ROW80 Challenge – Check In 5/10/2015

imageROW80 Round 2 started April 6, 2015

Checking in late on a Sunday. Here’s a report of my progress toward goals.

  1. Daily Post prompt each day. Great practice. I can’t get the full effect because for some reason my blog is not sending ping backs. This could require literally starting again and re importing my best posts. Not happy this is not working. Stay tuned. Have done it every day despite.
  2. Include UBC link on FB and Twitter link with hashtags #ROW80  #blogboost  #journaling including commenting on other people’s blogs. – This is cake.
  3. Participate in Mid-week Wednesday and End-week Sunday check-ins for ROW80. – Here I am!
  4. Write in and keep up my paper journal / Bullet Journal daily using Journal Junkie’s May Challenge prompts (and April) or research pure bullet journal ideas and try some. Make a photo post on my Tumblr with these tag options #bullet journal   #journaling   #journaling-junkie   #paperjournal   #May journaling challenge – Did this every day. Troubleshooting the pingback issue has been stealing time.
  5. Crosspost above to my blog as a photo post. – done
  6. Post image one last time directly to Twitter as a photo status with one hashtag #journaling -done

For now goals are the same. This is a cool challenge. The Bullet Journal is something I want to explore much more.

Diary Entry 7/7/2017 – I Love to Feel the Rain in the Summertime

A few cool things to share this morning, this:

My wife’s friend at work picked this us at a record store since my wife shared I was a big Alarm fan. I’m in awe!

And this …

Sarah and I went to the movies last night.

Oh and one other thing, I got called up to be on the panel Sunday on the LAMBcast. My good friend MovieROB is Leading because he won MOTM with Saving Private Ryan. I watched it yesterday while eating buffalo wings. I don’t mean any disrespect, but they were so good!

Life is good! I’ll be wise to not fly too high as it isn’t how high you jump but how straight you walk when you hit the ground again. An old church quote I picked up that has served me well.

Damien Scott

 

 

The Value of my Blog :: “A”

“Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.” — Herman Hesse
Ben Eine Letter a stands for aphoristic.

Let’s face the fact as bloggers not everyone agrees on what is valuable to a blog. There are some things that are universal though. I started this series writing about an acronym v.a.l.u.e. and specifically the “V” in value for a blog. I chose the word “visceral” and targeted to a nice short 200 words because so many blogs have posts that are too long and not heartfelt.

In this post, I teach you to make posts that are short and “aphoristic.” An aphorism is a short quote or phrase. Another word for this might be “quotable.”

Writing a blog is unlike writing a book. Readers rarely will “curl up with a good blog.” On the other hand, when they read a book they are more patient and allow more time for ideas to develop. SO, be careful to not fall into the trap of thinking you are a JK Rowling or Eckhart Tolle online. Even if you write that well, you have a different sort of audience that doesn’t want to hang out long.

Here are three tips on how to add value to your blog by being aphoristic:

  1. Wait to create your title until you have written your 200 or so words in your post. 9 times out of 10 you will have a better title after you have the post.
  2. As you write thing more in sound-bytes, or lines people could quote. I did that when I wrote: “Readers rarely will “curl up with a good blog.” On the other hand, when they read a book they are more patient and allow more time for ideas to develop.”
  3. Use the blockquote function as much as possible without being over-the-top.

So now we’ve covered 2 aspects of a valuable blog: 1) visceral, and 2) aphoristic.

The VALUE of My Blog :: “V”

VWrite 200 Visceral words

Improving your blog should be a concern if you are a blogger, especially if you are looking to make money blogging. For years I have studied how to increase the value of my blog. As a results I started this series with the letters V.A.L.U.E. The stuff that has been worth my time doing however has been stuff that increases the VALUE of my posts and blog. I am talking about the stuff that increases my traffic and decreases the bounce rate: So, having said that that, I will examine a letter from the word VALUE in each post in this series. I’d encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss anything. Let’s start with what you can do to create more value for your blog: V.A.L.U.E. V=visceral

  1. Be visceral with a target of 200 words

If you are like me, you have to look up visceral to know what it truly means. I knew it meant to be “of feeling” but check out the other definitions:
Visceral Vis”cer*al, a. [Cf. F. visc[‘e]ral, LL. visceralis.]
1. (Anat.) Of, pertaining to, or affecting the viscera;
splanchnic.
[1913 Webster]

  1. Fig.: Having deep sensibility. [R.] –Bp. Reynolds.
    [1913 Webster]

  2. proceeding from emotion or instinct rather than from
    intellect; deeply emotional; — as, a visceral reaction.
    [PJC]

