Leaving Behind My Dog Days as a Blogger

by Jan Geronimo on April 5, 2009

Two children bathing in a small metal bath tubImage via Wikipedia

In this post, I’d tell you a little story about our dog Ditton. How fearful she is about bathing and how this relates to me as newbie blogger.

First things first, Ditton is an askal. A local variety of dog common in the streets in the Philippines. Pedigreed or not, the summer heat beats down on all of us. Today being a Sunday I have scooped Ditton up from his doghouse to give her a bath. She resisted me and wailed for all she’s got – you would have thought I’d been prepping him up for dinner.

I suffered scratches from all her flailing about. She made up for all the aggravation when she licked me all over after I was done bathing her.

I’m telling you this little story because this was how I used to feel on my scheduled posting day. I used to drag my ass to the desktop to get my post done. Must be stage fright – the thought of a global audience can freeze any timid soul. And the peanut gallery might not take kindly to my half-baked ideas. Those kind of silly fears.

Four months hence, I’m eying deadlines with a lot less fear and irritation. I have hit my blogging rhythm. There’s nothing like a supportive community of readers to keep you going. Even on my non-blogging days I feel an unexplained hunger to dash off a few notes to my readers. Blog post ideas swirl thickly about my head in my work and even when I try to sleep. I’ve even dreamed about writing risque posts and be laughed at out loud in the social media.

Have I tamed the online beast?

Not quite. But I have learned to work around it to get things done.Don’t look now, but I have won over my habit of checking my AdSense earnings every single day – I haven’t looked in the last two months. I can’t give up checking Google Analytics though. If I do, how else will I find out that a lot of you, dear readers, are driving modest traffic to my blog. You not only fulfill my need for conversations, but you’re also sending warm bodies to this quiet blog. Thank you, thank you.

To this day, I still haven’t lifted a finger to understand SEO and all that mumbo jumbo so I will be loved by Google. Of course, Google still doesn’t love me. I’m grateful, however, for some unexpected morsels that dropped my way from the bounteous Google table. It has rewarded me with a Page Rank 2.

I’m as perplexed as you are, my friends. Perhaps it’s Google way of saying I had better stay put in Blogger? Whatever, Matt. Just a thought: I would have a made a post myself had I got a Page Rank 0 – that it’s no skin off my nose. Just want to make that clear. I’m capable of that, too.

I have learned to value what is essential to my blogging. Frankly, I don’t live for these metrics. I have found my self-worth on the things I write about and the conversations that spring from them. There’s value in those interaction. I’d rather write for you. I have no love lost for a machine no matter how semantically gifted its algorithm may be.

Clarity of purpose
. I started this blog writing on whatever caught my fancy. Three months hence, I have narrowed my focus on three things: writing, blogging, and the social media. Who knows much farther down the road I’d train my sights on a few more, or lose one or the other. The essential thing is that I write about things that make my heart leap to my throat, right?

At the core of the things I love is writing. We have a tenuous hold on life in this planet, living as we are on borrowed time. I just hope that in this short stint it will have been said – in my lifetime – that writing defines me. It’s all I ask.

Sean Platt who writes posts as perfect as a boquet of flowers has this to say about writing:

Language is the landscape, populating the white space of an otherwise empty page. Our ideas are the seeds we plant and our words are the blossoms in spring time.

For the rest of this blog’s natural life, I’d do my best to be more lucid as a writer. Like Sean. Because I’d like to gift you with those blossoms in spring time, too. Failing that, I’m not above dragging myself like I did to our dog Ditton for a quick dip to clear the cobwebs in this aging brain.

Related Posts:

Little Known Way to Overcome the Fear of Blogging
Top Foolproof Writing Tip
Get Rid of Your Feeling of Inadequacy as a Writer Once and for All

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  • jan
    I have a story to tell about my effort at SEO. Totally unexpected, will email it to you one of these days.

    We will study it one important SEO topic at a time. If they can understand it, so will we. Pareho lang naman kumakain ng bigas eh. lol. Hey, in fairness to diTesco, he's got lot of good resources in his blog.

    What's our advantage is that we can email him or tweet him to keep us informed with regard to the difficult or hard to master parts of SEO. Parang summer class ba sa mga sumemplang sa regular classes. That's us. :)
  • elmot
    and you have proven yourself to be doing real good in these three spots big bro.

    seo is indeed such a nosebleed. is there a pill to take for one to automatically know this?

    i have studying this one but everything is like sheaths of air passing and then all is nothing.
  • Jan
    @diTesco: I have the same mindset,diTesco. Every little things counts. As of today, nothing counts but it does not faze me. I'm just laying the foundation and the deed is not yet done. There's a time to collect. For now, it's work, all work.

    I'm thinking of that, too. I'll contact you when I've decided on the matter.

