In honor of Darren Rowse I’ll start this with his immortal words:
WARNING: TANGENT AHEAD
Although in this case there are more than one tangent, but I’ve always wanted to do a Darren style post so here’s my shot.
I’ve had a long day, and a long drive, and done and watched a number of things today. All provide great tangents to blogging, although at times they will sound like a tourism ad for Western Australia.
Driving to the destination:
The day actually started on Friday afternoon where I drove to Mandurah, about 100 km North of Blog Herald HQ to stay with the inlaws, in preperation for an early trip to Perth Saturday to take my wife and son to a Wiggles Concert (Row C tickets I might add). The road from here to Perth is long, indeed its difficult to describe it without swearing. The trip was none the less worthwhile, because at the end of the trip there was a positive outcome.
The road to blogging success is long and often arduous. As large trucks and itinerant motorists threatened our trip, others will sometimes make your blogging trip difficult as well. Although the trip is long, remaining focused on your goals means that statistically you are likely to achieve them. It would be remiss of me to suggest that the figure is 100%, as sometimes your car can break down, or you may be in an accident, the odds are still great in your favor as they are with blogging.
I couldn’t get enough tickets to see the Wiggles myself, but my 3 year old son and wife had a wonderful time, and I knew when I bought them the tickets, they would. The Wiggles are a proven act in the tot scene, and we own every single one of their DVD’s. The chances of a positive outcome from the show were good. When you go to a movie, or show, most times you’re going to end up with a positive outcome as well, having said that though its not always to everyone’s taste. Although the number would be slim, some people at the Wiggles Concert today at the Burswood Dome may have felt disappointed, it may not have been their cup of tea, but its still a proven, packaged product.
The same is true of writing for blogging networks. In many cases its an easy path with great rewards but its not for everyone. The high is often measured, but predictable. Depending on your circumstances sometimes it won’t be for you, other times it will be wonderful.
The Wiggles was being held at the Burswood Dome, with is part of the Burswood Casino complex, the only place in my State (a State bigger than Western Europe) that you can actually have a decent bet outside of horse and sports betting. I played a number of games in the Casino, I played the electronic Keno Machines, A pokie style (slot machine) game, and the Money Wheel. I broke even on the Keno Machine (luck more than anything), on the Pokie style game (Pokies themselves are illegal in WA, this one was dressed up as a role the dice game) I lost, but on the Money Wheel I came out ahead. I also watched some other people play BlackJack, Poker and Roulette, but didn’t join in.
Casino gambling is not unlike blogging for yourself and trying to make money. It can be a gamble, but like any gambling the odds are better in different areas. The electronic gaming machines are flawed, and I played them for enjoyment rather than any knowledge that I had a decent chance of winning. There are blogs you will write for enjoyment without the ability to win financially from them, but you do so none the less because they provide you with entertainment, enjoyment, or an outlet. In other areas its sometimes better to stay away.
I know how to play BlackJack and Poker, but not very well in a Casino. I enjoyed watching others do it, but I decided not to do it myself. Some blogging topics are the same. You can’t possibly know everything about everything, and although sometimes it might be tempting, you’ve got to be able to rationalize that you cant make a go of them so its best to observe others and not partake in them yourselves.
Last, but not least, is my favorite Casino Game, the Money Wheel. I love the money wheel, and due to it today I came home with a profit from my hour and a half in the casino of $290 AUD (thanks Kerry Paker). I like the Money Wheel because its a numbers game, but a numbers game in which you can physically see the odds on the wheel in front of you, as opposed to an electronic machine where you cant see the odds. My secret to the Money Wheel? I spread my bets. I’ll bet $2 on the 11-1, 23-1 and the two 47-1 options, $8 a hand. Sometimes I’m a bit more conservative and I might not cover the 47-1 options but I’ll cover the 5-1 option. Like blogging you’ve got to be in it for the long term, and its not perfect, because sometimes you lose, but I’m a bit lucky and most of the time I win. Like all gambling you’ve also got to be prepared to lose as well and walk away. Indeed, the old adage with gambling is that those desperate to win rarely do.
Blogging for yourself is the same. Educating yourself on what works and what doesn’€™t improves your chances of winning, but like any gamble its never guaranteed, you’€™ve got to be prepared to commit a lot of time to blogging, and be patient and wait for your rewards. Very few people will strike it rich quickly, although some do. Perseverance, tactical thinking, spreading your risk (writing more than one blog in the same way I spread my bets) are all applicable to blogging.
I’m not a huge sports fan, but to not watch AFL (Australian Rules Football, football for short) in my part of the woods is nearly a hanging offence, and I don’t mind the game, even if I’m not an obsessive follower. I did however manage to watch two games of football this weekend, both preliminary finals leading to next weekends grand final, and both have great lessons for blogging.
In Fridays nights St Kilda (Saints) vs Sydney (swans) game, the Saints led throughout the match, but it was always pretty close. In the third quarter the Swans were constantly on the attack but just couldn’t seem to get ahead, but in the fourth quarter, the pressure finally paid off and Sydney scored 9 goals and romped home to make next weekends grand final.
In blogging you can seemingly work hard for a long time without getting ahead, or achieving your goals, but you should never give up. Determination and perseverance does deliver results. The Swans kept up the pressure and eventually won the game well, you to can achieve your blogging goals if you keep it up.
In Saturdays (today as I’m writing this) game, West Coast (Eagles) took on Adelaide (The Crows). Much like Fridays game it was tight and for two quarters the score was pretty close to equal. But this is where the story changes. In the third quarter the Eagles broke away and scored numerous goals to go into the fourth quarter with a commanding lead. The fourth quarter started slowly, and I remember saying to my wife that the Eagles were cruising, they were slowing down the play because of their big lead to reduce the chances of the Crows coming back. The took their focus from attacking to defending, however the Crows had another idea. From a 30 odd point deficit, the Crows bought the margin back to 7 with consecutive goals. I remarked to my wife that the Eagles were lazy and deserved to lose given what was happening, but about 6 minutes out from full time something snapped the Eagles from their complacency and they went on to win the game well. It was a heart stopper, and my entire family found themselves yelling at the TV.
Blogging can be similar. When you become successful or reach your goals you can be tempted to coast. Arrogant behaviour is a symptom of success, and as much as the Eagles had it in the bag coming into the fourth quarter, once you become successful as a blogger you can think that its easy street from that point forward. Just as the Eagles got a rude wake up call, so to can the arrogant successful blogger. Your success can be fickle and swept away more quickly than the time it took you to get to where you are. If you do reach your goals or become successful in blogging, never forget what you did to get there, the people who helped you along the way, and that it is not a permanent state of being. If you have forgotten, are cruising or taking your success for granted, its may not be to late, because in the same way the Eagles woke up to their complacency, you can as well. The game is not lost until your out of business.
So there’s my effort of out-Darrening Darren, but I hope you got something from it. The blogosphere is a wonderful place, and is today as diverse as life itself if you look hard enough. If the blogosphere is as big as life, then surely life can be applicable to the blogosphere.