of the issues surrounding setting up any email list that you intend to use for blogging and some of the inherent problems a green blogger will have along the way.

The Importance of Email Lists for Blogging

Managing subscription and moreover the act of retention is an element of the marketing mix that many big wig bloggers cite as a critical element to their current success. Many smaller scale bloggers also swear by the power of the mailing list.

So Why Is It SO Important?

Attracting people to your site is hard enough as it is. Keeping those people is even harder.

Capturing your audience is important because your audience may form a small niche of very specific interested parties. If you are able to hold onto that kind of audience member, you can hope to predict the kind of reach your articles, advertising and products might have.

Email subscribers are those audience members who agree to be updated with new information at a time you specify. They are the audience you can rely on more to be receptive to your new content.

But an email subscription audience does more than just read your posts.

The Audience Can Provide Vital Feedback

Email has always been a method whereby concerned citizens can target you individually and let you know something is not working in confidence. There are many instances where a person might prefer to approach you privately to take care of an issue and explain in detail, rather than announce it to all.

You can pass out an audience survey. You might not get a 100% response rate so you may have to re-target those who didn’t respond.

You can include self-promotional material. In so many other locations where you advertise you might come across anger and discontent from those who see you self-promoting on a regular basis. Mailshot is different.

You can cross promote which is another large benefit. Say you’ve been working on a book elsewhere and you have a fair idea that a proportion of your audience might like that item, you can email your list about it. If you segment your audience by filtering those individuals by certain topics they respond to, you can have a higher chance of success in attracting the right people to the right place.

At Sign

Drawbacks With Mailing Lists

There are some notable drawbacks with mailing lists.

Setting up a list can be a science.

The list requires a fair amount of tweaking. It is not advisable to send out too many live environment tests otherwise you will upset your mailing list subscribers.

Getting your audience to initially sign up can be difficult.

With a blog (with the exception of a paid subscription membership) the audience member has no ties. They can dip in and dip out when they like. When a casual passer-by becomes a subscriber their attitudes change. They will have expectations.

 

Concerns for a potential subscriber:

  • Concern 1 Privacy. Will you abide by keeping details private?
  • Concern 2 Frequency. Will you spam me?
  • Concern 3 Quality. Will what you provide in email satisfy me? I.e. Not ads.
  • Concern 4 What’s in it for me. Is there something I get that is more valuable than me just going to your website on a regular basis?
  • Concern 5 Can I easily unsubscribe. Because I’m going to do this for a trial and if I don’t like what I see, I’d like to know that I can drop out whenever I choose.

 

These 5 concerns are commonly what your subscribers will consider before making that decision. In order to cajole the fence sitter, you have to provide information that sets that person at ease.

Your Own Privacy

Believe it or not, email is a two-way street.

As a list owner, you have to display your business address at the foot of each email, which for many bloggers is their home address.

Why Is That Problematic?

For the same reasons that the subscriber doesn’t want to receive spam, you may be targeted to receive unsolicited snail mail.

People know where you live so if you manage to upset someone, they know where to find you. That could have very real problems to you such as stalking, property damage, abuse and identity theft.

Unfortunately it is non-negotiable. By law you are required to provide your address so as to prove that you have no intent to abuse. This issue came about due to the spam that entered people’s inbox considerably during the earlier days of email. Now there are robust measures to track down spam and to prosecute those who make flagrant abuses. Spam still gets through.

Terms of Service

You are bound by rules by the mailing list provider, these rules vary from provider to provider.

Reading the small print is something we commonly overlook but it is worth investigating this from time to time to ensure that you are not making any breaches.

In Terms of Maintenance Fees and ROI

Certain providers are expensive at first. Your ROI or Return On Investment is not guaranteed.

Whilst email is heralded as a major tool, some organisations charge considerable monthly or annual fees even at the basic levels of traffic. It may be difficult to commit to a service where you are uncertain of what capability you have.

Big Wig Bloggers may try to convince you that signing on the dotted line will easily pay you back but it is not guaranteed.

Methods of Attraction Lose Effectiveness Over Time

Often it can be hard to strike on the perfect incentive to encourage subscription. There are certain individuals who you will never reach this way regardless of what you try.

In June, I wrote a guide on how to create free guides. A free guide is a common but effective way that Big Wig Bloggers lure subscribers.

Ebb and Flow

Losing and gaining are uncontrollable elements of your list but there are events that can trigger extremes.

