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Journal Entry 1122/10/21

Learning Curve Stumbles into Positivity!

Blogs update…

The marketing course l am taking, and you read on occasion a reference to it in other posts is an excellent course. I am inundated with training programmes and course work, study and reading these days. I still write albeit not as often as l used to, but now l write comfortably as opposed to thinking l ‘had’ to write frequently as in 3 – 4 posts daily.

It took me just over four years to finally say “I am happy with the way this blog looks now!” The irony in that simple sentence isn’t lost on me considering how this blog has evolved since June 2019. I had a vision for the blog in 2018 and 2019. I had no concept of what the blog was going to look like when l created it in 2017 and l think THAT alone is where l may have gone wrong.

Hindsight is such a beautiful thing ……. he says with a wry smile on his face and NOT slapping his forehead with his palm deliberately, thinking back on all the concepts that ran before today …… oh yes hindsight is a remarkable beast indeed! But it’s all part and parcel of the learning curve and more so l have discovered in blogging.

I can hold up my hands or at least one hand and say without any embarrassment – l have made mistakes with this blog on my journey over the last few years – and yet the other hand says don’t be so negative pal, they were stumbles towards positivity! Look at it like that and we are back on the path of the learning curve. That’s the right attitude – they weren’t mistakes, they were side steps down alleyways that simply led nowhere. It takes time to learn something and l am by no means an expert on blogging, l am still learning daily all sorts of things.

I would rather make mistakes and learn from those experiences than think l am perfect at something and then make colossal errs due to overconfidence. It is afterall only human to err and l do believe that. It’s how we learn.

This blog has walked down many such alleyways since 2017 and l don’t regret any of them because without them l would not be able to see what 1] this blog should look like and 2] what the business blog should look like.

The marketing course l am studying is Create and Go and the bloggers who run it are Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus. It’s a very in-depth study block and l got the full Pro Blogger Bundle which covers from the very basics of blogging to the more advanced requirements in four huge course blocks. I am only 28% through the first course [Launch Your Blog Biz].

I am taking my time to study it, although l am now focused on it properly because l don’t have other life obstacles hindering my progress. I am as said taking a number of course blocks at present from the blogging and marketing study discussed here to the Thrive training programme discussed elsewhere and today l am to start studying a soil science course as well. Never mind all the reading that travels with these studies.

I said at the top of this post, that l am finally happy with the way the Guy blog now runs. Some of you may have noticed that there is a new branded logo, and it is quite simplistic and that was introduced at the start of this month, but the blog now feels like ‘home‘ for me and that is how comfortable it makes me feel. I like the colour and l love the colours of the wording we have here.

In addition to that l am happy with the layout, also all the changes and there has been a lot of those. Many of the long standing series l used to run have now gone and been replaced with more of a topical approach concentrating on the more popular ‘here and now’ style of writing. I came to realise that certain things whilst enjoyable ISH, were only that to a certain degree and so l stopped doing those series and not forgetting too they weren’t really that popular with the readership either and so l decided to concentrate on content that was.

This move was also connected to my business blog. Guy blog has several series covering many areas but principally ‘real life content’ as opposed to fictitious or make believe that could be found in the games and prompts l used to host and participate in. It’s not that l didn’t enjoy those – l did – but we change, our views change and how we look at the world changes too. I simply wanted to write content that made more impact and connected my writing more to my readers.

Some of the entertaining series l used to host may not return this year and may not return at all, but l am not saying never as l need to be versatile on that and so they are on hold in archive till l decide on their future.

Whilst studying with Create and Go, l have also been tweaking the business blog with my new learnings, there are changes daily over there. Small changes like ‘posting times’ – here l post daily at 09.25am and with the business blog l shall post at 11.25am – it’s not a huge change – but it’s a change all the same.

Recently l found a theme that is spot on for the business blog and the new content matter, it was right for the branding concept as well. The business blog is to be an environmental blog, therefore not everyone’s cup of tea. Whilst it is principally about ‘vermiculture’ or worm farming, which is the main genre or niche as some refer to it as, it also deals with sub – genres of alternative composting and the environment and the less traditional gardening styles. The theme is very different to the theme l use here.

Another more recent change was the actual name of the business and the blog combined. Originally it was The Authentic Recycler – but l then changed that to reflect the overall content more and make it less ‘boxy’ and more homely if you wish. So, it is now Earthly Comforts – The Authentic Recyclers. It’ll be launched some time later this year or January next year.

What l have discovered also with both my learning curve experiences with the GUY blog and through my studying is that the two blogs needed to be poles apart from each other and their actual readership approaches and that was one of my main learning errors this year when l foolishly thought l could run the business inside the personal blog here.

In order to make the two blogs very particular to each other l had to learn to adapt and adopt and wear a contrastive hat. That was harder than l thought it would be, but l am through that clash and on the other side now.

There were things l never bothered with attaching to the GUY blog, that will be attached to the business blog like SEO with deliberation as opposed to loosely adhering to the marketing of this blog. The GUY blog doesn’t need the hyper focus of external parties reading the content, whereas the business blog does – it will be directed to the outside as opposed to only being seen by the Reader audience in WordPress. It’ll still be read by those interested in the content of environmental concerns and vermicomposting’s and so on but not everyone even in my current audience is interested or can relate to that genre.

The first block of this course has been covering basics and whilst much of the content l was familiar with shockingly a lot of the core basics l wasn’t! I guess many personal bloggers don’t think about the savviness requirements with regards their hobby blogs, they don’t need to.

