What Well Over 10 Years Of Blogging & Consulting Have Taught Me

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you lived and lived well.”  That provides strong principles and values, a useful framework, to live by but is it a useful definition of purpose?  I offer a simpler take:

The purpose of life is to find your true purpose.

This article will explore my journey, not for the sake of mere self-indulgence but for the purpose of helping you on your own journey and perhaps getting to know each other better.  I hope that, by the end, you’ll realize just how valuable and accomplished you are.  If you’re at a crossroads in life, this may be the article for you.  If you have any thoughts to share, please don’t be shy.  This one will be quite the journey!

This epic collection of stories and scattered thoughts will cover a lot of things, including, but not limited to:

  • How writing can be a tool of self-discovery and self-improvement
  • What I’ve learned through running Y3B as a vehicle for consulting
  • Going beyond establishing expertise and credibility
  • Toxicity and the dangerous brand of knowledge (i.e. bad advice)
  • Why culture/personality fit trumps technical knowledge and experience

Tomorrow, on April 6th 2017, Y3B turns 11 years old and it will mark an over 20-year journey.  While I’ve dabbled in just about everything and worn many hats, writing and technology have always been passions.  The challenge is translating those passions that into what Mark Schaefer calls sustainable interests, a concept that I have long taught and believed in before the book “Known” was published.  That said, you really should read “Known” and check out the discussion groups on it.

known-book-mark-w-schaefer

I believe blogging is still one of the most powerful tools for those wishing to be known.  On a greater scale, if you wish to establish credibility and visibility, the written word is still one of the most compelling ways to do so.  Writing forces you to really think through your ideas in a way you may not do on a podcast and certainly not video, where you may be more preoccupied with production quality instead of the relevant, uniqueness, and importance of your message/stories.  Writing is easily the most powerful form of communication and it is something everyone should strive to improve upon, if for no other reason than to structure your ideas and self-identity better.

 

I’m Not A Blogger, This Is Not A Blog

When folks have asked me over the last few years what it is that I do, I never answer with blogging.  It’s not my focus or core competency.  I believe that calling yourself a blogger diminishes the value of what you do; furthermore, your blog should be a catalyst for bigger things.  The term “blogger” has become synonymous with hobby or passion, not profession or purpose.  That’s fine if your blog is truly a labor of love but, if it can be so much more, why wouldn’t you develop it as such?

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Jackie Chan Is NOT Dead: Internet Hoaxes & Lazy Content Marketing

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A few days ago, my oldest son told me Jackie Chan was dead. Naturally, my immediate reaction was great sadness and a feeling of immense loss. Like most other red-blooded males, I love kung-fu flicks and often annoy my significant other with them. I also love Jackie Chan as an actor, director, and person. That’s besides the point, though.. Jackie Chan’s death would be the worst celebrity loss since Michael Jackson, in my opinion.

There is an awesome success story too deep to discuss here (Wikipedia has a wealth of history and it is mostly on-point, if you are curious). My love for Jackie Chan runs pretty deep, and I don’t idolize celebrities like most. He possesses traits and core values similar to my own and, in many ways, I aspire to be half the man he is. Jackie’s antics, warm smile, and quirky personality are enchanting, as Guy Kawasaki would say. His sense of humor is tops, which is something my wife would say I lack, in spite of my own beliefs. *smirk*

Being a bit of a Jackie Chan fan boy, I could not simply accept this news at face value. A quick Google search for “Jackie Chan death” revealed that it was yet another Internet hoax. I was relieved and annoyed at the same time.

Are people so devoid of original ideas that their content must be limited to mere pandering and silly hoaxes/stunts? That’s a rhetorical question, BTW.

This is not by any means the only or last Jackie Chan Internet death hoax. It seems anyone who wants site traffic or attention simply panders by writing about celebrity gossip, famous deaths, and silly pop culture. Some may consider Jackie Chan’s sense of humor or comedy style rather corny or over-simplified.. But he is still far more entertaining than most online content today. Truth.

Sadly, there is more to this story. Part of the issues here is that social media and SEO will always be abused. That means there is a lot of junk and lies spreading around! I blame laziness mainly.

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The Thirty-Second Window And How Snappy, Interesting Content WINS!

I just read an article by Max Miroff about Triond and it really put things into perspective because it was short and sweet. It reminded me that I should be more concise at times myself. What I also learned is that Triond.com offers significant residual or passive income to writers at any level. There are a ton of publishing and article submission sites but this particular one seems worth exploring.

Triond.com is unique but how?

Triond.com is unique but how?

After my most recent brainstorming session with JulioFromNY of the Mundane Chatter Podcast, I’ve been reminded that, these days, being interesting alone is not enough. Concise content will often trump more detailed content, regardless of how unique or well produced or written it is. If the subject matter is hot or trending, it’ll get attention. This is where Triond comes into play.

