Pity-Parties and Successes
I’m having quite a lot of difficulty writing this month’s post. As you read last month in Part 5, April was a little of a disappointment. Okay, so that may be a bit of an understatement.
Since I am sharing the real blogging experience with this series, I am going to flat out tell you: April sucked. May was worse.
I let myself get so discouraged by April that I stopped doing even the things that were working. That caused a further decline in numbers. In fact, the numbers are so terrible that I am not even going to share most of them this month.
Much of my time during my May pity-party was spent out in my yard. At least I can say I wasn’t entirely unproductive, though I also won’t be getting a call from Lawn and Garden magazine anytime soon.
My favorite thing about working in the yard is that it gives me lots of time to think. Whether I’m pushing the lawn mower or pulling weeds out of the flower beds, my mind is usually free to think about other things.
Happily, several things became clearer during the process of getting my yard in shape. I started June with new zeal and a better attitude. So, what went wrong? Did anything go right?
Read AND Follow Directions
In total, I have spent nearly 88 hours learning about blogging this year. I have faithfully continued to keep using a time tracker, which has both it’s good and bad points. On the good side, I know just how much time I’ve spent getting educated.
Knowledge is power. I have always been one that set out to learn as much as I could about any task I was assigned. My goal was always ultimately to become the expert in that area.
In most of the jobs I’ve had over the years, that process worked well. Typically, over the course of time, I became the go-to person when someone needed to be trained or when unusual questions came up.
Learning is something I am passionate about. If someone has already invented the wheel, then all I should have to do is follow their directions. It doesn’t have to be invented again.
In the corporate world, almost everything I learned for my business was immediately put into practice. It was important to me to be a force for good in improving office efficiency and staff effectiveness.
Somehow, over the last few months, I have misplaced that lesson.
Yes, I spent 88 hours watching webinars and reading blogging tips and advice, but I failed epically when it came to putting that knowledge into proper use.
It was a painful realization that hit me while working in the yard last month. A plant may or may not have been thrown across the yard as a result.
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Billionaire Blog Club
A few months ago, I invested in Billionaire Blog Club (BBC). If you’ve not heard of BBC before, here is a quick rundown.
1. BBC is a blogging course
Becoming a lifetime member of BBC gives you access to all of the books and videos that site owner, Paul Scrivens, AKA Scrivs, has put together. Scrivs is extremely (almost scarily) intelligent and has successfully launched dozens of blogs. I may have lost count, but I think right now he is running 15 and they are all massively successful.
Scrivs started all these blogs to prove that a blog could be successful in any niche. He then shaped that knowledge into a step-by-step video series that covers all of the things he does to take a site from ground zero to major income.
2. BBC is a motivator
In addition to all the courses, Scrivs sends out regular emails. He’s not one to waste his time on salesy material. His emails are written specifically for BBC members. Since when you buy into BBC you become a lifetime member, he’s not selling us anything.
Instead, he concentrates on sharing his knowledge and inspiration. As he learns new things about the blogging world, he passes that information on to the members.
The thing that I find most valuable, though, is the fact that he’s not afraid to be brutally honest. In fact, it was one of his especially strong emails that pushed me out of my pity-party mode and back to work.
In a nutshell, he said that the biggest mistake bloggers make isn’t in not knowing what to do. No, instead, the issue usually comes from not doing what they know they should do.
The email could have been written personally to me, because that is exactly what I’d been doing. I had the plans to build a wheel, but I was spending all my time in my workshop trying to make a wheel without using that information.
3. BBC is a community
The other thing that is amazing, and maybe the most useful part of being a BBC member, is the community you become part of. Through forums available on Slack, all BBC members can freely share inspiration, joys, triumphs and failures (happily not many of these) with each other.
Since everyone is working toward the same goal, conversations are very positive. Everyone is working together so that everyone can succeed.
I’m not one to join in many of the conversations, but keeping up with the questions other members ask and the answers provided has resolved many of the issues I’ve had with my own blog.
It’s very impressive to me that Scrivs makes himself available through the forum almost every day. He does this to make sure that each member is getting the direction that they wanted when they first purchased their membership.
However, even if he is not available, there are always other members online. Many of them are experienced enough that they can answer lots of the questions that come up.
4. BBC is not for everyone
As much as I love BBC, it is not the right program for every blogger. I respond well to the way Scrivs teaches his video courses, and I am determined to be successful, come what way.
It’s also quite an investment. In fact, when membership opens up again in a few days, the purchase price will be $397 US. In my mind, it is well worth that price because the information I have gleaned so far has more than paid for itself.
