How to Get Where You’re Going

How are you going to get where you are going?  It’s a fairly simple question.  If you’re taking a trip, you find a map and plot your course.  Even that has been extremely simplified in recent years.  Instead of a Sextant, you only need an internet connection and a browser pointed to mapquest or google maps.

There are some that have the innate ability to get where they are going without a map.  They just get in the car and drive and manage, somehow, to get where they’re going.  Those people amaze me.

Enough with the analogy.  Those very same people exist in every walk of life.  There are those that can just as easily pick up a pc and make the pieces work together.  No manual needed.  There are also those that seem to get the knack for making money online just as easily.  Some will claim that they work hard for their money and even harder to get to where they are.  Most are telling the truth.  Some are lying.

The point of all of this is to make the statement that I am not one of those people.  While I do make money online, it isn’t anywhere near the amount that I would like it to be nor does it increase in leaps and bounds.  Instead, my income has been steady for several months.  All because I don’t have a map.

Unlike travel, there isn’t a one-stop place to get your map for making money online.  You’ll need to make several stops along the way to get your bearings and direction.  Maybe you’ll start off at Darren Rowse Boulevard headed in a Problogger sort of direction.  Then you stop off at the Aaron Wall SEO Stop looking for a little bit of a map for making the great Googely Moogely happy.   Somewhere along the way, you get distracted by the bright lights of John Chow Avenue.  Weeks or Months later, you find yourself still marveling at the pretty lights and have expanded your wonder to encompass the John Cow Court and the SuperAffiliate Alley (sorry, I like alliteration).  And lets not forget the wonder that is ShoeMoney Marketplace.

Sound familiar?  It does to me.  Mostly because I just told you what my path has been so far.  I started all this off with some inspiration from Darren.  I learned a little SEO on the way from Aaron.  Then I stumbled upon John Chow.  And he’s great for looking at in amazement because he’s a true success story for money bloggers.  But he isn’t so great for learning much from.  Heck, John only posts about 2 or so posts a week that he actually penned.  The rest are paid reviews and guest posts.  Good for him.  If I was making 30k a month on my one site, I don’t think I’d want to be writing many posts either.

Then come on down to John Cow’s pasture.  What began as a full fledged mimic of John Chow has become an icon in it’s own right.  But, again, great story and little direct helpful direction.  Although a great read, it’s not going to get you anywhere.

Then there’s Zac Johnson and Jeremy Schoemaker.  These guys truly put out some great content. It’s amazing in it’s helpfulness.  They are leaders in their fields and they take the time to try and share what they can.  I enjoy reading both.  But it won’t do you any good if all you do is stare in amazement.

You’ve got to make your map and get in your car and drive.  At that I’ve failed.  I tried to be one of those people that can get in the car and drive, sans map.  I’m not one of those people.  I got lost along the way and have been driving in circles trying to find my way.  Each month I end up at the same intersection and even though it seems like I take a new turn, I still end up right back where I started.

From now on, I’m making a map.  I’m going to set goals for myself to meet each month.  It’s not something that I’ve ever been particularly good at, so I’ll probably miss a few here and there, but I’ll still have them.  And if I have them, I truly do try and hold myself to them.  Especially if I make them public here.

You can do the same.  If you find yourself driving aimlessly through the super blogger/affiliate neighborhood, get yourself a map.  Stop trying to drive without a map.  Decide what you want to accomplish in the next month and write it down.  Hold yourself to it.  Share it if you want. But do make a map.

Are You Talking at Me or With Me?

I think that sometimes as bloggers we tend to forget what our purpose is.  While many of us would continue blogging even if there were no visitors, many of us are in it for the money as well.  And the only good way to get any bit of money is to have a pretty good flow of traffic.  And unless you can find a way to get the search engine crawlers to click on ads and show as impressions, that traffic is most likely going to be in the form of readers.  A.K.A real live human beings.

Those readers WILL have an opinion on every little thing that you do.  Every post you make is open to their criticism. Every design flaw will be spotted.  And every poor choice will be amplified.

Such an event evidently happened over at John Cow recently.  In my opinion, John Cow responded quite poorly.  In a post entitled “Our Blog Is Not Your Bitch,” the Cow quickly and concisely derides the reader and in the process seems to deride all of the remaining readers.

But is your blog public property? We think not. A blogger pays for his or her domain name, hosting, design and devotes time and effort in writing posts. They provide the public with yet another digital hangout, for free. So what does a reader do? They read, sometimes have discussions in the comments section and –well, there’s no and. Thats basically it, that’s all they do.

I think someone has forgotten who pays the bills.  He goes on to blather about how it’s a readers choice as to whether they read a blog or not and that it’s his choice what content he puts out.

We don’t like it when people tell us what to do –especially not with our own personal blog. Reading our blog is your free choice, writing it is ours.

Well.  You’ve been told haven’t you.

I’m not going to say that the Cow doesn’t have some right to be like this.  It is his blog and as such, he can write whatever he wants.  And yes, if the reader doesn’t like it, it is their choice as to whether they read or not.  However, the blogosphere is a community. And in a community, people talk WITH each other, not AT each other.  What John Cow just made clear with that post is that he wants to talk AT you.  Do you want to be talked at?  Me either.