Blog Posts About Something vs Nothing

I have known for years that the most visited posts I write are those that are “pillar posts” or in other words posts about something specific. For example, I wrote a post about the brain and anger several years ago and it remains one of my most highly visited posts. At the same time, I wrote a detailed post on acronyms for personal development and it gets scant attention. Even though that post is about something, it apparently is not about a very highly searched for something. Then there are my short pithy posts that are about nothing. The “Seinfeld” posts if you will. These are my online diary, my journal. In these I just seek to complete some sort of thought in hopes of growing as a writer and person. The challenge in these is simply to be regular at writing them. I have had posts like this gather huge interest as well, but not as much.

I suppose if you are a celebrity the journal entry is the best to write because people care about the minutiae of your day. I think these posts are valuable because they keep my readers updated on what’s up with me. Most my readers who produce Adsense and other advertising dollars will come in for the pillar posts but I don’t want a blog experience that consists of simply writing pillar content. The online diarist in me seeks to reach out and hopes that over time he will produce “Seinfeld” content that entertains.

Blog Stats 2-12

What is C.A.N.? Simply put: I self-rank my blogs based on three criteria: backlinks, visitors, and dollars earned. C.A.N. breaks down specifically as: C: circulation (# of backlinks) A: analytics (# of visitors) N: net (# of dollar earnings) The higher the C and A, the higher the Net payout. Some months I make more than others depending on the effort and time I put in.

C: (via Alexa)
rileycentral.net 148
rileycentral.net 145
dynamitelessonplan.com 82
blogwithdamien.com 36

A: (via Google Analytics)
rileycentral.net 3,661 Visits
rileycentral.net 224 Visits
dynamitelessonplan.com 672 Visits
blogwithdamien.com 562 Visits

N: via Paypal/adsense check in the given month from all blogs.
Total: $165

Blog Stats for March 2010

March 2010

Circulation
Yahoo inlinks: 6695

Analytics
Absolute Unique Visitors: 7,024
Average Visits/Day: 248
Feed Subscribers: 463

Net
PayU2Blog:$ 75.00
Adsense: $ 23.64

Total: $ 98.64

Reflection: While the month’s payout isn’t even my usual minimum of $200, I feel more successful than ever. I found 2 good companies to work with that I can rely on and who I think have staying power. I used to get so many nickels and dimes from a variety of sources and it wears on you after a while. I have hope that my “one” blog now will eventually get the traffic and inlinks it needs to get larger offers from advertisers. I want to say thank you to my feed subscribers, I hope you guys are enjoying the content. I should get some write some good articles in the next 10 days while I am on Spring Break. In addition, my 3 months off for Summer are right around the corner. I hope to “modernize” my blog a bit during that time. I also really like the “Announcements” category and top subheading section. It’s a way to keep people up with “Damien at the Speed of Life.”

I Want to Be Somebody’s Shaman When I Grow Up

IMG_2283My kid Julie is 7. Sometimes she clams up but other times the has the most side splitting things to say. Tonight she said: “When I grow up I want to be a singer, a teacher, and work at Sonic.” I told her she would be all those things and then some.

It’s funny how they tell you as a child how you will one day choose your job. In my life it’s usually been the other way around. They ought to be asking how will you deal with the job you get? I’m going back to my classroom/job in a few days. As I sit here in this nice jacuzzi I think about the job that chose me and how I can be the best that I can be. “You’re in the Army now kid. Your fun is over now back to front.”

When I grow up I want to be relaxed, confident, somebody’s Shaman, maybe just my own. Oh yeah, and maybe work at Sonic. It sounds fun when Julie says it.

Morning – First to Forget a Wrong

Morning is the time when we get ready for the day, unless we are on vacation. It’s a time a little boost of coffee, some music perhaps, and an infusion of vision for what lay ahead in the next 8 to 12 hours. I’m learning the health value of meditating in the morning. In addition to meditation, I am reading that shifting from task to task should be done gradually. Would you shift your car from 1st to 5th gear? Hardly. What about the reverse? I think not. The morning is a time when we “break fast.” We should be putting healthy things inside our bodies. We are organic vehicles.

Morning can be a time to forgive relatives and friends. Maybe we can make the relatives friends again. It’s up to us to forget bad memories. We can rake the garden for healing. It is not in our control to heal things but we can way lay the plains. Maybe being the first to forget a wrong that was done is a good idea in the morning … and the last to remember. A fight will only live as long as it is brought up. Maybe in the morning when we are calm and peaceful we can accept that it’s okay to let animosity and vengeance die. Some things go away with time but even if they stay we can stave them off for a while at least in the morning.

The Discipline of Blogging and My Detour

I haven’t been blogging, I’ve been living. I’m still doing a lot of microblogging on Twitter and Facebook. It’s addictive but make no mistake it’s not the discipline of writing blog posts. I have a friend who is a disciplined writer and I envy him. I hope to get back into a discipline of blogging this weekend and into the next few weeks. I know for sure the Summer will be my return to blogging. I know this: without taking the time to live, I have nothing of value to blog about. In that way, I am being responsible. Thanks for being patient, watch this feed.

Darn Right I’m Thankful for Women and my Wife in Particular

My wife deserves to always be ahead of me. Ironically though, is behind me in the kitchen right now making my favorite food: enchiladas. My wife rocks. It should be noted to further show reason for thankfulness that she herself is not a big fan of these. This is just another day in the life of my awesome awesome wife. Now I am not a Christian thinker when it comes to the role of women. I do not believe they exist to serve me or any of that complete garbage you hear in church (I heard it all my life). I think women are probably the best thing on Earth and therefore I am writing this post explaining why.