  • ditesco
    @Jan. Thanks for the recommendation. I really appreciate that. One word about AdSense and why I do make some money out of it. I have 64 domains (including my flagship iblogzone). All those domains are either "Embarked", parked, being flipped, or are blogs in different niches. All run AdSense (without being cluttered I hope) and a few clicks here and there allow me to earn something. Obviously, it is not fantastic, but as I said before, every bit counts.

    BTW, did you know that you can have your own Custom Domain name and remain in blogger at the same time? Let me know if you want to adventure yourself with a new Domain name.
  • Jan
    @Yatot: I think you have a hand in my having a good showing in PR. You know that. Thanks. ",)
  • yatot
    grabe kaya naman pala ako naubo kasi pinag-uusapan nila ako dito... ahhahhha... well, anyway, congrats on your PR 2 ranking!

    by the way, I have also posted some simple SEO tips for beginner bloggers... if you or your readers happen to have interest in SEO-ing... you can find my post here. Thanks. bye see yah around!
  • Jan
    @fifi: I recommend diTesco's blog: iBlogzone. Or Rocky at weblogzone. Or you read up on Darren Rowse: problogger.

    It's Holy Week so we can't reach Yatot. He's in Hong Kong now. You know - somewhere north of Metro Manila. hahaha.

    These guys can help you beyond what you read on their posts. Except of course Darren. He's Darren, after all. And every body wants a piece of him so we can't have him. But you can always read what he's up to in his blog. lol
  • fifi
    i'm lost in translation here. can somebody please speak english? lol which blogs do you recommend so i'll get a crash course on these SEO, pr, etc. stuff? need to catch up real fast.
  • Jan
    @elmot: SEO is such a nosebleed. But if there's no getting around it except to apply myself in its proper study, I will. I might. Okay, I'm assigning a clump of neurons the size of a modest sitio to study at the very least one aspect of SEO every week. Hayys...Better yet, you had better learn the stuff and give me the lowdown in summary. lol.

    Those are three large areas. Can't be hardly called a proper niche. But I have it on good authority that having three categories is not such a bad thing. lol

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. What are buddies for, right? hahaha.
  • elmot
    i am also trying to learn some SEO fundamentals...and i think it would really eat up my time.

    wow, i am happy that you have fixed your eyes now on your niche bro!

    you are a good writer and i know that this blog will soon zoom up the ranks of pinoy blogs. :D
  • Jan
    @bingkee: Between the PR and moving to a new home, I'd always pick moving as it is more important. PR comes and goes. I don't even know how it works. Even a lot of so-called experts can only second-guess what Google is up to. hahaha.

    I don't know why I put up with this ads. Yeah, I forget. It's for coffee. lol.

    DiTesco has lots of SEO resources on his blog. Maybe I should spend more time there than usual.
  • bingkee
    When i started my blog, I got a PR2 after 2 months starting it, then went up to 3 then dropped to 0. I bought a new domain name but remained on the same host and then it's back to 3 again. They say you will lose your Alexa rank and PR if you change host and domain name. Although my Alexa dropped, my PR increase after the change. So don't be anxious about transferring to another platform. You will gain it back.
    As for Adsense, since I started putting those ads last August 2008, I only made $40.00 DiTesco said he earns a lot from Adsense and he said it's about placement of the ad zones.

    But I'm not particular about that because I want my blog to look neat and organized so I arranged my ads in a way that does not clutter the whole page. Some blogs just scatter their Google AdSense ads all over from the banner, to the header, both sidebars and after every post. For me, this is too distracting.
  • Jan
    @lemuel: Truth to tell, SEO is the most boring aspect of blogging to me. I'd rather watch cartoons on TV. lol.

    But coffee is my passion too. So if I know what's good for me I had better buckle down to work on that friggin SEO whatever. hahaha. But one morsel per week only - it hurts my brain too much. :)

    Thanks for the tip though.
  • lemuel
    hey, congrats for the page rank 2. its an achievement, and by the time google sets a new page rank (i think by july) you might get a page rank 3. if you will be interested in SEO thing, your adsense might increase a little bit. I know a few bloggers who get at least $1 a day from adsense from their page rank 3. i know you are not into earning from your blog, but if you get your $100 check in 3 months, that's a nice reward for you and for you to pay for your coffee....thanks!
  • Jan
    @ I'm more forthcoming in my writing, that's my observation. In real life, I don't open up easily. Even among friends. I'm more of a listener type.

    In writing, I find myself not skimping on my emotions. If the idea in the post is not worth its weight in gold, then I make up with the best approximation of my feelings as I write it. lol. Of course, I keep a tight rein of them as well not to freak out my readers. I hope I did not freak you out. :)
  • Petit
    you sound girlish on this blog this time, thanking your readers,and a bit emotional lol. somebody might ask what has gotten into you. i think you're just being reflective on how far you've achieved in our blog community (4 months), and how well you've united us into becoming friends.
    so, let me be the first to say... YOU'RE WELCOME!!! and thanks to blogging...mapa nosebleed o mapawrong grammar...amen to that.
  • Jan
    @dede: Thanks, bro. :)
  • dede
    HI, Bro!

