Category Archives: Uncategorized

Writing for income…

Wouldn’t it be nice?

I wonder how many aspiring writers are out there.  Due to the internet the dream of being able to express your ‘voice’ has come a lot closer to many people. After all the internet allows anyone to publish without the consent of a publishing company.  It’s that easy!

As a result millions of people will have a go at this, the competition will be fierce and the ultimate trick is ‘how to stand out’.  The entrepreneurial amongst you very likely have already tapped in to this world of online writing. You will have written material on ‘how to’ go about this online writing phenomena as soon as it was out there.

‘How to’ information

Apparently some of the most popular non-fiction is ‘how to’ information. Quite amazing that even in a world where information is abundant, there seems to be a shortage of organised facts, knowledge and wisdom. People crave for ‘how to do’ articles, step by step guidance and ‘the ten best things’ lists.

Let’s have a closer look at this. Imagine you need information about how to prune a plant. The first thing you do is a Google search and you’ll find that there are countless sites to choose from. You sift through some of them but find that nothing is totally relevant to your specific problem or question. You rephrase your request and some more sites appear. Again not exactly the answer you are looking for.

Frustration levels are rising because you did not want to spend too much time looking this up as you really want to spend your energy on pruning your plant. Now imagine if there was this little concise guide that told you exactly ‘how to’ prune your plant, what tool to use, how to get cuttings and even what to do with your garden waste.

Anybody can do it!

There are many blogs that have become big businesses because they are doing just that – compiling and re-creating information. Short and to the point advice for people that are not that savvy in a particular area. It’s a simple concept and readily available to everybody who owns a computer and has access to the internet.

The bottom line is the following. If you love writing and you have an analytical mind, you can make money out of organising information and offering it in a more accessible form to your readers. Just imagine – blogs, eBooks, tutorials, pod casts and what else the trend is at the moment. Again it’s as easy as that!

I personally love writing! By writing this ‘blog about blogging’ I have realised that more than anything. In fact I have always been attracted to it. I have a big pile of diaries that reflect on my life, my travelling, emigrating, having kids and much more. About a year ago I indulged in reading some of those stories and I have to admit that I had the feeling on many occasions that I was reading about someone else’s life! I have never contemplated to publish any of them but if I wanted the opportunities are within my reach.

So if there is the slightest ambition in you to write a book or a blog and you feel you have something to offer, there has never been a better time to do it. To say it metaphorically – the ‘world wide web’ is your oyster. 

How to deal with unwanted comments

It is interesting to get comments, it is even better to get nice comments but it is a thrill to get a comment that shows that someone just ‘got’ your post the way you meant it. It gives you the feeling you are on the right track and it reinforces what you have to say.

There are occasions though that you get comments that are not nice. They can be negative, putting you down and even be insulting. Then there are comments that should not be allowed to be called ‘comments’ as they are reactions to your post to promote something.

I have had a couple of such comments lately. Some were actually quite nice or full of praise and they left a link to their website. I explored their link only to find out that they were on a mission to market their products – some were the kind of products I might not want to be associated with!

I have had others that did not have the courtesy to actually comment on my blog post. They just left a link hoping that I would explore that link. And just yesterday I had a comment with an invite to check out their link.

Quite often these comments are worded in such a way to lure you in as they offer a service that you may benefit off. My daughter told me that companies hire people who do nothing else than targeting blogs and websites to promote services and products and plants links. What a job to have I can only say!

What to do with a negative comment?

You are in control! So what do you do when you get negative comments? Many hosted websites make it easy for you because they act as a filter for all comments. Most of my comments actually end up in spam. When that happens I have various options of dealing with the comment before I allow it to be visible to all. Usually there is an email address and if you feel you need to react the option is there.

In principle you want people to comment on your blog as they give you the opportunity to engage in discussions. Not everyone will agree with what you say but that’s life and it makes it more interesting.

Get a thicker skin! When the comments are negative or insulting one way of dealing with it is to get a ‘thicker skin’! Not everyone will agree with what you write but disagreement does not mean that you are disliked. As adults we should be able to deal with the difference between ‘disliking you’ and ‘disliking your behaviour’. Two completely different although related things. In generally it is children who don’t understand the difference but by the age of 10 they should have sussed it out. Some adults will never learn it though!

Use them to your advantage! If you do allow comments no matter of what nature, you can make sure they are legitimate by checking out whether their email address is a real one. If they are real but disagree with you, then it is up to you whether you like to include the comment in your blog. You could use the comments as inspiration to write new blog posts or alternatively invite more readers to comment to promote a discussion. One way to increase your traffic – a tip I should use more myself!

Finally progress…

I started Blogexercise in November 2011 as an experiment and I have written over 25 posts so far. I wanted to explore the blogging world or better blogosphere before I ventured into having a blog. Sounds bizarre but so be it.

I like to call it research and preparation for the real stuff. Anybody who wants to set up a business will have to do market research and acquire some expertise about what they are about to do. Just open up a random business book and you’ll find that one of the biggest cause of failure is lack of preparation.

My market research started with a blog. A blog is of such a nature that you can ‘explore’ while you are doing it. Imagine setting up a business and being able to have a practice run without it costing you a cent.

What’s next in line?

Digging deeper into the blogging world has taught me heaps and I feel very comfortable to explain blogging to someone and believe me there are many people out there who would not be able to tell you what a blog is!  Also I have the expertise now to guide someone in making important decisions that I feel need to be made before starting.

In sum Blogexercise exists because I needed an outlet to help me make decisions about a blog about my passion. There are many things that fall into this category but a couple of things jump out being ‘styling of homes and gardens’ and anything to do with ‘food, wine and entertaining’. I have been dabbling at it through various small business ventures, some more successful than others.

Suddenly last year the idea of a blog hit me and it all began. And here I am blogging away and now with the confirmation that I love blogging and have in fact lots of to say.

The first baby steps!

Last week I have had a meeting with a young computer techie who is going to develop my blog. I have decided to have my own domain and buy hosting and will continue with WordPress. I have looked at BlogSpot, TypePad and others but feel comfortable enough with WordPress. So why change?

My ‘techie’ and I have discussed the concept and the appearance and after I have submitted a couple of mock posts she can have a go at it. I was asked to deliver some great pictures as well.  I like to use my own pictures and I have a love relationship with my camera already for decades. I even ventured in to studying the topic at art school a long time ago. So here I am shooting ‘great’ pictures from various food items, plants and interiors. Good fun and I have been able to create some suitable footage.

It’s all part of the game!

When reflecting on this post I realise it is not about anything new or something that can educate you about another facet of blogging. It has turned out to be an evaluation and explanation of the purpose of Blogexercise. Such thought processes are relevant though when you want to start blogging unless you don’t care about things like planning and making the right decisions.

Anything you start can be changed at a later stage – very likely with some more effort or costs but it can be done. No need for panic but for me personally ‘taking my time’ has helped to step back, look at the various options I have, ask for opinions, read up on it and then let myself be guided by all these ‘bits’. Quite often the final choice just appears as it did with my blog about homes and food.

I have decided I will continue with Blogexercise as there is a lot more to say – maybe not as frequent when the next blog is alive. It can take a bit of time to prepare a good post – at least if you aim for relevance, novelty, truth and entertainment.  Happy blogging!