An important thing to consider is that you are not likely to keep everyone happy all of the time.

You can certainly do a better job of providing variety but email list subscribers are an external factor who can be affected by stimuli beyond your control.

Each subscriber is a unique individual.

Segmentation (by means of placing certain readers in categories) can help you manage to a degree but you will have some individuals who don’t conform to the norm.

The only constant in management of mailing lists is unpredictability.

Control is an illusion.

Extreme #1 Something Stupid you Wrote

It happens. People say and do stupid things. Sometimes you might commit the crime in ignorant bliss and other times through choice. The important thing to remember about blogging is that you own every mistake and you have to pick yourself up from it.

The technical phrase in Formula 1 racing is “damage limitation”.

Have a bad start to the race and you could end up at 9th position from 1st. The damage limitation comes in racing back to 3rd. You don’t have the speed to win but land some good points for the rest of the campaign. You know that it was the best you could do from a bad situation.

It may not be obvious what happened and might drive yourself mad trying to discover why internally.

Pro Tip: Ask why they left. You are likely to get an answer from at least one person. It might not be what you want to hear but at least you can keep the rest of your crowd happy by mitigating the damage.

Change might not always be required. You might have to accept that these leaving individuals don’t share the same values you do and in order to stay true to your niche, or your space in that niche, you need to cherish those values.

Extreme #2 Something Epic You Created

This is what everybody wants. Some viral hit or some campaign that worked this time. What is more important is not determining how this flood came through the gate but more how to look after these newcomers.

Then you look at how they arrived and try to replicate that magic formula in work committed in the past and to drafts not yet published. Sounds easy doesn’t it. It’s not.

Extremes aren’t that common. What will occur, if you are pushing out content regularly, is an ebb and flow. Small gains, small losses. People will leave because they have moved on. Some people might join but only stay a short while to see what they can get. Others might have been there a long time, stopped opening emails for months and finally decide to go. Some individuals might unsubscribe-subscribe to get your next free giveaway.

Opt-in

Should not strike fear in your heart but there are many ways to go about it.

The most traditional methods are by either using the sidebar to the left or right of the screen or by adding it to the article template at the foot.

Sidebar & Article Body?

Because they are so obvious and are overlooked by most visitors, they aren’t very conducive to successful signup.

A sidebar signup is more effective if it scrolls with the screen as a reader moves down the page, otherwise by the time the reader has reached the bottom or a point where their interest fades, the signup has already disappeared and they’ll have to take an extra action to scroll to the top (which they don’t).

Footer Opt-ins are only useful if the reader reaches the end. Period. You have to be sure that the article you crafted is a diamond. An additional option is to embed a simpler Opt-in before the fold, the fold being that invisible line where a reader will take their first scroll action to “read more”. The only problem with a before the fold opt-in is that the reader hasn’t read enough yet to decide if you are worth it.

More Invasive Methods of Opt-in

There are some more invasive methods of Opt-in. Some can work better than others, some can damage views. The damage is done in terms of making a negative impression with the individual you invite in. There are some people who take extreme umbrage to adverts. On YouTube, Adblock Plus is so widely used by viewers that YouTube have had to launch YouTube Red to shore up the loss in advertising revenue.

Takeover

This kind of Opt-in is activated almost instantly after the reader has clicked into the website. An Opt-in will be the only window they can click on where the goal option will be highlighted more prominently than the cancel action.

In my view they are annoying and tick me off on most sites where I come across them. They are as welcome as an old pensioner flashing her sagging boobies at me (and as off-putting). You may feel differently, you may defend this type of Opt-in and you are entitled to your opinion. I personally think they suck. In my own dealings with them, they make me far less likely to return to a site where they are in operation because I know I’ll be stopped before I read.

Delayed / Strategic Takeover

Rather than the more blatant big brother, the delayed Opt-in simply works on a preset timer. After 3-5 seconds of reading, the Opt-in will kick in. The strategic version only triggers when a reader has reached a certain point or hovered over a certain element such as the close or back button. The latter option is not so bad – it at least gives the reader a chance to evaluate what’s on offer before being bashed over the head for an email address and inside leg measurement.