I am thankful for my wife for so many reasons, her making me enchiladas is merely one. Women are attentive to the needs of those around them and they possess a sort of constant sadness that comes from knowing the pain of those in their community. Women can be patient or impatient but all care, it seems, more than men about most domestic issues (ie; the home). At the same time, they excel in neatness and often are better than men in the workplace.

I won’t even get into the beauty of their physical appearance because anyone with eyes can see that. If there were no women in the world, we men would be suffering let me tell you. I can’t help but think of what a gay man might say to this article. He might say exactly what I am saying. You don’t have to be sexually attracted to women to note their “way” and what it means to the world. Last, women birth the children of this world. Not only do I believe in equal rights, some days when I mess up and a woman saves me, I almost think men should be inferior for a while, we are bumbling fools sometimes. Yes indeed, I am indeed thankful for women.

Everything Looks Different When it’s the Last Time

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” -James Dean

I am a huge fan of traditional ceremonies: graduations, retirement dinners, birthdays, and other rites of passage. Life is unpredictable but tradition gives us a chance to plan and react slowly instead of abruptly. You never really know when it’s your last time to do something. For example, when we had a ceremony for the last day of AYSO soccer for my son, I didn’t know that would be the last time I would coach him. I planned to do it many more times but alas, it would never happen again. If my wife and I hadn’t held that ceremony at Nick’s Pizza and handed out trophies, we would have lost that season to scattered and chance memories. As it is, we have photos of Nick’s Pizza and the smiling kids’ faces that I recall coaching and helping to have fun that season. I was thinking today about how we don’t know when what we are doing is about to end. I think it is natural for us humans to think as if what we are doing is eternal, or at least something that will go on a long time. The truth is, people are plucked from this ethereal delusion every day. It may sound morbid but what about the guy or girl who gets killed by a drunk driver on the way to her/his wedding? Or what about the guy who teaches guitar and then loses his fingers from diabetic complications to never play or teach guitar again. These are bummer thoughts I admit so I will step away from them now. I am not really talking about death or other “unhappy endings” as motives here. Instead I am talking about transforming ones consciousness. I’m appealing to you the reader and trying to get your agreement that everything, when it’s the last time, looks different. Still, I want to drive home the reminder that we are not really in control of whether we continue or discontinue even in terms of living or dying. So, we should live in a state cognizant of that.

I would recommend that we live each event and moment as if it is our last. There is more consciousness and awareness in that place than in assuming there will be more. It also is an excellent antidote for boredom. It is impossible to be bored when you know something is almost over. As a teacher, my kids sometimes get bored when we are reading a story aloud or watching an educational video. When I tell them, “This is the end part,” I always see them pay closer attention. What if we could get into that habit in all the tasks and experiences we go through. The result would be deeper experience. We might give more time to our children if we knew we didn’t have as much time as we thought. Tonight, at my daughter’s dance class, I know we won’t be back. We may try tumbling but the experiences here have not been the best a customer could experience. As a result we are moving on. I guess that’s why I am writing to you tonight to enjoy any classes or games or recitals you may get the luck to attend as if it’s the last time. In a way, everything we do always is. You might say there is a last time for everything.

“Life is always walking up to us and saying, “Come on in, the living’s fine,” and what do we do? Back off and take its picture.” -Russell Baker

Make it an Excellent Workday

There are many more ways, but I was thinking this morning that a process always helps. Perhaps you can add your own to this list:

  1. Wake up on time (alarm clock with a mellow station).
  2. Make some good coffee.
  3. Have your outfit all picked out the night before (not always possible I know).
  4. Train your school-age son(daughter) to make the lunches (LOL).
  5. Have a CD picked out with music that inspires you, make sure it is in your car.
  6. As you are getting your coffee made and last minute stuff, start your car and turn the heat on full-blast (winter only).
  7. As you drive to work, think about the possibilities of the day. Look at struggles and worries as merely opportunities to see life a new way and improve yourself.
  8. Think about positive things as you listen to your music on the way. Admire the beauty of the desert all around you.
  9. Consciously remember to smile at people today, you affect others more than you know.
  10. Be ready, for anything and when anything comes your way, accept it as either a positive or an opportunity.
  11. Commit yourself to be 100% in the moment. This means not worrying about the future or the past. I have found they both take care of themselves.
  12. Create a relevant greeting to use so you don’t get tongue tied in those stressful moments. When you see someone at work, say: ___________. (examples: Hi, 3 day weekend. Happy Thursday. Hang in there, etc.)
  13. Have pictures of your kids on your desk and focus on the reasons you work.
  14. Make another CD of your favorite songs and play it in your office area or MP3 player if this is possible in your workspace. For me, its in my classroom before the kids come in.
  15. If you have friends at work that won’t mind, send them a short email letting them know you are thinking of them and that you hope they have a great day. The replies throughout the day are great to remind you of the same thing.
  16. Take time to breathe and do nothing for a few mintes before work. Meditate, pray, think, be still … etc.
  17. If a bunch of stuff has been cluttering somewhere for a while, its probably not crucial. Put it all out of sight temporarily (a cabinet, a bin, a box etc.). This will create a clear place in your work area that can help you see possibilities.
  18. Structure your day with an agenda by hour and check it off as you go.
  19. Say this statement three times out loud when you are alone: “I am fortunate.”
  20. Accept that there is something larger than yourself and surrender that you are small in the big scheme of things. Even if you wanted to be in control of everything, it wouldn’t be possible so be faithful in the small things on your agenda and make it an excellent day.

What do you do to have a good workday?