Originally Published 2007-05-01 18:01:55
Today is my birthday. I'm actually a little bummed, because for some reason this one is this huge milestone in my head and I can't help but feel a little lost.
In an effort to stay upbeat and feed the content alligator, however, I'm going to come up with a list of lessons I've learned over the years. I'm thinking 10 on blogging, 10 on business, and 10 on life...
- Link trains, review exchanges, and other similar methods work very well to promote linkback love, but if you do it too much they annoy your readers, so they need to balanced with lots of good content.
- It takes thousands and thousands of unique monthly visitors to make more than beer money with Google AdSense.
- Selling your soul to PayPerPost costs you readership. Sell, sell, and sell it some more and the most loyal of fans will bail on you. Placing a "sponsored by" disclaimer at the top doesn't help, because if I see more ads than content (and no, "I want to write today but I'm too tired, sorry" doesn't count as content), there's a good chance I'm deleting you from my RSS feed reader.
- Writing regularly and writing well is key. The mantra of "at least one post per day" can be broken occasionally if your content is extremely useful, humorous, or poignant. Good content keeps people reading.
- More than 3-4 posts per day probably won't get you deleted from my RSS reader, but I have found that those who post this much are either running news sites (which is fine, but that's really internet journalism, whether technorati ranks you or not) or talk a whole lot about not very much. If one of those 4 daily posts is really interesting, I won't stop reading. But if it's mostly fluff, I will, and I personally think it's better to write one or two really good pieces than several bad ones.
- John Chow really isn't that interesting now that he's an "A-List Blogger". He posts too much and says too little. Sorry, John. See #5, above.
- Fatblogging is lame. Go vegan for 30 days, cut out all salt, processed foods, oils, and don't cheat with soy cheeses, mayo, and milk. Then go to the gym 5 days a week for that 30 day period with a trainer or partner who really pushes you. When you come back, just try to go back to the way you used to eat. Your body won't let you. Period. Then try and not workout. You'll feel like you died. Again, your body won't let you. Now go blog about it, telling the world about how this really Smart Guy on the internet told you that fatblogging was lame and how you're now in better shape than you were in college. Or high school. Or whenever your glory days were.
- If you're too busy to achieve your goals, then maybe you're blogging/browsing too much! Not that I want you to leave or anything...
- The process is more important than the goal. If you're not happy during the process of working toward your goal(s), you won't know what to do next in your life.
- "Schmoozing" is really just the art of listening attentively, paraphrasing the speaker's thoughts in an intelligent manner, and adding a little spin to it. It works in dating, it works in business, and it works in friendships. This is not a way to forge deep relationships, but it is a way to make people like you quickly and gets you a second meeting.
- Another tip for making people like you: Look at them like you know them, even if you don't. That puzzled look combined with a half smile works wonders.
- Yet another schmoozing tip: Mimic the speaker. Seriously. Don't do it in a patronizing way, but follow the body movements of your potential partner like an echo. If she clasps her hands in front of her, wait 1500 milliseconds and follow suit. When she cocks her head to one side, do it too. If you're really interested in everything your potential partner has to say, you'll find your self doing this unconsciously. By noticing this pattern, you can send the message that you're hanging on her every word -- even if you're not.
- Absolute statements are inherently flawed, because life is nothing if not full of grays. They are, nonetheless, and extremely powerful tool for generating support. They are also seen as a sign of leadership and typically earn the person saying them a great deal of respect, whether deserved or not. Just look at George W. Can you remember the last time he said something that wavered in tone at all? Despite what you might think of our president, this is a very powerful tactic for getting people to believe, follow, support, and respect, and absolute statements usually come across as passionate, authoritative, and right. These are all attractive qualities that one can manufacture simply by conveying ideas with absolutes. Notable examples: "Ecstasy WILL cause brain damage", "Saddam must be removed from power", and, of course, "Johnny Fuery is a really smart guy."
- Sometimes it's hard to stay positive and upbeat all the time. That's what routines, trusted partners, and coffee is for. Fall back on your routines, take a socially acceptable mood-enhancing drug, and lean a little on those that have leaned on you. Oh, and remember to take a break.
- Money isn't everything. Make enough to eat, live, and get around. Make a little extra so that you feel safe and secure. You can even buy a toy or two, but then stop taking yourself so seriously. Do you really want to be friends with folks whose opinions of you change based on your bank account anyway? That includes the fellow in the mirror, too.
- Don't cheat. (Crap, I'm starting to fall back on Proverbs, and it's only number 16!) On your taxes, on your mate, on your business partners, on the basketball court, in the gym, on your employer, on yourself. In some ways, I think, this is the very worst sin of all. Nothing makes one question themselves, their relationships, and their place in the world more than this.
- Whew! Getting deep here, eh? On a lighter note, then, use social networks. Myspace will help you get in touch with long lost friends from your past -- not necessarily best friends, maybe, but folks you'd like to keep up with that you simply wouldn't without myspace. Or facebook, or linkedin, or whatever. I'm on all three. There are people in my network that I don't have on the other two on each of the three.
- Don't be afraid to pick up the phone. This seems like a silly item for those of us in sales or sales-like jobs, but for the rest of us, picking up the phone can be scary. It's still an incredible communication tool, and most business is still conducted over the phone. Use it.
- For some reason, putting numbers in front of a list like this improves readership. Browsers like numbers in the titles. "7 tips for whatever" is a better title than "quick tips on whatever". I don't know why; it's just a pattern I've noticed.
- I've now gotten bored with this list. How about I pretend I'm still 20?
It is my birthday. Forgive me for the missing conclusion?
On 2007-05-01 19:22:47 Trinity said:
Happy Birthday! :)
On 2007-05-01 22:57:53 Nia said:
This was excellent. Nos. 7, 8, 9, 10, & 11 were highlights for me.
I just discovered your site though Garry Conn's "First Game in May" and I subscribed to maybe two dozen blogs today...it was a loooog list.
Any way so goodie goodie for me, I'm getting introduced to some more good reads in my reader.
This post is going on my RSS Picks NOW.
Happy birth anniversary.
All the best, Nia. :)
On 2007-05-02 10:20:14 Uncle Johnny said:
Thanks for the feedback and birthday wishes. I really appreciate it!
On 2007-05-03 07:24:22 Corey Stroeder said:
On 2007-05-03 07:54:29 Bob said:
sheeeesh grandpa! :)
...Iv'e only 7 more days to go there myself...