Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The Big Blog Idea
Once my job had ended and I was newly unemployed at the beginning of March 2009 I began looking for new employment. I had not been out job hunting for twenty years, before the pervasiveness of the internet. In fact, I've never really had to seriously "hunt" for a job for very long. In the past, jobs had always been easy for me to find and they usually came to me rather than me hunting for them. I figured that with my experience, a job, despite a bad economy, would fall quickly into my lap.
This was not to be so. Jobs were in short supply in the Los Angeles area. In addition, I was under the curse of being "overqualified" which is typically hiring code for "we're looking for someone else". I soon discovered that pounding the pavement and walking in to fill out applications was not the way it was done for most large companies. Now applications were completed over the internet, which certainly saved on driving around and applying in person. I began spending the day on the computer applying for employment online.
Fortunately, after so many years at my previous job, I was eligible for unemployment. I could stay afloat financially for a while, I just wouldn't have the extra money I used to have. With the extra time at home, I began organizing and cleaning things around the house. I discovered that we had a lot of stuff around the house that we really didn't need. If only I could find an easy way to sell it to make some extra money while cleaning up the house at the same time. That's when I decided to open an account on Craigslist.
Things went nicely as I put up items on Craigslist. I was getting rid of things and making some pocket money. Selling over the internet was a nice easy way to do things. However, I noticed that in addition to the email queries about what I was selling I was also getting advertising spam each time I put something up for sale.
The most common spam email offers had to do with "make money at home". This did catch my attention and I started looking at some of the ads. Many of these had to do with making money through Google. For $99 and a small monthly fee, the email sender would set up a blog for me and teach me how to maintain the blog which would earn money from advertising. It sounded interesting.
After some investigation I realized that I didn't have to pay anybody to set up my blog. Google would provide me all that I needed to set up my own blog. I followed the procedure at the Google site and put in my information to open an account. That's when I discovered that not only did I already have the account, I also had a blog that was ready to go. I looked and sure enough there was the Tossing It Out blog page just as I had left it nearly a year and a half earlier. All I had to do now was start writing.
I studied the Google tutorials and researched some other aspects of blogging for a couple of days. I set up my blogger profile. Then I signed up for Google Adsense which was my real purpose in wanting to blog. I was going to become wealthy by merely sitting at my computer and putting up blog posts. The Adsense notification advised me that it might take up to two weeks to get approval. This would give me some time to get some articles online and establish what kind of blog I was writing to make ad placement easier.
My decision was to start out focusing on Halloween since that day was coming up and I knew the advertising should be heavy for Halloween related sites. I would begin by writing exclusively about Halloween since that was what my background had been related to for the previous twenty years.
On the afternoon of Sunday, September 20, 2009 I began writing my first blog post. It was a random stream of consciousness sort of thing with several uses of what I understood to be key words. I included lots of mentions of "Halloween" with a few other holidays thrown in for good measure. Then at 6:51 PM I posted my first blog entry called Halloween Is Coming. No one made a single comment--in fact you can still go back and leave a belated comment if you'd like and even read that first uncertain post on Tossing It Out.
And so it began. For the next several days I was posting articles about Halloween. The first word in every post was "Halloween". I was doing things the way I understood them to work. I continued to study the topic of blogging so I could understand how to get top Google search engine placement, more followers, and readers to comment.
I very quickly decided to produce the best quality writing that I could. After all, I had always thought of myself as a writer and now I had an opportunity to introduce my writing to a wider audience than I had ever had at any previous time. On my third post I developed my blog mission statement. I wanted to treat my blog with a professional approach. I wanted to take this blog seriously.
To be continued tomorrow.......