But it’s a hefty investment, so you should not buy it unless you are very serious about putting in the time and effort that is required to make a blog successful. It’s hard work and takes a lot of time, at least in the beginning.
The good news is that if you think you might be interested, there is a free Blogging Bootcamp available on the top of the main Billionaire Blog Club page. The Bootcamp lets you learn a little more about Scrivs and his teaching style without any obligation.
Note: Scrivs is very real and not afraid to say whatever needs to be said. Personally, I need that type of mentor, but some people might want someone that is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. That’s not Scrivs, though he is awesome and super funny.
Anyway, back to the free Blogging Bootcamp. If you decide to give it a try, you can see what BBC is all about and then make an informed decision on whether you feel the investment is worth it.
Back to May
Wow, I really did not intend to make this a Billionaire Blog Club infomercial. I have learned a lot from BBC, though. It is directly responsible for many of the right decisions I have made along the way.
More happened in May, though, that I want to share.
One, I will share this number. For whatever reason, I am a little obsessed with Twitter. I’m not entirely sure why it resonates with me so much, but I find myself on the platform several times a day. As a result, I am up to 8,900 followers as of today. If we’re not already connected, be sure to look me up on Twitter and say hello.
I continue to be astounded at how many amazing and talented authors are on Twitter and how encouraging they are to other writers. I mentioned a few of them in Lesson 15 of the I’ve Learned series. There’s not enough room in a post to list everyone that has encouraged or inspired me.
Another win (see, May wasn’t entirely bad), is that my blog continues to gain followers through WordPress. I think I’m at 122 now, which isn’t earthshaking, but very exciting to me.
If you are one of my followers, thank you so much for being here!
Another win I can count for May involves getting better organized. On another blog I read an article about AirTable. AirTable is a database and spreadsheet hybrid, for lack of a better definition. I intend to devote a future post to detailing just how I am using it.
It has been instrumental in getting me organized, especially in regard to keeping up with my blog posts and posting calendar and with tracking pin activity for Pinterest.
The Pinterest thing is finally starting to come together, mainly because I am actually following the directions. I talk about that a little in my post on why you should include Pinterest pins in your blog posts.
What I love about AirTable, more than Excel or Google Sheets, is the versatility of their system. For instance, I am in the process of making multiple pins for each blog post. Tracking what board or tribe I then place that pin on was getting a bit chaotic.
Not only can I now track pin activity and placement, I can also drag and drop the pin image right into the tracking spreadsheet. This is an image of part of my tracking sheet.
AirTable autosaves every few minutes and can be accessed from any internet connected device, so I always have access to my information and it is always up to date.
The best part? Many of the most valuable features from AirTable are free to use. In fact, I have not paid one penny so far for using it. However, it has done a lot to get me properly organized. At some point I may upgrade. For now, the free features are plenty to get me where I need to go.
If you need to get better organized, I strongly recommend giving it a test spin. Remember, it’s free, so you have nothing to lose.
When Did I Get So Wordy?
In the very early days of starting my blog (like six months is really a long time ago), I read a lot of articles about how the most successful blog posts are 1000-2000 words long or longer. Those numbers scared the life out of me. After all, it took me 15 years to write an 80,000 word novel.
Happily, that fear has quickly gone away. As you can see, one thing I have learned to do is to sit down and knock out a detailed and informative post at well over 2000 words. Woo hoo! Another win!
The other happy benefit is that this ability to sit down and write is carrying over into my other works as well. My science fiction work-in-progress, Paradise, is finally getting the attention it needs, and the story is going in the right direction. I can’t wait to share the coming chapters with all of you over the next several weeks.
It’s All Because of You
I want to close this month by offering a heartfelt thank you to all of you that visit my blog on a regular basis. Every time I see that page view count or follower count increase, my heart jumps a little.
Launching my debut novel in November was scary. I didn’t know if I had any real talent or if my writing would connect with anyone. Many of you are coming back week after week. That means either I actually have a little talent, or y’all just like bad writing. I’m hoping for the first one.
Whatever brings you here, thanks for coming. I hope you keep coming back.
Be sure to think about trying the Billionaire Blog Club Blogging Bootcamp and the AirTable organizer. Both are free and may solve some of the issues you might be facing. If you have any questions on either one, please contact me.
Finally, blogs grow by being shared. If you enjoy the content on this site, please share it on social media and with your friends. It will mean the world to me if you do.
Until next time…