I’ve been blogging since September 2005. 6 months. Woohoo. However, in that short span of time, I’ve gotten to know dozens of amazing people who have blogs of their own. Some of their blogs are reflected in the “Scouts” link to the left, and others are mentioned under “Places I’ve Been,” also to the left.

Since beginining, I’ve felt somewhat like an Amway family. I am PRO-blogging. I could go on and on with reasons for it, but the challenge of disciplined writing combined with life observation is high up on the list. the opportunity to build new relationships in which I eventually/intentionally communicate my belief in Christ as being life’s ultimate joy is also high up on the list…

Anyway, the Amway-ness comes out in the fact that I’ve influenced several folks I know to begin blogging… Of the ones I know, here’s a short list. Some have even begun in the last week!

  • Matt Parker of Widebody Blog fame
  • Jim Parker of XperienceStuff (Matt may have influenced him more than me, but since his blog is so good, I’m gonna claim him too!)
  • Suzanne Parker (again, Matt may have had more to do with this than me, but now that this whole family has been converted to blogging, it looks good for me to put them in my column) of Joyful Chaos blog (which I predict will pass her husband’s blog in popularity and humor)
  • Kristy Hales of Half-Tied Ribbons – Kristy went from making fun of my blog to starting one and obsessing over it. I love it.
  • Dawn Reed at HanAndHudMom Blog – Dawn’s husband, Stacy, idolizes me, so it was just a matter of time before this family began blogging as well.
  • Brandi Williams who just started today calls her blog, “Adult No More!”
  • My Wife! She just started (3/1/06). Her blog is here.
  • My Son! Our 8 year-old has transitioned from fantasy football to blogging… Maybe this will help him on the benchmark “open response.”



If there are others of you out there that I’ve unintentionally drug into the blogosphere either by starting one of becoming a “lurker,” please let me know in a comment on this entry so I can claim you too!

Tips for Blogging…
Not that my 6-month stint at blogging makes me an expert, but heck, a few blogging bread crumbs fall from my table occasionally that I’m willing to let the dogs eat…

  1. Use whatever services are out there to help track, promote, and give your blog more visibility. In my “Blog Bits” to the left, you’ll see several nifty services that help get your blog and information out there. I stumbled on SiteMeter the other day and posted it. It’s awesome. Technorati will also help you see who’s linking to your blog (supposedly. I’ve had mixed success with it. If you know how to make it improve, please comment!)
  2. Use “tags” or keywords for search engines. Pete Freitag has a great explanation for this burdgeoning internet indexing approach here. In Typepad and other services, there should be an option called “Advanced” or something similar as you post that allows you to enter keywords with your post. Do it. It helps people find you or what you’re writing about.
  3. Ping, baby, ping. Just type in “Ping Service” in Google, and you’ll see dozens. From what this rookie understands, when you “ping,” you’re basically ringing the doorbell of a service that helps index the net. A ping is a notice that you’ve done something new on your blog. (if there’s a better explanation, please comment!)
  4. Don’t be a lurker! Post comments. If you read other people’s blogs, make sure to comment regularly. From personal experience, this IS A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT to the blogger, AND it also serves another purpose. Most posts allow you to enter your blog’s address or URL. Do it. People who are reading comments see your incredibly intelligent or inane observation and then want to know more about you and will click on your URL or name. Voila! You suddenly pick up a lurker from someone else’s blog who linked to yours via the comments. With any luck, they will recommend your blog to others, and you get more input, traffic, and build your relational influence.
  5. Have something worth saying. OK, admittedly, every blogger sometimes has a post or two or 40 that are just as bland as soggy cornflakes. I’ve been there. And I know that sometimes a post is not going to appeal to every reader. (Like when I post about Macs… PC users hate being reminded that we don’t have to reinstall our operating system every 3 hours, worry about viruses, and actually enjoy every moment of our computing experience…) However, it is pretty important that you have well-thought-out, informed, and somewhat entertaining posts on a semi-regular basis. If you don’t, then you’ll only have a few people coming back regularly. (Thanks, Mom!)
  6. Somewhat similar to the above… FOCUS. This is something my blog does NOT do well. But from what I understand, the best blogs have an overall theme and focus. I’d appreciate comments about what you think about that… What blogs do you find yourself reading the most? Why? Do they have a focus? Or do you read them more for the blogger?
  7. Talk about your blog. (In our small southeast Arkansas town, it’s a little awkward sometimes… When I talk about my blog, I sometimes feel like I need to defend my heterosexuality. But hunters have internet too. I know of one in particular who is delighted about Google Earth because he can check out where he’s going to hunt!
  8. Send occasional emails to your address book. I call them “shameless blog promotion” emails. Don’t overdo it, but you’ll be surprised how much traffic you’ll get. Every visitor is a potential referr-er.
  9. Tip your favorite bloggers often and well. They’ll have something like a “Tip Jar” icon over the the right of their blog… It’s, uh, right underneath the “Copy? Right!” divider. See it over there? Now click on it… (OK… so maybe not ALL bloggers have a tip jar, but heck, buy me a cup of coffee for these great tips… Or an Xbox game…)
  10. Enjoy blogging! I can’t say it enough. If you feel like you HAVE to do it, you’re missing the point. Somewhere in there, you’ve got to like it, or it will just become another chore. But don’t give up too soon. Part of your dislike of it all may be the self-discipline part of it. We ALL need more discipline in our lives, and blogging may be a great way for you to begin in one area!

Thanks for reading! And check out some of my friends’ blogs while you’re at it!

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