Leadpages Popup

Leadpages Popup 2

Why I Dislike These Forms of Opt-in

My personal reason for disliking it is that it feels a bit heavy-handed. Not giving me the time to check out whether I actually like what I’m reading is of concern. I need time to determine whether what you are cooking is tasty or tasteless. Another problem is that if you are already using guilt to try to position me, you are starting off on the wrong foot. I am deeply cynical of the type of salesman who needs to guilt people on “what you are doing wrong”. If we are already doing something wrong, we’ll go find a solution, we don’t need to be reminded of our current ineptitude.

I liken this Opt-in and its variants to the Egyptian shopkeeper routine. They are the kind of person who will sit in the door frame of their shop. It doesn’t welcome you in. More off-putting is the thought of not being able to leave if you don’t want to purchase something. It doesn’t build trust. It definitely builds friction.

These heavy-handed marketing techniques work better for those who already have roaring business. These kinds of operators are looking for readers to be decisive because their time as a supplier is precious, they already have buyers to satisfy so they can afford to be blasé about upsetting some of the little guys and gals along the way. Top tier is where this operator hangs their hat; if you have to ask how much it is, you don’t want to buy it.

Split Testing comes in useful for Opt-ins

It can be useful to determine what design, and words that accompany those designs, move the audience most. Opt-Ins and associated lead pages are big business. One of my over-mentioned Big Wigs, Pat Flynn, has a large amount of money invested in LeadPages. As you can guess from the term “lead”, the system uses set methods of psychologically tried and tested methods to get a passer-by to signup.

Steps To Complete

An important mention is the amount of actions it takes to sign up through an Opt-in. You can have a single action signup which simply accepts the details that someone enters.

A two-step process normally consists of a single button which transports the reader to a different page (hopefully open in a new window) where they fill out their details then submit.

What is important to remember is that the list provider may demand some form of first time authentication such as clicking on a supplied link to the new subscriber’s email account. All of the steps are manual and requires the user to approve the process at the end stage. This process can add additional steps to what was otherwise a simple task.

Options for segmentation can be introduced at this stage so your reader can be entered into a main catch-all type list, then be added to niche interest lists at their own choice. This does mean operating more lists but it can be helpful when providing users with the right information.

So other than sending emails out, what else do I do with my mailing list?

Analysis: Two Types

There are two types of highly valuable analysis you can do with email lists.

The first is through analysing open rates. You can tell what titles are working. Open rates are simply a ratio of emails sent to emails open. Most list suppliers use the terminology of campaigns when talking about lists you setup. A by-product of open rate analysis is telling you who your most engaged subscribers are, which may provide insight on how to better structure your articles to have a wider appeal.

The second analysis type gives you an idea of your marketing makeup. Important criteria including age ranges, genders and other vitals that compose your core readership, will be revealed. You can determine trends that should aid in focusing on specific groups.

The ability to analyse how well your post did and who is reading it is golden because Search Engines aren’t as expedient for certain activities as feeding an audience with what they need to read. You can think of your mailing list as an evergreen tree that will provide views all year around regardless of how you are ranking.

Not everyone is going to read every post every time you create a new entry. Sometimes what you’ve written won’t be what that person is interested in or they are otherwise preoccupied elsewhere and miss it that week. For whatever reason don’t expect everybody to be engaged with you all the time. Open rates aren’t sexy big numbers (unless you are very special or have a tiny group of super fans).

What To Do With Repeat Inactivity?

You will get a cruise ship full of subscribers who have dropped off the reading radar eventually. There are certain ways to deal with the situation and it is your choice at the end of the day but I’d recommend the following:

  • Identify a list of inactive readers (most list providers will give you analytics to generate that list).
  • Place these inactive readers into a new list.
  • Send an email on that list requesting that the reader re-affirms their subscription, set a deadline and request a returned email response.
  • Send out 1 further reminder to those who have not responded before the deadline.
  • When the deadline is reached, terminate/delete all inactive users from the list.

There are different degrees of lurking so it is important to give some readers the benefit of the doubt before you cut them dead. Lurkers aren’t a bad thing because lurking individuals can swing back to the engagement fold if properly stimulated. They may just be busy at the time.

Many individuals may simply either stop because the content has no meaning to them anymore, it gets lost amidst all of the other content they receive on a daily basis or the email address may not be used anymore. Whatever the reason, these inactive readers are now dead to you, in the nicest possible sense. What you will be left with is a hearty serving of engaged readers and a fresh platform to continue.

You can also put together an exit survey which may help simply define what other problems may have led to the reader leaving.