    Thanks for recent visit. Now, i am following your twitter!

  • Jan
    @petit: I know now I'm having a modest number of readers. Some of them make the number of pageviews higher than the number of unique visitors (no. of new readers and returning readers). I'm flattered they're digging up. But I'm a little wary: are they digging up something to incriminate me? lol. Kidding of course.

    How much have I earned so far? Sean Platts referred to AdSense as AdCents in his guest post at diTesco's iBlogzone.com during the early months of his blog writerdad. I'd like to appropriate that term. So to answer your question: no, certainly not. It's still by adding up by the cents. The last time I looked was in February. And it reported $1.70 something. I don't want to look again. hahaha.

    Oh, I will tell you. I will not write a post about it, but I can always send you an email. Don't wait to exhale. You might get the notice in 2011. lol

    @fifi: It's all seemed so long ago, fifi. But I dimly remember I checked into Google Adsense site and signed up. It's easy for us bloggers because we already have a gmail account. Once registered, I think you sit back and relax till they send you a code which you'd then pasted on your blog template. It's easy. Plus, their Adsense page has step by step tutorial on the implementation of the code and the optimum placement of ads.

    I recommend the more technically gifted people among us here, if you need more help. Yatot is very helpful, if he's not in Hongkong. lol. diTesco is a very knowledgeable dude, too. And he has lots of helpful posts about ad placements and other stuff on making money for your blog.

    Twitter is like IM on steroids. You can reach Yatot here: http://twitter.com/yatotchroni....

    Here's diTesco: http://twitter.com/ditesco

    Of course, I can break the ice for you with these guys if you want me too. Anytime.
  • fifi
    so how do you get the earnings? like you really receive a check for it? i keep on reading these ads on earning from blog but i don't have any idea how is it ever done.
  • Petit
    you might probably thought nobody's reading your blog because no one care to comment about it, but once adsense reports your earnings, its uplifting to know somebody really reads. i really don't care too how much i earn. its the audience that counts. jan, for sure, is very wealthy now, friends and adsense earnings. have you reached 100$ already? you tell me if you received a check already ha.
  • Jan
    @Lorrene: Thanks, Grandma Lorrene. I'm glad your troublesome knees allowed you to visit me today. Is it still acting up?

    You have a lifetime of good living to serve the blogging beast. And a delicious way of serving nutritious, laugh out loud morsels/posts. Fame can be such a hassle, but I think with your spunk you'd find a way to skirt around it.

    If I'm as lucky as you are I'd be grinning from ear to ear with 40 dollars. Coffee time! It will be big deal for me, if it comes. lol
  • Grandma Blog
    I didn't have any trouble coming up with writing material at all until I found that people really do read these things. Now I have blog panic. I am trying to recover from it. Speaking of Ad sense earnings, I have made a total of about 40 dollars in the two years since I started it. Big Deal !!!
  • Jan
    @Earthlingorgeous: Google can't spank a lady, it turned out. I'm happy for you.

    Gosh. I will lose this when I eventually move out to a new home. No matter, as long as you and other readers stay, it's fine by me.

    @Fifi: Terry Heath of terryheath.com has a fine post about not narrowing your blog to a single focus. He suggests that a serving of different topics or flavors is not so bad. His post: "The Baskin-Robbins Method of Niche Blogging"

    It's a great read. Highly recommended.

    Oh, after I've plastered some ads here, I barely bother with them. I've considered them as a small investment to pay for my coffee. When I'm less harried I promised myself to learn more about them. But for now, I couldn't care less. lol.

    @Terry: I'm so flattered you have come and shared your thoughts. Thank you.

    I draw my strength from reading writers of your caliber. Call it content gluttony, but I must have my fill. I'd be back shortly. :)
  • Terry Heath
    @Jan: I happen to think writing about writing is a worthwhile thing to do, of course. ;-)

    Glad to see you are sticking with it and learning what really is important along the way, and even more glad to hear you sharing it. These stories are so much more true than so many blogs about blogging will tell us.

    Keep up the good blog!
  • fifi
    if there is one thing i learn from this blog, that is for one not to be so self-absorbed and be too critical about others' writing. that's why pala you have always focused on writing because you've narrowed down the scope. i wonder when that time (of narrowing down things) will come for me. i don't understand anything about pr2, google adsense, etc. hahaha... enlighten the uninitiated.
  • earthlingorgeous
    Weee! Looks like G is very generous lately most of I know gained PR 2 while some were spanked real bad. We should celebrate earthlingorgeous.com got a PR 2 too and to think I just moved out! weeeeee!
  • Jan
    @Dee: It's all I write about. I just hope there's more where they come from. :)
  • Dee
    You can never go wrong with blogging, writing and social media. They're the "it" things right now. It's good that you've narrowed it down. :D
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