  3. dealing with coarse or base emotions; — as, a visceral
    literary style. –[RHUD]
    [PJC] (source)

Doesn’t that say it all for a valuable blog post? Write from a place of inspiration. That will vary from writer to writer, but many things never change. I chose 200 words as my target because shorter that that is often considered spam by the search engines and more than that often makes me click away. Let’s face it, who has time in their bloghop to read more than 200 words. Oh and guess what else? IT’S EASY TO WRITE 200 words! Everybody likes stuff that’s easy. Sometimes longer posts are okay when they contain excellent research, but as a general rule, 200 words will be read whereas more may not.

Write 200 visceral words is the first part of adding value to a post/blog. Stay tuned to my blog for the next post in this series.

my CAN Blog Stats February 2010

I’m 7 days late in writing this monthly blog stat post. Perhaps it’s because I experienced so much change in my blogging that I had no space to think about it in my brain. In February I did something gargantuan like the Kraken in Clash of the Titans. While some people are giving away a Bluetooth headset to their 1,000th visitor etc, I am now blogging with far less ambition. My drive to produce quality content is still there, but I’ve toned it way down. This is most clearly shown in how I merged all three of my blogs into this one. Damien at the Speed of Life is now my one and only blog. I’ll probably have more to say about it later but for now I will tell you it is a pleasurable feeling with only one “house to keep in order.” Here are my stats the first month after merging:

Circulation: Backlinks may be weird this month. I applied a 301 redirect with a wildcard. That means that a post that was once h ttp://rileycentral.net/class will be redirected to rileycentral.net/class and so on throughout the old blog being migrated. Inlinks for February: 5,211 (source Yahoo Site Explorer).

Analytics: Traffic of course surged. Redirects from the 2 old domains is causing this. Time will tell if I sustan numbers like these. Visitors in Feb: 6,180

Net: Currently my 2 income sources are Google Adsense and a company called PayU2Blog that I highly recommend you try writing for. They do have very strict guidelines though. Know that before you apply. In February I made: $160 Google Adsense and $110 from PayU2Blog. I also made $16.25 from TextLink Ads but they have dropped me from their service. They say they will re-evaluate my blog later to see if I qualify again. They were a pretty solid $20-50 a month when I had three blogs so I hope they’ll take me on again. Total NET for Feb: $286.75 I don’t know that March will be this high but I am still getting work from PayU2Blog and the other day I made over $5 on Adsense so things look hopeful. I am mostly glad I have less to maintain so I can spend more time with my wife and kids and less time managing three lightly visited blogs.

Blog Stats August 2009

My blog stats for the month of August 2009

PFTFF-Psychology Blog
10,753 Backlinks
5,202 Visits

DLP-Teaching Blog
3,424 Backlinks
2,241 Visits

DATSOL-Online Diary (YOU ARE HERE)
5,675 Backlinks
1,106 Visits

Net for all blogs= $293
(Includes my $111 Adsense check #2)
Other companies that pay you to blog.

Data Sources:
Backlinks-Yahoo
Visits-Google Analytics
Net-PayPal

Notes: This month?s theme: “Natural traffic.” This means traffic you get when you exert little or no exerted effort.  This is a significant number to watch, especially if it holds solid.  Natural traffic is gold.  It doesn’t mean you stop promoting your blog and posts, but this is a sign of a blog with staying power to make money. I admit I was a bit lazy in August.  I need to be more proactive about promoting my Adsense optimized posts and take more paid opps.  September I hope to be back closer to that good old $400 number. See you then.

Blog Stats May 2009

These are my 3 blogs’ stats for May 2009. I record them here monthly for my benefit and to hopefully start a discussion on blog income and popularity.

I used the following sources to gather my data: For backlinks, Yahoo! Site Explorer; for visits, Google Analytics; and, for Net payment I just look at my PayPal statement.

Postcards from the Funny Farm
Backlinks: 8,238
Visits: 6,173

Damien at the Speed of Life
Backlinks: 4,579
Visits: 1,370

Dynamite Lesson Plan
Backlinks: 2,386
Visits: 1,207

Total earnings were $274.