Another Reason To Prune The Inactive

Some list providers charge you for the volume of emails you send and the number of individuals in a list. Therefore, it is a good rule of thumb to keep that list lean and active.

Ways To Improve Your Service

A good way is to see what other people do with their list. Join a few lists to see how your competition layout information. Remember that not everything will work for you in the same way. Each blog is unique. It doesn’t stop you trying a few ideas.

 

In Closing

  • Mailing lists are your window to direct interaction with a collection of your hardcore followers.
  • Mailing lists are valuable because they take a long time to grow but have far more potential to feed direct traffic to your site.
  • Mailing lists should be started earlier rather than later.

 

Share Me Please

I spent a long while on this article for the benefit of humanity. Please share me to the world.

I can be found over at twitter and you can email me directly at headboy [at] blogprefect dot {com}.

 

Image Credit

Featured Image from Pixabay by JackMac34

LeadPages Opt-ins courtesy of Leadpages.net, used for illustrative purposes only.

 

Return to Blogging

This month BlogPrefect has focused on restarts. It is an activity that some bloggers will undertake during the length of their blogging career.

 

Return to Blogging

In this fine month of June I have covered a selection of restart topics, not necessarily in their logical order. You should tackle each as ordered below.

  1. 10 actions to restart your blog – This article provides 10 thought-provoking ways to promote activity on restarting.
  2. Blogging Momentum – This article details reasons behind why as a blogger you might falter and what you need to bear in mind and have ready when blogging.
  3. Spending the Right Time on Blogging – This article looks at the 60 minute challenge, a method I devised in 2014. This method helps keep overall writing time short but provide a readable article that helps fill a gap. A note is not to rely on this kind of article all the time but it helps to pad out and experiment with niche related ideas in a low time versus risk method.
  4. How to create a free guide – Guide creation is something that you can do to boost a number of areas of your blog, namely the mail subscription and by means of providing a giveaway to your audience. Giving helps establish a relationship. This article provides some insight in how to go about it.

 

The Penalty of Stepping Off the Gas

I’ve always known there was a penalty for inconsistency.

BlogPrefect’s traffic analysis for the past 6 months will be unveiled on the 4th July. In two of those months namely April and May, there were no articles written and as you might expect, overall site views and engagement tanked. Some of the figures resemble numbers seen back in the gloomier days of 2014 and BlogPrefect began its light in the sun mid-June of 2013.

The truth of blogging is that you have to continually push out content to hold station otherwise all the hard work you put in to grow is eroded.

I’ve managed to post consistently for the whole month and the green shoots of recovery have returned. Charting by the middle of the month of June it was clear to see that many of my measures had demolished the previous month’s tally.

 

How Do You Determine What’s a Normal Level of Operation?

It is difficult to determine what should be a normal level of operation when monthly totals can fluctuate.

What is more sensible to acknowledge is that all figures shouldn’t retreat more than 5 – 10% of the previous month because your site will be receding.

If you are losing more than 10% you could be hemorrhaging which is as unpleasant as it sounds.

 

Older Content Often Out Trumps New

Commonly older content has had more time to shine and dig its way into the search engine algorithms.

Something that might have done badly when you initially threw it out into the wilderness comes back again later with more ferocity because it is on topic again. This only happens if you had some minor pickup in the start.

Minor pickup? The article got some warmth in its inception. That is to say that a number of readers in the order of 10 or more viewed it.

I’ve always found it surprising over the 3 years of BlogPrefect.com to see what resurfaces again. I have written over 190 articles and some I’ve poured many hours into. Some of those articles have resurfaced but not the ones I had expected.

Don’t be disheartened if you have a shallow splash up front. It might come back again later but if not, just make sure you haven’t spent too long developing it.

 

Length of Time Spent Per Article/Post

You know how those teachers at school, when giving the class generalised feedback on how they did in the mock exam, would extol the virtue of working smarter rather than harder on their revision?

If you haven’t got that kind of memory, you would have at least heard of the saying “Work Smarter, Not Harder.”

There is some truth to that.

As you can already guess by now, this article you are reading seeks to summarise the month’s activities and consolidate thoughts on a restart to a blog because it is something that BlogPrefect.com has had to go through.

In order to maintain the schedule and regain momentum, I had to create one article using an old method I had pioneered back in 2014. This method still works by the way.

The 60 minute challenge is an easy system to implement when you are running low on usable content and need to satisfy a more aggressive posting schedule to get yourself level again.

