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My Trip to Chicago for a Conference

Back in 2005, I was already blogging about a game called World of Warcraft. I started on Blogspot and began writing every day as a way of journaling my way through my levels playing the game, as it’s a game that your character “levels up” as you play and gain experience. My memory was notoriously bad enough to warrant wanting to keep a record of things. I don’t know why, but I’m grateful that I did, as it would later become my career and way I bring in money. Websites and writing, that is, not playing the game.

I soon moved to the WordPress platform when my traffic reached levels that I thought deserved a domain name, so I bought a domain name and got a terrific hosting plan. I distinctly remember how painful it was to purchase an $80/yr plan up front, but it forever changed my life as I continued to write, break my site, fix my site, and grow an audience.

One blog I visited regularly at work was a haven for positive professionals who mused about life topics and business decisions. While I didn’t own a business yet (though I fantasized daily about being my own boss), I found that I had a knack for weighing options and discerning right and wrong in complex ethical situations based on others’ feedback of my comments. The Spring after Beautiful and I were wed – Spring of 2007 – the community around this blog organized a conference in Chicago called SOBCon: Successful Online Bloggers Conference.

Houston, we have a problem

I was flat broke. We were making enough to get by, but a $200 plane ticket, overnight in a Chicago hotel, and a $600 conference ticket were all out of the question. [Read more…]

Blog About Living With Cystic Fibrosis

This entry is part [part not set] of 19 in the series What CFers Do

Mac KeyboardI’ve been blogging since October 2005. It all started innocently enough: a daily diary of my gameplay time in the online game, World of Warcraft. My memory is so terrible, I thought it would be neat to create a daily account of my time in the game, and ended up creating a whole persona and eventually a following of fans that would follow me from game server to game server as they filled up and got too slow to enjoy playing on. It was an incredible sense of “someone cares about what I’m writing about.”

Traffic got up to over 1,300 unique visitors per day and I was raking in the money with link ads and affiliate sales. Those were the golden years of my blogging life. It’s stalled at 801 posts, even though I still play a few hours per week to relax – I just haven’t taken the time to continue posting my exploits. Financially, I should… those were good days. 😉

Time for a personal site – how about talking about CF?

In May of 2007, while leaving for Chicago for my first blogging conference, SOBCon (no, not that kind of SOB – Successful Online Bloggers), I got onto my host and created my personal blog so I could talk about something other than my digital persona without being weird. It turns out that most of my regular readers actually cared about the person between the chair and keyboard, but it looked strange to me to have a story about Beautiful freaking out about a spider on a site dedicated to a game. It was time to have a personal site. I just wanted to have a place to post everything about my first trip to Chicago for a cool geek conference. A WoW blog was no place to house that sort of content.

Yet cystic fibrosis hardly ever came up. I just did a search of the 445 posts on my personal site, and the phrase “cystic fibrosis” only comes up 13 times in 3 years. I clearly didn’t want to talk about it.

Writing brings validation and reality to a topic

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How to Blog About Any Topic – Better

I’ve been blogging a long time – since 2005, actually. Not as long as some, but longer than most. It’s been a passion of mine for quite a while, even consuming a tad bit too much of my time when I was supposed to be doing other things during the day (including countless hours on Darren Rowse’s, but that has given me lots of practice and tips. I’ve taken it to the next level in the last 18 months and left my day job and run my own LLC consulting, building, designing, and modifying peoples’ personal and business sites to run on the blogging platform this site is built on: WordPress. I love what I do now so much, I often don’t realize that I’m working because it’s so darn fun to blog, design, and improve peoples’ situations.

Today, I’ll share some of them with you so you can either start your blog or improve it from where it is today… for FREE! Some of the tips involve some minimal costs, but not everything on this list needs to be taken to the letter to be successful. YOU make it successful, while your tools are just there to make it easier.


AuthenticEven if you’re penning your blog anonymously, you absolutely must be authentic. Whether you’re an impartial camera equipment editor or a health blogger, the audience must be able to connect with you or they will not stay. You will see a bunch of one-time visits accounting of one page view, and they’re gone. You just weren’t interesting.

You can go two ways with this: [Read more…]