Notes and reflections: May was a disappointing month in some ways and a revolutionarily cool one in others. I lost PageRank on my personal blog and Postcards which were both my biggest ad sources of income. Of course, the monster of irony is that the ads I got prior to losing my PageRank will now cease. It’s a dilemma that will probably never halt between good-hearted bloggers who seek to make a living and Google who seeks to take all that away. On a stranger note, my teaching blog gained a PageRank notch and is now a 3. If you look, last month I pretty much did every other post as a paid post … go figure. Google will never counsel you or tell you why they do what they do but in a way it’s a good thing:

I always explore more new things when I have no PR.

“Plenty to live for and nothin’ to lose.” -Dave Sharp

In a word I’ll describe my plans for June: “automate.”

’nuff said. See you with the blog stats that will follow on the other side of 40 in July. Take it easy.

So there ya have it! While I am always working on a perfect model to make money and reputation online, these folks are working an a better treatment for acne. I recommend checking their site out if that is an issue you struggle with. A lot of people do.

Blog Stats April 2009

This is a post I’ve brought out of my archives. I used to measure my blogs’ success or lack of progress in a monthly stats post where I used the acronym “CAN” for myself as well as interested readers. Should I bring it back? Maybe, it really did work to keep me focused. Some of the links are dead, so I just put it up for fun and posterity. How do you measure your blog stats?

This post reports my blog stats for the month of April 2009. The purpose is to provide advertisers with 100% transparency for my blogs. The criteria is represented by the acronym CAN:

Circulation (or backlinks)
Analytics -and-
Net (or dollars earned)

Then I list some notes about my stats.
An archive of past blog stats can be found an the CAN Blog Stats archives.

Circulation (# of Google backlinks)
Postcards from the Funny Farm: was 218 is 178  (2)
Damien at the Speed of Life: was 21 is 54 (1)
Dynamite Lesson Plan: was 14 is 8 (1)
The Damien Riley Podcast: was 0 is 5 (1)

Analytics (# of visits last 30 days)
Postcards from the Funny Farm: was 6,074 is 8,919 (1)
Damien at the Speed of Life: was 606 is 508 (1)
Dynamite Lesson Plan: was 903 is 1,119 (1)
The Damien Riley Podcast: was 368 is 132 (0)

Net: was $235.38 is $386.43 (3)
Blog income sources I used.

CAN Blog Rank for April 2009:
Postcards from the Funny Farm:  6/15= 40%
Damien at the Speed of Life:  5/15= 33%
Dynamite Lesson Plan:  5/15= 33%
The Damien Riley Podcast:  4/15= 27%

Notes: Quick data analysis:
Positives
Damien at the Speed of Life and the Damien Riley Podcast increased their Circulation, and Postcards and Dynamite Lesson Plan both had a significant increase in Analytics. All blogs combined earned an almost record high Net of  $386.43.

Opportunities
Postcards and Dynamite Lesson Plan dropped in circulation. Damien at the Speed of Life and the Damien Riley Podcast dropped in Analytics.

Goals
Circulation is increasing when I have quality, relevant content people will link to. I will be writing on more topical, pillar post type issues rather than personal diary stuff.  Then I will try network with people who enjoy my stuf and asking them to submit it to social media.  My hope is that it will get linked to.  I will also be submitting some of my best articles to Article Avenue.
Analytics are decreasing when I am not posting as much.  I will make an effort to post updates every day and to comment on other sites as well as “drop” my Entrecard as much as possible.  After all, if you write something relevant and interesting, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if no one visits you site.
Net was huge last month.  I turned away about 50% of the sponsored post offers I received.  Unfortunately Google reduced my Postcards PR to a zero again so I am not optimistic about getting the same amount of offers.  I will continue to provide quality content whether paid or not and as always provide my readers and advertisers with 100% transparency in these monthly updates.  I see nothing wrong with doing sponsored posts when they are written well and I am recommending to you a product I believe in.  Therefore, as long as advertisers will continue to hire me, I will continue to do it.

Column: ‘Blogging from Nowhere Land’

If you find a sleepy nowhere land to live in and it’s fairly close to everywhere, you should buy a house there. Nowhere Land is highly under-rated, on the contrary, it can be quite juicy with life! Not everyone can live where it’s happening. Heck, nowadays with the internet, everything is happening everywhere, nowhere men and women are harder to find. 

cropped-profile_2015_hawaiiluau_300px.jpgDamien Riley is a blogger and podcaster who writes a column at RileyCentral.blog once a week. He has an MA in English from California State University, Fullerton, he married a princess (now his queen) and together they have 3 children.

