Rethinking Blogging

Recently, my blogs were suspended by my host for malware. Wait a minute? Why didn’t my host deal with that? I’m rethinking blogging. In the past few months I’ve found blogging to be more time-consuming and problematic than it’s ever been. It’s time for a change.

seaside-371229_1280 Rethinking blogging: Photo of man by ocean thinkiing

I’ve been blogging for more than four years. I’ve had a half dozen or more blogs. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve played the game. I’ve tried to attract followers and gain traffic. I’ve had creative blogs and I’ve blogged about creativity. I’ve blogged about practical topics such as blogging and writing. I’ve decided that I’m done blogging as you know it.

I’m rethinking blogging. Who? What? Why? When? Where?

These are the critical questions: Who am I? What is my blog about? Why do I blog? Where do I blog? When do I blog?  Let’s take a crack at ’em:

Who? From time to time we need to ask ourselves who we are. Let’s start with who I’m not. I’m not a salesperson. I’m not slick. I’m not greedy. Now onto who I am. I’m creative. I’m a writer. I’m a songwriter. I’m a poet. I’m a believer. I’m a minimalist, or at least a pragmatist.

What? This has been my constant struggle. What is my blog about? I’ve changed my topic several times. Last fall, I split my blog up into four blogs in an attempt to have more refined niches. That’s what I was told to do to gain more traffic. Create a niche. Guess what? It didn’t do any good. Now I have four blogs with low traffic instead of one with decent traffic. Currently, this blog is about… well, I’m not exactly sure. But does it really have to be about any one thing? Frankly, I think that’s dull and boring. 

Why? I’ve blogged for two reasons. The right one and the wrong one. The right reason is simple: I’ve blogged as a personal space to reflect on my own life through creative writing. The wrong reason: I’ve blogged to try to gain a following and create a future source of income.

When? I’ve blogged all the time. I’ve spent too many hours stuck on the computer in an attempt to gain more traffic. I’ve sometimes let my family and personal life slide for the sake of a vain dream of becoming a well-known blogger. I’ve stayed up too late and got up too early to work on my blogs. 

Where? I’ve blogged on a WordPress platform through Fat Cow Web Hosting. This has come with a steep learning curve, lots of technical frustrations, and most recently, a cyber attack on my files. This attack has led me to where I am: rethinking blogging.

So here’s where this is heading. I’m in the process of making some major decisions about blogging. I’m rethinking blogging from the ground up, starting with my platform and host. I’m thinking about leaving WordPress and Fat Cow. Later this year, or early in 2016, I’ll be creating one new blog and slowly letting go of most or all of my existing blogs. 

I’ll be keeping you posted…

Keepin’ it Simple / Hip Diggs / Simple Writer / Simple Blogger / Twitter / RSS

Mystery Road

way-768567_1280 Mystery Road: Photo of a foggy road

I can’t believe I’ve come this far

After all the stupid crap I’ve done

I really thought I’d be long gone

Now I’m too old to die young

So I’ll keep rolling down this old mystery road

With every hill and turn, there’s a lesson learned, I know

I thank God I’m still alive out here on mystery road

Copyright 2014 by Dan Erickson and Missouri-Bound Music

Keepin’ it Simple / Hip Diggs / Simple Writer / Simple Blogger / Twitter / RSS

Another Summer Without Internet

Last summer, I turned off my Internet connection at home. This summer, I’m Going to do it again. I know what you’re thinking. I’m crazy. Maybe I am. Maybe you are if you stay connected 24/7. I’m spending a summer without Internet. 

bench-185234_1280 Summer without internet: Photo of bench in the wilderness

Why spend a summer without Internet?

Until I was about 30 years old, we had no Internet. We did just fine without it. Sure, the Internet has helped us in many ways. We can communicate with people at distances mush easier. We can create and share writing, music, podcasts, videos, and more at the push of a button. We can find a variety of knowledge with ease. But we’ve lost a few things, too. Things like going to the library to do research, writing letters, and calling the ones you love on the phone. 

That’s not exactly why I’m going offline at home again this summer. It goes further than that. Last year, I discovered that by cutting back on my Internet use, I was able to more fully appreciate the natural world. I spent more time outdoors. I spent more time working in my yard, getting my hands in the dirt. I spent more time with my daughter.

That leads me to an even more important reason for taking time off the Internet: Annie. My daughter, Annie, is growing up in an era of instant digital gratification. When she’s “bored,” she turns to TV, video games, and a plethora of mindless digital entertainment.

I want Annie to experience living rather than zoning out in front of screens. So this summer we’ll be spending time without Internet. What does a summer without Internet mean for my blogs and my readers?  

I’ll still be posting throughout most of the summer:

I tend to preschedule posts on most of my blogs. My summer is already scheduled through the summer at the following blogs: hipdiggs.com, simplwrtr.com, and simplblogger.com. I like to keep this blog a little more spontaneous. I’ll still post periodically throughout the summer. I’ll have access to the Internet at work. I’ll make weekly trips to wifi spots to do important updates. I’ll still have a few GB of Internet on my iPhone. So I won’t disappear completely. 

So check back for posts about my summer and about the future of my blogging network. There will be changes coming as we near 2016. I’ll also post some songs and poetry throughout the summer. But mostly, I’m going to do my best to do less online and enjoy life. How about you? 

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Time For A Reality Check

So let’s get straight to the point. We’re all going to die. Here’s the question: What are you going to do with your life while you’re living? Are you going to live in fear? Are you going to worry? Are you going to chase silly dreams? Or will you follow the path that’s been laid before you? It’s time for a reality check.sunlight-166733_1280 Reality check: Photo of a path into the sunset

Life is precious. God and family are the most important things in this life. So why waste time on anything else? It’s time for a reality check. Have you been wasting time? If you do any of the following, you may be wasting your time:

  1. Worry about money.
  2. Worry about health.
  3. Worry about anything.
  4. Spend more than a few minutes on social media a day.
  5. Watch more than an hour of TV a day.
  6. Play video games.
  7. Surf the web for mindless entertainment.
  8. Argue over menial things.
  9. Read trash.
  10. Watch trash.
  11. Push too hard to become successful.

You get the idea. Much of what we do is frivolous. Worry steals our hope. Entertainment falsely leads us to believe we’re happy. Success tricks us into always believing we need more. But life is limited. And everything we need is right before us.  What we do with our lives is important. There’s a path before you. Will you take it?

The path before you was laid before you even existed. It’s been there since the dawn of time. It’s in your heart. You’ll know it when you’re on it. You’ll know when you wander. 

The path is God.

Reality check. You won’t live forever. Are you doing what you’re meant to do? Are you doing what you were put here to do? If you’re wandering without aim, you may be off the path. If you’re pushing too hard for success, you may be off the path. If you’re not doing something that you love, you may be off the path. But most of all, if you’re not serving God and your loved ones, you are off the path.

We all need to reevaluate form time to time. I’ve been looking at my own life. I’m going to make a point to stay on the path that was laid before me. Will you do the same?

We’re all going to die. Do what you love today. Do what’s best for your God and your family now. Tomorrow may be too late. I hope this reality check has helped.

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