Today I helped my Dad stack a load of firewood. When you are picking up pieces of firewood, putting them into a wheel barrow and wheeling them to the backyard you have some time to think. Today I thought about how I have a day off and I really need to be working on my Prfessor courses except I saw that a big stack of firewood needed to be put away. So rather than hole up in the house I figured I’d give Dad a hand. While I picked up each mismatched piece of firewood I began to formulate this post.
How Blogging is like Stacking Wood.
When you start blogging you may feel like there are so many pieces in play that you can’t possibly find room for them. This is similar to getting a load of firewood dumped onto your driveway. You are now looking at a huge pile of seemingly unrelated pieces that you now need to put into some semblance of order so that they can be used effectively. So think of a pile of wood dumped onto a driveway as the jumble of social media options that you have including widgets, blog posts and various other pieces of a blog. It sort of looks like a tangled mess. And somehow you have to make sense of it.
Making Sense of the woodpile
When you are stacking a pile of wood into something that you can use effectively you have to pick and choose what fits in the appropriate place. No matter how hard you try you are going to come across pieces that just will not fit at all. These you need to set aside for use in some other way or you may need to cut them apart to make them fit, but that isn’t always practical or worthwhile. In blogging you need to choose what is going to work best for your blog. There may be an interesting new widget that you want to try. However, this widget may not work well with your design or it may just try and take over. I installed Amazon Smartlinks from Get Glue a while back as a widget and then everything I linked to with Amazon was not a crazy pop up that not only had my affiliate link but the Get Glue one. Sorry buster that won’t fly with me. I will have My own affiliate links thank you very much.
Too Many Choices
While looking through the pile of wood and trying to decide how to turn a dumped pile of wood into a neatly stacked woodpile there seems like there are so many choices. You have to pick and choose what goes in the best places. While in blogging we are constantly bombarded by the latest and greatest things and everyone wants a little more of our time. With Twitter, Facebook and Youtube leading the pack and a bunch of others vying to be the next big thing you have to decide what is worth your time. What is going to take up real estate on your blog and what are you going to spend time working with.
Creating Order from Chaos
As I brought load after load of wood to the backyard and dumped it on the ground my Dad would carefully pick the pieces that he wanted to make a nice tightly stacked woodpile. He had to make efficient use of space and also make sure that the wood wasn’t too high either. And the wood had to be usable as well. In the middle of the winter when we go through the snow and get more wood for the house it has to be something we can get quickly without disturbing the whole pile. Imagine going out to get some more wood from the woodpile in the middle of winter and taking one piece off the pile and having it all fall over. So to create order from chaos you have to be careful in how you build from the beginning.
With Blogging if you take widgets and chicklets and banners and google adsense and everything else slap it together and post some content every once in a while sure you have a blog but it won’t be usable for your readers. I hate going to blogs where I am bombarded by adds, chicklets and widgets a plenty and then you have the icons that say that you won some arbitrary linkbait contest. You don’t need it and having those things all over your blog scream amateur hour. If you work hard and select the most appropriate content on your blog and write compelling content you won’t need all the garbage and fluff that detracts from what is really important. Build your blog carefully and as you get another pile of seemingly mismatched stuff carefully select that which you will use and you will wind up with a decent looking woodpile.. er blog.
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