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5 Steps To Becoming A Blogging Warrior

Warrior

I thought I’d do some blogging about blogging.

I sat staring at the screen for a few minutes. And nothing happened. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I got nothing. The problem: I really didn’t know what to write about. I needed an angle. Maybe I needed to appreciate my readers? Maybe I needed to talk about my WordPress plugins?

I pondered a few things. Maybe my body needs Carbs. Maybe I’m not a Renaissance blogger. Maybe I need to increase automation and just upload a thesaurus.

Maybe I just needed to write. Something. Anything.

And then I realized I was.

Step 1: Write

But don’t just write, write what you know. Write what you have a passion for. If you can talk endlessly about Star Trek’s “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode, then that’s what you write about. You might not have a huge audience, but you’re writing. And that’s the key. Practice makes you better.

David Usher gets up with the birds every morning and writes. He’s brilliant. That’s why. Frank Miller … same thing. He writes. And writes and writes.

Write.

I get some amazing accolades from people for what I’ve been writing here on Zoomstart. And you guys have no idea how much that means to me. Somewhere around here are 2 or 3 half finished screenplays, and a binder full of comics ideas. A lot of the business stuff that I write about comes from ideas I jotted down for a business book that I wanted to write, titled oddly enough, Zoomstart.

I came to the realization that I can’t write 100 or 200 pages. Of anything. Can’t do it. But I can write one page at a time. I love it. This fits. It’s me. If all you can do is write a word or a paragraph, then that’s what you write.

And when the time is right, you’ll be read (red).

Step 2: Network

I’ve been writing Zoomstart for about 3 months. And I’ve been doing it with no search engine traffic (google just indexed the site last week) and no previous online network to kick things off. All my traffic has come from going out and leaving my 2 cents on other peoples blogs. Sometimes I leave 3 cents.

In the last 3 weeks, my RSS subscribers and daily unique visitors have both doubled. People are linking here and dropping by to comment regularly. And some amazing things have happened; Conversation. And inspiration.

To talk effectively, you have to listen. To write, you have to read. To build a network, you have to do both. People won’t come just because you built it. But if you go out and take the time to just say “hey”, or you contribute to the conversation without asking for anything in return, they will.

And if you’ve put some effort into step one, they’ll come back. And they’ll bring other people with them.

Step 3: There Is No Step 3

You’re probably on to me by now … there is no step 4 or 5 either.

Sure, there are other things that are important if you want to be a blogging warrior. Things like SEO, branding your blog, ad optimization. All sorts of things.

As long as you write and network, all that stuff will fall into place along the way. If you don’t write, and you don’t network, then none of that other stuff really matters.

Write. Network. It’s tried and tested. It works.

Denouement
 

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18 Comments

  1. It’s hard sometimes to find topics and ideas to write about, and you’re right, practice helps get better. See, you blogged about blogging hehe :)

    Writing, reading and networking are indeed tested and proven ways to help build an audience and returning “customers” (i’m a “customer” of zoomstart in a way, i read your posts every single day, sometimes i even read them more than once). Seriously i enjoyed reading every single word of this post Shane! Keep it up!

  2. Thanks Jon! I always have a good list of topics at my side. The challenge for me is matching the topic with the headspace I’m in at the time.

    If it flows easily, it’s the right topic. If it doesn’t, I save it for another time and find another one.

  3. You’re not doing too shabby at month three! I started out in the same boat as you (am still pretty much in that same boat!) I didn’t do SEO and it took me a while to get used to leaving comments. I started out a bit “shy” if you know what I mean.

    I read a little about SEO and it holds no interest for me at this point.

    I like your casual friendly writing style and I’m still catching up on your archives. And you’re right – writing and networking are the real keys. I would say honest and sincere networking – leaving real comments having a real conversation!

    I’m like Jonathan – I’m checking in regularly!

  4. Hi Shane, found your site through Jonathan.

    Like your writing style – personal and friendly. Networking is crucial. But it wasn’t easy at first and when you are newbies. I still found it difficult to encourage people leaving sincere, real, honest comment on my blog. I guess that’s something that I can learn from your blog.

