Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Journey of a Thousand Blogs Begins With a Single Post

Special post by Michael Mulligan on the 1,000 day blogiversary

Mike & Helen Mulligan.  Photo by Nicole Mulligan

The day I wrote my first blog post one thousand days ago I felt like I was a novice pawn on a chessboard. I made my opening move without understanding the rules of the game, clueless about what I was doing.  My only writing experience before blogging was penning daily love letters to my wife.  Our spiral notebooks are overflowing with more than 5,000 precious hand-written treasures. 

Prior to entering cyberspace, I never read a single blog.  There was this urge to express my thoughts in writing and I moved my baby pawn forward one step.  That was the beginning of my 1,000 day journey into the fascinating world of blogging, a place to explore and connect with bloggers outside the brick and mortar world I grew up in.

Whether you are a beginner or advanced blogger, each day is an opportunity to create a unique blog message spectators will relish.  Few writers become blogmasters.  The rookie blogger faces opponents who seem larger than life and the checkmates are frequent.  He retires from the game before learning how to master the game.  Every pawn has the potential to become royalty.  In order for that to happen, the writer must withstand numerous assaults on his own king, the very core of a writer’s heart.  Here are some ideas to help protect your king and keep your passion for blogging alive: 

Photo by Mike Mulligan, hand-made chess pieces by T. Mazzola

  1. Be consistent. Readers follow blogs with fresh daily stories.  My followers can set their clocks by my posts.  Every morning at 8:08AM, Pacific Time, my stories are released.  
  2. Never give up.  How many times do you think the greatest chessmasters of the world got checkmated?  Even at their best, there’s always an opponent who can capture the king.  Novices see a greater frequency of checkmates early on in the game, however, the writing lesson is in the defeat.  The rejection letter unveils a pattern of moves leading to an undesired outcome.  Start a new game and learn from the moves that resulted in checkmate.  Every checkmate offers new wisdom as long as you stay in the game.  Play one new game every day.  Forget about yesterday's rejection.
  3. Seek out blogmasters.  The blog world is changing even faster than dog years.  The blogmasters recognize this and take advantage of new writing tools.  Seek out the innovators and apply technology advances to your blog.  I love to experiment with new tools provided free by Google.  They came up first the morning I blindly searched a way to create a blog on Google.
  4. Get support from friends and family members.  Blog writing can be lonely.  Don’t forget to make your friends and family a priority.  Get outside and catch a breath of fresh air while holding hands with your loved one.  It’s easy to lose touch with the outside world when you absorbed in your writing world.
  5. Invite a guest poster to your blog.  A fresh face on your blog can give your readers a new perspective.  This is a great way to gain exposure by networking with other bloggers as passionate about writing as you are. 
  6. Follow the golden rule of guest blogging when you guest post.   That means treat other bloggers the way you want to be treated.  You want other bloggers to offer their best ideas when they post for you.  Do the same for them and avoid serving left-overs.  This is not the time to serve something you picked up at a drive-thru.  Take your time when writing your guest posts and cook up a gourmet meal using the finest ingredients, leaving your host wanting more.
    How about you?  Do you have a comment or idea you would like to share about your blog journey?  What would you like to write about if you are thinking about blogging?

Follow Michael Mulligan on Twitter:  @socalmulligan

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