I wrote 10 or so 60 minute articles and found a number of them got some mild interest. Focusing yourself to write for 60 minutes helps the creative juices flow and teaches you a lesson on gathering information.

The only sticking point is that you need ideas to base around so it is down to the quality of your research.

 

Trending Culture Cynicism

Following popular trends are what you should do but is not always the best thing to do.

Why Headboy? Why?

The answer lies in a deep labyrinth of curiosity. Sparking audience imagination is valuable. If you only ever cover what somebody else has been writing, what can you claim is your own?

There is a lot of wheel reinvention for some bloggers to capture the same thin market. It is not always about who was first on the topic but how well they rocked it. I feel though, despite this, you can only flog a dead horse so far. Who scrolls to the tenth page of a Google results page?

Sometimes you have to step beyond what everyone else is talking about and cover a topic meaningful to you and your select audience. It may not be on point with everyone else but it doesn’t really matter as long as it is important to your audience.

 

Following Cycles is Better

Following Cycles is Better

Not motorcycles or bicycles but cyclical topics. These are the kind of topics you can dip your feet in for a time, leave, then return to later when you know and have researched more.

You can apply this to any type of blog, in any niche. Heard it here first.

There will always be one element of whatever you are tracking that will come up time after time.

As an example I have considered what a boat building hobbyist blog might cover repeatedly:

  • How to waterproof your new boat

It is something that everybody has to do when they finish their project before they take their new boat out on the water. It’s time consuming and there are some tips and tricks. Better methods might be brought to the market over time.

  • What tools to have in your toolkit

Subjective as it is, there has to be a base minimum set of tools that any boat builder needs from novice to veteran. As new flashy equipment is made over time, that toolkit can change.

  • How you can save money on your build

Everybody is money conscious so there are bound to be new ways to cut costs whilst maintaining quality. Methods of making those savings can change over time.

 

Remaining in Niche Topic

This will be critical to your success. Diverge and invite doom.

A certain Big Wig Blogger suggested that on a rare occasion you should cover a passion topic because it makes you easy to relate to. The problem is that until you have a tribal following with email subscribers bursting through every orifice, you should hold off on the personal passion angle.

If remaining in your topic boundary means that you have to postpone the launch you had planned for week X so that you can deliver on topic in week Y, you should postpone.

Big Wig Bloggers earn their personality/ego posts through having done enough in the early days to get enough willing participants to buy into their philosophy.

  • You don’t have those numbers yet. Be honest.
  • Your approach can only change when you are a true leader.

You can add some small sprinkles of your stories, your anecdotal evidence, and the analogies that were important to you when you were growing up.

It is just important not to wade too deep into self-indulgence. Self-indulgent posts were a topic I covered in detail, they are a type of post you should avoid writing unless you are on a free hobbyist platform such as blogger where everybody is self-indulgent.

 

Norms Are the Enemy

Not people called Norman. Not invading French.

“Normal is an inflexible concept in a diverse world.”

You should work to rules but try not to stick to routines that don’t return.

The only way you will know this is looking at your statistics.

  • Experiment
  • Try something new
  • Look for the gaps that other people have left

 

Robust Methods of Analysing Statistics

You have to spend time with purpose when looking at your stats otherwise you can spend hours chasing your tail.

Stat watching is a fun pastime. It is perhaps the most favourite element of my blogging work. I take great joy in analysing my data even if some might perceive my numbers to be awful. I have no shortage of passers-by, stuffing in cold calling emails through my contact page about how they can get me more traffic.

You can get carried away with over analysing data that in truth is completely uncontrollable. You are often at the mercy of your audience.

So if you have a transient audience

  • Your data will be erratic

You could liken your audience to simple passers-by at a remote gas station. You might see the odd few regulars but most people will be passing through and may never grace your door again.

If you have a loyal following

  • Your data will be predictable

You could liken your audience to a quiz night at the pub. The same old faces and occasionally some new ones will turn up for a fun evening and will come back repeatedly. The important aspect is community spirit.

 

Bounce Rate is Not Wise to Dwell on in Google Analytics

Blogs are traditionally high bounce compared to sites like Amazon because of why you are likely to arrive at a blog and what as a reader you are likely to need there.