Living nowhere has its advantages. I live in a town called Victorville and it’s conveniently seated 2 hours South of Las Vegas and about one hour from Los Angeles. The only thing to do here is going to movies and go out to eat. We have the basic corporate chains: Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Red Robin. These are great places to eat, I’m not knocking them. Living in the high desert dusty sands of Victorville can have its advantages though.When you want to go to see a film, Cinemark holds the monopoly up here. Tomorrow I’m going to see a novelty showing of the original Planet of the Apes, which will be insanely fun. Still, we don’t get indie films up here and the theaters cycle in the trendy blockbuster stuff week in and week out. This is fun, as long as I can get someone to go with me. My wife used to be gung-ho for any film I wanted to see, I remember driving way “down the hill” (This is a colloquial term for driving South down the Cajon Pass toward Los Angeles and Orange County.) On that date we drove about 90 miles to the UC Irvine move theater to see Jennifer Lawrence in an indie film called Winter’s Bone. Over the years, her mind has become more closed to crazy indie films like that, especially the horror and goofy stuff I’m reviewing these days: ie; Tusk, Swiss Army Man. So, I have taken to seeing films like these with my daughters or by myself at home. If I review a trendy blockbuster, it’s likely I saw it with my wife. Horror or goofy, I probably didn’t.
We have a mall up here that is first class. I still like to shop at Barnes and Noble, even though I really don’t read. If I have a general interest like lowering blood pressure or another sort of fact sheet, I might look up a free pdf online and read it in my Nook. Otherwise, I’ve learned I don’t have as much patience for books these days. I push myself to read other peoples’ blog posts but books are sort of on the back burner for now. The last novel I read was Nos4a2 by Stephen King’s son “Joe Hill.” He also wrote Horns which was a horror that I truly loved. There is an amazing food court and a Starbucks kiosk. I’m an avid coffee drinker so I love to get a Starbucks on my app. Every purchase earns me stars and enough stars gets me a free drink. Starbucks is a holy word in my house. My wife and I must spend 10K there a year (guesstimate). They have a See’s Candy store in there where I have bought my wife Valentine’s Day candy for years. The line is never unreasonable. I used to live in Orange County and I can tell you there is almost always a mile long line in those malls for See’s Candy on Valentine’s day.

There are a few parks up here that are pleasant to hang out at. They are hot in the Summer though. I think anyone living up here learns a way to get wet and stay cool. I have my pool. It costs me a lot to keep up but I love it so I spend happily. Jumping in a pool up here on a 108F day is akin to a religious experience. In the evenings, I enjoy my jacuzzi that I usually heat up to 101F. Kids love playing at the park. There are regular “ice cream man” trucks that jingle by. One plays the Music Box Dancer song by Frank Mills and I always love hearing it. Liberty Park is a great place to have an impromptu picnic. Several times we have picked up a box or friend chicken, some drinks and sides, and laid down a blanket for a tasty lunch. The kids get to play and we can lay around with our laptops or just lay on each other’s stomachs and have a nap.

I guess when I say there is nothing much to do here I mean cultural things. There are no playhouses or theaters. There is a community college but no University. I say it’s no wonder why so many denizens up here succumb to drug use. Crystal Meth and Heroin are a couple of the big ones. I’m sure LA and Hollywood have problems with more expensive drugs. I guess that’s why I started blogging a few years after I moved here. I could connect with people all over the world through the blog software Wordpress. Facebook wasn’t invented yet so there was still a little prestige and mystique in blogging. Nowadays when I say I’m a blogger, some people equate that with someone addicted to social media. The blogging I do is far more content oriented. It is social but I seek to leave the world a better place with the articles I leave behind. Facebook is more about liking your friend’s son’s Bah Mitzvah (sp?).

As a teacher, I get breaks throughout the calendar year. My contract is from August to June with some weeks off in-between. Even when we were struggling financially years ago, my wife Sarah and I made sure to plan and take family vacations as much as possible. We still do. This past Summer we went to Hawaii, OC Beaches, we’re going to Vegas in a few days, and tons of movies, restaurants and other stuff. We really do live like Kings. Still, before anyone go resenting us, trust me we live month-to-month and both of us have hefty student loan payments. Our son can’t qualify to waive his college tuition, so we feel sometimes on the outside up here. I don’t ask for anyone’s sympathy but I would appreciate a level of respect that we made choices to get where we are and there are always consequences whether you make choices for college of not. It’s called adult life.

It’s a sleepy place I live in but I recommend a place like this for life. We aren’t a stone’s throw from anywhere but we can get in the car and be somewhere pretty quick. And so do you see the value of living in nowhere land? Oh I almost forgot, the traffic is virtually non-existent.