I see Triond as a place for writers to provide snappy teasers and mini-documents based on their existing content library. In doing so, you build up your brand and presence, while earning a little gas or play money on the side, at least for starters. Some say it’s possible to earn massive residual income on Triond (say, around $3200 a month) but, to do so, you have to research subjects and employ thorough SEO/SMO (which I try to do with all my published content, regardless of the medium or platform). I say temper your expectations – there are NO get rich quick solutions (just scams pretending to be shortcuts) out there! Continue reading

Modern Marketing: SEO/SMO Tips And Tricks For The Non-Techie Geeks

Before I proceed, I wanted to mention that the battle for Net Neutrality rages on. Subscribe to the Free Press newsletter to see why this matters. In a few words, privatizing the Internet (going against Net Neutrality) will make it harder for us little guys to stay competitive and making a living. That puts this article into perspective because SEO/SEM and SMO help people with little or no budget dollars get their “thing” discovered.

Be wary of black and purple-hatted quacks!

There are plenty of quacks out there and it only feeds into the whole vibe that online marketing, especially SEO and SMO, is a black art. Truth be told, the non-technical part of SEO and SMO alike are where you want to focus anyway. Nowadays, we see a paradigm shift whereas search engines are rewarding quality content and natural promotions as opposed to ranking keyword-crammed, hacked-up junk high. Continue reading

Y3B’s 50th Post And My Plans As A Writer, Gamer, And Entrepreneur

Hey guys and gals: this is my 50th post on Y3B – WOOHOO!

Now it may not seem like much to the more prominent bloggers, writers, social media rockstars, and master promoters out there but I’m pretty darn excited! I started Y3B as a sort of hobby but, when I realized just how much I love blogging as an extension of my passions in writing, marketing, video games, and creative pursuits thereof, I saw the urgency in ramping up my efforts. Here I am, world!

Prepare for one of my usual long-winded ramblings but, please, let me know if you can relate!

Finding The Perfect Balance In Blogging: Making A Living While Remaining Authentic

One thing I’ve tried to do, almost to a fault, is provide very detailed articles with little or no “content borrowing”. This is a raw, sometimes chaotic, all-original blog and, if I may say so, it’s more than most of the junk out there. Sadly, I don’t have the numbers to show for it but that is my fault. The problem I’ve also discovered is that, in covering all the bases, I leave little left to discuss. Considering the aforementioned, a big focus for me and all “creative engineers” is engaging our audience in ongoing conversations (in other words, retaining our visitors).

Blogging, like many creative ventures (i.e. video game and web design), is a delicate balancing act. We are charged with the responsibility of managing expectations and delivering on our promises. Our readers come to us because they found something they like and to NOT continue building upon that is a wasted effort, whether you’re trying to monetize or just do it for the love and passion of the experience. To that end I say, “Why can’t you do both?” Continue reading

Google EVIL Panda Algorithm Update: Even Greater Urgency For Us Little Guys

UberGizmo recently posted an awesome article about the terrible Google Panda Algorithm Update (thanks to Brinked.com site owner, Will H, for sharing). To say the least, this article was not a good birthday present for me. April 19th 2011 could very well mark a turning point for all of the Internet.
 
The news about Google’s search engine changes comes with some revelations I’ve gathered over the past few years, especially recently. Several sources indicate that around 70 to 99% of (search engine) traffic goes to 1 to 5% of the web sites out there. Whatever the actual numbers are, the lesson remains the same: us little guys are in a real hard place. The minds behind Triberr, a service which helps like-minded people promote their Internet “things”, say that this is a shame because some of the best content can be found outside of “the top”, which I agree with wholeheartedly!

The problem here is that the Google (EVIL) Panda Algorithm Update essentially rewards technically-savvy web sites that lack creativity, heart, and innovation. As UberGizmo so effectively illustrated, someone can take original content, not even crediting the source, and out-rank the originator. WTF?

Google EVIL Panda

Is Google the big bad bear now?

 

I already had plans to ramp-up my creative efforts and create greater urgency for my fellow writers, marketers, and entrepreneurs but now we REALLY have to motivate! With these new rules in play, what can small businesses, bloggers, and innovators do? I have a few ideas… Continue reading

Gaming Clan Series: Let’s Make Video Games Fun Again And Why Gaming Clan Unity Matters

Let’s unite and GAME On!

I just wrote on my Bite Size page about plans to bring video games back to the masses by uniting casual gamers, social clans/groups, and like-minded (indie) developers together. On the surface, it may seem like a excessively redundant, auspicious, or ambitious but I know many of you share the vision and the dream: bringing back the true spirit of video games.

The premise and need is simple: professional gaming and competition as a whole takes the fun out of video games, bringing the focus to money and self-glorification. We want to reward good sportsmanship, principle-driven leadership, and a focus on fun and friendship. The ideal is to give small/ tight-knit clans the tools they need to succeed and maximize their gaming experience. I believe gaming clans and social groups (N-o-F falls into both categories) are the backbone of the video game industry: we make video games more enjoyable and promote the stuff that matters, rather than bolstering mere unsubstantiated hype.

In preparation for the web site launch, I want to gauge everyone’s interests and ideas. This especially applies to folks that remember the “good old days” of video games and want to play with like-minded people to limit the amount of asshat factor in online gaming. The proposed site will be a meeting grounds for gamers that are passionate about the aforementioned ideals. Principle-driven clans/guilds will be able to forge alliances and have the tools needed to recruit efficiently, lead effectively, and set up/join fun events so you get more out of your gaming investments.

…And now for some special thanks… Continue reading