There is of course another beauty to learning some of these basic principles and that is that l can guinea pig the experiments here in this blog first which l have been doing these last couple of weeks and those tests and observations have been paying off in so far as attracting more readers to my content and blog, more interaction, comments and engagement and selling more of my designs which is really very pleasant indeed.

You may recall that l had initially said that l was ONLY going to create content three days a week for this blog – well l now post one piece daily and l try to make it both readable and interesting content for the reader and l also endeavour to have a minimum word count now of 550 and a maximum of around the 1600 mark which is for SEO purposes.

These are just some of the learning tips that l have now implemented to this blog so far and there will be many more, and they haven’t gone against me. Additionally, I also found l was struggling to JUST write content for only three days a week and needed to write daily to feel sated.

So far l have been very impressed with part one of the course block for it has been a thoroughly fascinating journey to date.

With the business study, one of the modules l did find of interest was the ‘content planning’ module and although, many of you know – l have Excel planning documents and wallboards that l use and utilise in support of this blog, l found that combined with the new study that l could become doubly effective with my content creation and the whole writing process.

I will of course keep you all updated to the various progresses concerning the two blogs.

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36 thoughts on “Journal

  1. This life is a continued learning process 😆 but it’s always good to discover new things 😉 When the time will come for me too to concentrate on my blog, I hope I’ll be able to say “I’m happy with how this blog looks like” 😉

        1. I work from home so it’s pretty ok now but still I need to do my work…recently and surprisingly after all these years of blogging I have received an offer to create recipes and be paid for it…it’s a dream come true, I can’t complain but I just need more time because I would like to also do some more blog posts and give a better direction to my blog 😅

        2. Well that is great news – did the offer come along as an independent external source or because of your blog? Because if it was the latter – then it is a good idea to find some time to work on your blog also even if just redirecting your blog to a main genre?

        3. The wonderful and amazing part is that it came through my blog. So yes, for this reason, I was thinking to move to one genre…but that means that I need more time to work on my blog posts because I still want to grow it and posting rarely will not help 😅

        4. Well a good start would be to focus on one area of passion or the one genre/niche we are talking of. If you did that Ribana, then and as we have discussed in the past – creating and posting once or twice a week only or what you could manage would allow you to deliver a solid post created with enthusiasm.

          You currently produce 3 a week l think, so cut out two and only produce one maybe?

  2. 🙂 SEO can be a bit tricky and it is a well-known fact that search engines prefer long-form content (And, that is the reason why business-related blogs have chosen that route).

    I wish you all the best on your marketing course, Rory!

    1. Hey Renard, very true and many thanks – hope you are keeping well 🙂

      On a side note, l don’t know if you have Amazon Prime and l am not sure if the film l am about to refer to is available on Netflix, but l watched an interesting Sci Fi film last night starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried called In Time 2011 which was really quite intriguing as a concept. About Time becoming a currency for life.

      You might enjoy it.

      1. 🙂 Thanks for the movie suggestion, Rory.

        “In Time” actually sneaked underneath my radar (I was unaware that it existed in spite of it being released in the year, 2011).

  3. Where do you find the time, Rory! 🙂

    I’ve always liked taking learning courses, and hopefully I’ll get back to them once this pandemic mess is over. I did an online one this year but didn’t find it satisfactory.

    I suppose it’s different when making an income from it but I eventually found (hobby) blogging too time consuming to do the time real justice. I now stick to forums for my social media fix, it only takes minutes to read, post and answer comments; no need for presentation or editing. I still like writing though.

    There’s big business in worms – I think we’ll be eating them soon what with all that’s going on in the world. 😆

    1. Hey Ian, worms is indeed big business and it’s strange l was talking with someone the other day who was saying that in the next twenty years if not less, worms will become part of the English cuisine market ….. mm yummy hahaha.

      I used to run forums of my own and in my last business made a strong brand repuation with the use of forums, they were l agree very convenient forms of media communication although some could be quite ‘catty’.

        1. Hahaha so like whelks and jellied eels and the such like then, we could serve them in little compost cups with chocolate covered microbia sprinkles … hahahaha 🙂

    1. I agree, but also it is down to interpretation – l have made mistakes, but l do see them as positive mistakes, but they were still mistakes all the same 🙂

  4. This blog looks very nice and I like the name change for your business blog. It’s very welcoming. ☺️ It seems like you’ve found a good balance of “guy” and business and a writing schedule that really works for you. That’s Terrific, so happy to hear so. ☺️

  5. Zen Mental Yoga Master🙇🏼‍♀️
    I’m very happy to read that you’re groovin… that your only frustrations in the future, blog-wise, will probably be all the “great improvements” WP has in store for us🤦🏼‍♀️ Looks like you’ve got the rest satisfactorily sorted, or on the way to being sorted.
    💌💌

  6. Mistakes in your blog are from your perspective, Rory. Your readers may not see things that way. I agree with Ashley and don’t think there are mistakes when it comes to blogging. You have a wonderful blog and your time spent working on it makes it shine.

    1. Hey Eugenia 🙂

      Oh yes very much so – the mistakes l acknowledge is down to me and whilst l can see them as positive learning curves, they were mistakes that the reader wouldn’t see as such.

      For me, it is pathways l took that l thought would be good, but years later l look back and think, mm, that was not the right path to have walked.

      But it was a learning curve as said 🙂

        1. Well you asked me this ..

          Have you read Introduction To Work Study?

          What is that with reference to? Do you mean a book? I looked one up earlier, do you make reference to this?

          INTRODUCTION TO WORK STUDY Rodger Koppa, P.E., Ph.D. Industrial and Systems Engineering

          If so, then no l haven’t. Is it a good read?

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