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It’s hard not blogging.
It’s been just more than eight days since my last post, and since I abhor the blogs that “apologize” for having been away so long, I’ll not do that. My absence was intentional, for a purpose, and I honestly didn’t expect to return so soon.
But I’m alone. On business, in Effingham, Illinois‘ Hilton Garden Inn, my only friend a frisco melt and onion rings from across the street, and I’m bored. So I’ve returned to the blog, my trusted sidekick.
Yes, the break from blogging was by design, for a purpose, and the job at hand is finished, so I’ve returned in my loneliness while in this two-queen, no-smoking suite.
It was a productive eight days. Book-wise I:
In another area of life:
And in other news…
and that I had a voice like thunder. Said post substantially escalated my testosterone levels. You can read her work at www.mywindow2theworld.wordpress.com
Ya’ll expect another post soon. It’s pretty boring here.
I guess there’s always the third-floor view of Wal-Mart.
Yes, it’s great to be back on the blog. Even if it is from Room 309.
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art, and working is art, and good business is the best art.” ~ Andy Warhol
Years ago, in the world of self employment, I was fortunate one of the most successful local businessmen I know was willing to give me an audience on certain occasions to solicit his sage advice.
He’s one of the wealthiest men in Arkansas, diversely entrepreneurial and a wealth of knowledge.
Out of respect for his time I would call on him only when I needed advice the most.
In passing one morning, he said this:
“The key to making real money is to learn how to make money when you sleep.”
Ever since, I’ve aspired to master the art and science of “making money when you sleep.” It’s surely something to think about.
I’ve never made a dime from a blog post. But my three blog sites do have a future monetary purpose. They’re a platform designed to build a community of followers (more importantly friends) for a book release in the coming months.
And for the record, I just purely enjoy being a part of the blogging community.
But as the release of Light Wins approaches, I’m taking the platform building process more seriously – with a more strategic approach.
And I’m learning more about how to get blog hits when I sleep.
Here are just a few things I’ve learned:
For me, it’s a cheap thrill to get out of bed and find I’ve had a hundred views over the night. It’s just one of the things that gets my day off to a good start.
Today is summer solstice.
There are 15 hours and 36 minutes of daylight in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
With so many hours in the day, I’ve been thinking, and hereby resolve to:
1. Watch more sunsets.
2. Read more.
3. Write more.
4. Limit the number of blogs I have to at least 10. Too many topics and not enough categories…
5. Keep an eye on the weather and watch for a long weekend of rainy days. That’ll be my next binge writing session.
6. Finish my book by October.
7. Start running again.
8. Set a few
rules guidelines for living out the years ahead.
9. STOP and take a picture when I want to take a picture. No more driving by and regretting.
10. Kiss my family members when the urge hits.
11. Question myself a little less.
12. Stop and help people more often.
13. Enjoy freedom.
15. Strive to learn to relax.
16. Define success.
17. Remember good things.
18. Right wrongs.
19. Sleep just a few minutes later.
20. Learn more about forgiveness.
Check out today’s post on my secondary blog at http://wp.me/p2tJ80-1O
Malzahn Quote: “I’m the head coach of the Arkansas State Red Wolves.”
Interpretation: That’s what I am today. For the moment I’m avoiding what tomorrow may bring, and you know I’m not gonna say anything about this, anyway.
Malzahn Quote: “I’m sticking to ‘I’m the head coach here (ASU) and I’m not worried about anything else.'”
Interpretation: I’ve had no DIRECT conversation with UA, but our representatives are talking. I’m not worried about anything. Hey, I come out a winner either way!
Malzahn Quote: “I’m committed to being here.”
Interpretation: Just as much as I was yesterday, but hey, a dream job is a dream job, and I could be committed there too.
Dr. Dean Lee (ASU Athletic Director) Quote: “We feel good about who we are and what we have to offer…”
Interpretation: I’m worried.
ASU Quarterback Ryan Aplin Quote: “It’s just something we’re going to have to try to deal with as a team and try to look over it and stay focused on practice.”
Interpretation: I’m doing my best to keep my team in good spirits (because that’s part of my job) but the whole team is really worried. This could be bad.
The Perfect Storm in Arkansas continues to brew. Lightning’s gonna strike somewhere.
Traditional tips you’ll read about effective blogging will typically tell you to write about the things you know, choose a niche and pitch yourself as an expert and an authority.
It’s good advice. Everyone’s an expert in something, and there’s definitely something to be said for consistency in your blogging topics. It’s the best way to build a strong platform and a loyal audience. Your readers should come to expect a certain style in your work.
But the adventuresome blogger, will, from time to time, will make a gutsy move and go outside his comfort zone for the sake of curiosity, and just to see what happens. That’s exactly what I did yesterday.
My brand of writing is designed to make people think. Not necessarily to change their minds, but to think differently with new perspectives about certain things. Mostly, I enjoy using Biblical metaphors and writing about the application they have in our present lives. But every so often, I’ll jump outside my writer’s comfort zone to experiment, and yesterday’s blog, titled Here in Arkansas – It’s the Perfect Storm http://wp.me/p2bjEC-8j …. was just that. An experiment that proved interesting.
The blog’s topic was the national attention that’s been drawn to the University of Arkansas’ football program and the subsequent firing of head coach Bobby Petrino. Moreover, it speculated the Razorbacks would attempt to lure Arkansas State University coach Gus Malzahn (just 300 miles down the road) as his replacement.
It’s a topic ripe for speculation and controversy, and so I ventured into the unknown to see what attention might be drawn to my theory of how the scenario might play over the next few days.
The results: A record number of hits for a single post with readers in seven countries.
In thinking about writing outside our comfort zones, I wanted to offer seven tips, lessons learned, if you will, for how this post generated record traffic. Consider these tips in a future venture outside your own blogging comfort zone.
Niche, consistency, expertise – yes – it’s the best way to blog. But stretch yourself sometimes and get in the thick of something wild.
Two good friends recently turned me on to the works of A.W. Tozer, who in 1919, began 44 years of Christian ministry. His works are among the most insightful I’ve read. It’s as if they were written just yesterday.
Among the more than 40 books he authored, at least two are regarded as Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. His books impress on the reader the possibility and necessity for a deeper relationship with God.
I wanted to share selected exerpts from the preface of The Pursuit of God, written June 16, 1948. See his insight just as it exists today:
“In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct “interpretations” of truth. They are thirsty for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water…
“There is today no lack of Bible teachers to set forth correctly the principles of the doctrines of Christ, but too many of these seem satisfied to teach the fundamentals of the faith year after year, strangely unaware that there is in their ministry no manifest Presence, or anything unusual in their personal lives. They minister constantly to believers who feel within their breasts a longing which their teaching simply does not satisfy…
“I trust I speak in charity, but the lack in our pulpits is real. Milton’s terrible sentence applies to our day as accurately as it did to his: ‘The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed.’ It is a solemn thing, and no small scandal in the Kingdom, to see God’s children starving while actually seated at the Father’s table. The truth of Wesley’s words is established before our eyes: ‘Orthodoxy, or right opinion is, at best, a very slender part of religion…
“Thanks to our spendid Bible societies and to other effective agencies for the dissemination of the Word, there are today many millions of people who hold ‘right opinions,’ probably more than ever before in the history of the Church. Yet I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the Church the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the ‘program.’ This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the type of public service which now passes for worship among us…
“Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness ofr the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts…
~A.W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God