Saturday, August 30, 2014

Taking Stock at Six O’Clock: Beginning My Blogging Career (August 2014)

A number of my friends who are also my readers have asked me questions about my experiences since I started blogging in February 2014. They want to know:

  •  How did I get started? 
  •  What were some of my key decision points?
  •   Where do I get my ideas?
  •   How long does it take for me to write a post?   
  •   What have been some of my most thrilling moments? 
  •   How do I keep on doing it?

So I decided that about every six months, i.e. Six O’Clock by my blog dial, I’ll do a highlights report on my time as a self-styled, independent blogger.
Starting Out/Key Decision Points:

Three of the biggest decision points as I was starting out were:
1.) focusing on a topical area and refining its scope, i.e. for me--wristwatches;  2.) selecting a blog name then getting it registered; 
3.) choosing a content publishing platform.  

I’ve described my blog scope and name choice in my About Me page.

Thanks to the book, Blogging Made Simple: Powerful Techniques for Blogging Success by Michael  H. Fleischner and Justin Freid which I read in January 2014, I selected Google’s Blogger as the platform for publishing my content.  It was free, easy to navigate and understand for me, a blogging novice. I then registered as my domain name through GoDaddy. 

Another key decision point was to join Darren Rowse’s online blogging community, ProBlogger  in March.  This has given me access to other emerging and seasoned bloggers around the world and real-time as well as archived webinars.  One ProBlogger webinar I highly recommend is Crafting Content for Your Blog.  It aired just this month.

Getting Ideas:

I mainly get my ideas from what is happening around me at the time, magazines and books I’m reading, other watch/jewelry blog sites I especially like and images that strike me as making a unique, time-related statement.  

For example, my second post, OMEGA: Longstanding Olympian was triggered by the excitement and media coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Likewise I couldn’t escape FIFA World Cup soccer fever and ended up writing about Hublot and GaGà MILANO brands.  Longines’ advertisements featuring Kate Winslett and Simon Baker  in Time Magazine, a Ralph Lauren ad in WSJ, and a Chanel video on YouTube all led to postings.  A  J. G. Ballard short story, The Garden of Time served as the literary equivalent of Chaumet’s Hortensia tourbillon timepiece.

And my most recent post, The Sons of August began with the desire to connect e World War I’s 100th anniversary with trench watches and an art installation at the Tower of London.

My favorite watch/jewelry blogs include WorldTempus, WatchTime, nawcc/watchnews, and The JewelleryEditor.

Writing Posts:

I work on several posts at a time, although I won't publish all of them. Generally, it takes me up to three weeks, working off and on to research and write what I consider ready-for-prime-time material.  Heavy editing and proofreading take their toll on my initial drafts. And yes, I keep a postings ideas book, consisting mainly of working titles and back-up jottings.

Most Thrilling Moments:

Reaching my 10th posting on April 6thArt Sourcing Time. 

Receiving very positive feedback on two particular posts, Hublot’s Vivacious Contender and  Discovering Timeless Beauty Unexpectedly from watch brands' GaGà MILANO and RSW corporate marketing officials.

 Surpassing 3,500 all-time page views on August 29th.

 Realizing that I had an international readership that goes beyond the U.S. and includes the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Brazil, China, the Ukraine and Russia.

AND the ultimate rush, finishing a post and hitting the PUBLISH button.

Sustaining the Writing:

How do I sustain my enthusiasm to keep blogging?  That’s simple.  There is so much to discover, explore, and say about time at hand.  There’s even more satisfaction in having the tools and technology available to share it with others instantaneously around the world.

Let me know if any of my comments on my own blogging start-up experiences are similar to yours.

 What you are thinking/how you are doing as a blogger or blog reader?

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