The Blogger State of the Union-Part 1

Even Smokey the Bear practices SEO when blogging!

I’m three years and change in this little cosmos known as “blogging” world.  When my first ever WordPress post of  Welcome to Skipah’s World went live, I had no idea at the time what it would lead to.  I was in a bad place at the time, and this digital love child of mine became my therapy.  Now I get treated by others as some blogging mentor, which is both humbling and flattering.  I guess I’ve seen a thing or two in blogging world and since Chapter six, paragraph two, of the Cushman SEO, Inc-Guide to Blogging states any experienced blogger must post a blogging how to snippet that makes you sound like a technological god, I guess I better follow protocol.  Read at your own risk!

First off you are a blogger, hell yes, welcome to the club.  We are: men, women, and some of us are even from Philadelphia, but we are a community that helps each other out the best way we can.  WordPress just did their 400th bad update in a row, and your site is crashing worse than the latest North Korean missile launch, you ask your friends in the blogging community and usually the problem will get resolved.  If not we all play an online game of Rock-Paper-Scissors to determine who has to bite the bullet and contact the WordPress tech support.  Since I used to work for the largest aggregate producer in the world, my fellow blogging pals have keyed onto this and lately I’ve been the poor schmuck that gets to deal with someone who speaks my native language as well as I wear a mens romper.  Paper covers rocks even digitally, I can only attest to WordPress woes, but I’m sure similar games are played in the Blogspot community as well as others.

If you don’t play well with others in blogging world you will get outed very quickly.  When your name starts showing up on every Facebook thread, people figure out really fast if you are just there for some cheap web page hits.  Skipah’s first rule of thumb for the new blogger is:  Facebook threads are vital in the early days of blogging to get noticed.  They will also however stunt your blogging growth if you over do it and basically spend all your time swimming in the same internet fishing ponds.  Occasionally a new species of fish will emerge, but you will figure out the time suck you have committed to isn’t worth your time.      

Stick to smaller groups after you are established.  Your sanity will thank you, and you will make some awesome friends by keeping it low key.  If you think Facebook is your go to social media channel for blogging fame, you better be ready to send your sweet uncle Mark Zuckerberg some coin if you want everyone to see it.  Facebook is a business also, and uncle Mark likes Russian caviar as an appetizer as much as the next guy worth billions of dollars.

Speaking of spending money on blogging.  Do not and I repeat do not spend your freaking hard earned money on blogging courses.  If you like giving your money away send me a shout and I will tell you a million charities that would love to use your disposable income for something tangent.  If you fall for this side hustle, you are either lazy or blowing your inheritance.  There isn’t one damn thing a blogging course offers you that you can’t learn by asking Dr. Google himself.  An even better exercise to learn of this absolute hustle is to check the site owners analytics that many websites offer for free.  You would be amazed at how many so called “experts” have less traffic than a desolate country road in Indiana.  If you feel like spending $39.95 on ways to maximize your traffic, be my guest, but all you are going to learn is that you spent your money better the last time you were double fisting beers at a Pat McAfee comedy performance.

That being said, if you have some extra Euros, Pesos, Dollars, or a cache of beaver pelts burning a hole in your pocket there is nothing wrong with taking classes in the different forms of marketing.  People way smarter than me keep up with the changing algorithms of social media platforms, and know people who know people who claim they know how Google works.  Google is a fickle, necessary beast though if you want to be a successful blogger.  Google is god for all websites not just for some podunk hick blogger, who at one time launched an unsuccessful campaign to win a date with Katy Perry when she performed at Super Bowl XLIX.  You play by Google’s rules or you better have the most amazing website in the history of the world if you want anyone to see it.

You read enough on the internet you will begin to think you have to find your “niche” to be successful at blogging, again this is a bit of a stretch.  Don’t get me wrong if you can wax poetic about a certain topic and that is what your want your blog to be known for, go for it.  I’m not trying to be Debby Downer, but unless you have an unbelievable stroke of luck you aren’t going to be the next Ree Drummond.  You can however carve a little foothold in that niche and do quite well in your foodie community.  

Me personally, I have no defined niche.  I’m a dad and have a blog, so yeah I’m a Dad Blogger.  I’m also involved with fundraising, product reviewer du jour, I occasionally try to write something funny, and from night to night you really have no idea what to expect out of me.  I wouldn’t call my little site “big time,” but I’ve had some modicum of success over the years with brands and advertisers that like to reward me with merchandise or money for my spin on things.  Did I have any notion way back in July of 2014 I would be getting an $800.00 dollar mattress to review?  Hell no, I didn’t!

Reviews and compensation, you have finally made it to the next level young blogger.  Granted this doesn’t apply to anybody that just has a blog and writes whatever they feel like and doesn’t really care if anybody reads it.  I admire those people, hell I’m jealous of them sometimes when I’m up against a deadline.  If you are getting inquiries about product reviews, sponsored posts, or just getting asked to write for another website all I can say go for it!  If some company or individual thinks your style fits their demographic, take that flattery and run with it.  Now this next statement may piss of some people who think they are God’s gift to blogging, but do not listen to any blogger that thinks you should aim for the sky when quoting a brand/company a price.  Dude and dudettes, it’s your website, if you want to charge $25 to post something that the whole world thinks should be $50, all you have to politely remind them is, “Why didn’t they ask you first then?”  It’s your time and effort, believe me there have been times when 25 greenbacks felt like 25,000!

I don’t mean this to sound mean or snarky, but do whatever in the hell you want when it comes to compensation.  Maybe you are a little light in the paycheck that week and a quick post about juggling marbles in Singapore could net you some quick cash to make sure you have enough Exxon in your vehicle to get to work for the week.  It’s your website, you are responsible for anything that you post.  There is no “official” blogging price sheet, there are only myths and rumors of what the going rate is.  My first ever product review was for a damn ten dollar Water Infusion Bottle, at the time I thought I was the coolest dude on the planet.  These days I’m a little more selective in what I accept, but I remember that first time I was asked to review something, I felt like a million bucks!  Don’t listen to so called “experts” on what to accept as compensation, you do what you want and be proud of your work.  

About it for this installation, stay tuned later this week for some more cutting edge intel into the vast universe known as “blogging.”




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  1. I clicked to follow you and was told I was already a follower. Until this gets resolved, I’ll try to find you on Facebook.

  2. True more often than not that our blogs start out for many of us as “cheaper than therapy.”

  3. Loved the honesty Gar! 🙂

  4. And you’re doing damn good at it man, keep it up!
    R.C. Liley recently posted…Share the Excitement of NASCAR with Your Kids & Win Prizes!My Profile

  5. You were lucky enough to get paid for a product review? Haven’t made a single clipped penny with my blog so far. You even got to sleep on a free mattress! Your new wife must be SO proud of your accomplishments. Can’t tell I am in a foul (not chicken or goose) mood can you?

    The day when your daughter starts residing in your house full time gets closer each day that passes! She is literally dying to live in your area of the country.

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