With Amazon, you already have the intent to buy, or at least see what’s on offer. You arrived there organically (through typing in the address, following your bookmark or being prompted by an email). There are many items that could catch your eye so you are likely to visit many pages on your visit and the overall duration of your stay is likely to be high.

With your blog, how deep is someone likely to permeate? How long are they likely to hang around? It may only be 1 post that interests that reader, they get what they want then leave. Hence the high bounce rate.

Big Wig Bloggers are a great deal more effective at enticing passers-by to go deeper by pushing the right buttons and by having the depth of content that can fulfill enough solutions. The way they display their content is logical and they’ve spent time designing the user’s journey. It’s all about funneling you through to get to a certain goal.

If you have not been blogging long, or just don’t produce at frequency, it will take time to develop enough trapping or ensnaring content.

One thing is certainly true with bounce rate; the less you are doing, the higher it will be.

 

Motivational Encouragement

I wanted to conclude the article with more than a few words on motivation. Blogprefect.com had to take a hibernation for two months to allow me to perform well on my final project. Without that time I knew that I would not be able to provide quality in my final work. For me, the motivation was always with completing my degree. I’ve spent time, money and effort in furthering myself. The degree came first without compromise therefore BlogPrefect.com had to take the compromise.

Understandably, that’s not great for you the reader.

When you have written consistently for a period and build up all of your research, analysis and handling techniques — continuing to provide quality is easy. It is when you pause from the conventions you’ve built up that the task becomes harder.

  • Approaching a big article to return to your audience with, is daunting.
  • Producing a big article after months of consistent planning is easy.
  • Downing your tools is never good, especially with Blogging.

Before considering more than two weeks of non-blogging activity, consider what difficulty you might have getting started again. If you think of your blog as a nuclear power-plant then consider how long after decommissioning it will take to bring the plant out of “moth-balls” to an operational state. That time will always be longer than you think.

 

You Can’t Be “On The Pulse” All of the Time

You are going to have some posts that perform poorly regardless of the time you spend marketing them. The timing might be wrong, the topic might be wrong or how you chose to present the information might be wrong. If you don’t get the feedback, you won’t know. Regardless, it’s wrong.

Sometimes you just have to accept that your product was an NI or Needs Improvement event and move on. Failure teaches more than success.

You have to know when to surrender and fight a new battle.

Social media and other veins of marketing require you to be up to a level of reciprocity, activity and dependability before they yield warm numbers again. For all the time you waste trying to push something new on the block from a time in pause, you are wasting your overall effort on getting back on track. You should be producing consistent content instead.

  • Not all tactics work forever.
  • Novelties often wear off.
  • At some point you will need to explore new options again.

 

Maximising the Good Times

Maximising the Good Times

When you are on a roll you should do more than the satisfactory. Having ideas in the bank saves you when you have no ideas on the boil. Returning to a WordPress posts list in the dashboard to find you have no drafts waiting is a bad feeling. You’ll be left scrabbling to understand what direction you need to head.

There is a problem keeping drafts too long though. You should aim that all drafts shouldn’t sit for longer than a month. You should intend to use every piece you craft otherwise you waste time needlessly. If there is an exception to this it should be an Epic post. With an Epic post you have to know when to release it.

In terms of continuing, you should have some form of checklist that reminds you what the purpose of your blog is. Many Big Wig Bloggers have a mission statement buried away within their blog. It could be in their welcome, on their about page or somewhere near. Some Big Wig Bloggers keep pinboards or shoe boxes full of emails, letters and other signs that their audience love and have gained from what they are doing. Sometimes you need praise to keep you in the hunt, even old praise.

Critics

You always get people who knock. These are the people who cast dispersion on what you’ve done. The important thing to remember is that if readers make noise on what you are doing wrong, you are having some effect. You are getting noticed.

Participants on the Internet or the web are fairly polite. Rather than tell you what’s up they simply ignore you. It is the positive reinforcement trick. Do a good job, someone might give you a treat. Do that job wrong, expect to be ignored.

Occasionally you will get one person who is “brass necked” or courageous enough to tell you that you have a major failing and the argument they present is worth looking into, even if you don’t initially agree. You can be as magnanimous in defeat as you want and seal that hole but you better make sure you seal it good.

 

In Closing

  • Pull up your socks and get out there.
  • Make some noise.
  • Savour every blogging day.

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Image Credits

Featured Image via Pixabay by Suedelbien

Bike gears image via Pixabay by Stux

Cake image via Pixabay by Cbaquiran