  5. Ms. Q,

    It’s important to get out and network. You’ll get over the shy thing I’m sure more and more as time goes by … I mean hey, you’re here, you’re commenting!

    More people need to read your stuff. It’s very entertaining. Always puts a smile on my face.

    Hi Calvin, and welcome,

    I don’t try to encourage comments. Or links. Or anything. I just write. And I get out and comment and try to add to the conversation elsewhere. Everything else just happens as a natural result.

    That’s why there are only 2 steps to the “5 Steps To Becoming A Blogging Warrior”!

  6. Great post Shane, I am left a little speechless here. Man you have a great writing style, but I guess you can find that in many places, what I love here is you write with “PASSION” and you are being just yourself.

    I meet lot of people who say they want to be this and want to be that, if you ask me, I just want to be myself. I don’t have much of traffic and thats ok, I am barely three months here and I am thoroughly enjoying this blogging journey.

    You are on my daily visit list. Keep it up.

    Cheers mate and take care.

  7. I should clarify that I *started* out comment-shy but am no longer!

    I’ve left a trail of long comments behind me. My “Is there a blogging backlash” post all began with a comment that essentially spiraled out of my control. It was a lot of fun and illustrated how blogs can really be an online conversation.

    Calvin: I began to get more comments after I began to leave longer more thoughtful comments that added to the post. I left comments that I’d like to receive.

    I also added one of the “Recent Comments” widgets to my sidebar. There are a few of them out there for WordPress, my blog platform. Shane shows Recent Comments and seeing a bit of “dialog” does encourage others to see what’s going on and maybe add their 2 (or even 3!!) cents.

  8. I’ll second the fact that you’re doing an awesome job! I’m getting where I run out of ideas for posting. Not because I don’t have anything to say, it’s just I’m not sure if it always will fit in with the other articles on my site. Anyway, great post, and as the others, I’m trying to get better about leaving comments myself.

  9. Great flow of this article. Sometimes people try to force out articles and you made a great – point relax, go with the flow and let the story come out one page, one line, one sentence, and one word at a time. Keep up the great blogging – I am really enjoying reading your blog!

  10. Robin, thanks.

    And I agree, it’s important to be who you are. Anything else is a self defeating mentality. Look at what you got, not at what you don’t.

    Ms. Q,

    I’ll have to check out that post. And thanks for pointing out the recent comments plugin. I think this is an easy feature to add for “widgetized” blogs, but I try to hard code or customize plugins a bit so I can learn more about php. The plugin I use is from jodies.de

    Anthony, hi.

    Networking helps you get new ideas. Surf around. One night I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. I stopped by digg and found the new Bourne Ultimatum trailer. This is the result

    Thanks Nate,

    Bottom line, yep, the stuff that’s hardest to write usually sucks a lot of the time. But when it clicks, it just clicks. And then you can sit back, smile, hit “publish”, and think ‘Yeah. Yeah baby’. haha

    And ‘Yeah baby’ moments are good. For everyone.

  11. haha, “yeah yeah baby” moments! totally, it feels great when it happens, and then you hit publish, and when people start leaving comments you know it was a good post, worth writing :)

  12. Jon, absolutely … er … I mean, yeah baby! haha

  13. I definitely write about things I have a passion for. I also have only submitted my site to a few directories, but mostly gained my traffic through leaving comments on other blogs!

    Keep up the great work :D

  14. Shane I hear you 100% on this – its all about hard work and saying something!

    Keep up the great work :)

  15. Thanks Rob!

    I see a lot of people trying to monetize nothing. No content and no traffic. There are a ton of get rich schemes online and off. But sure and steady always wins the race.

  16. [...] Oh, and I almost forgot. Why do I blog? Because I can’t write 100 pages. [...]

  17. [...] to put together a short little free Ebook over the next few weeks. Now, I know I can’t write 100 pages, but I can write 1. And I can even write 10 [...]

  18. [...] way to write a good (or oustanding) post. But, me and Shane (zoomstart) agree that “yeah baby yeah” moments are awesome! (*Shane, i can’t believe the most relevant way i came up with to [...]


 

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