Why am I in a Hurry to do Everything?

In the last two years, I’ve developed a bad habit of skimming articles instead of taking my time to comprehend them. I think this habit is partly the reason for my reading comprehension being at an all time low. The question is, why do I feel like I’m always in a rush whether it’s reading an article or trying to get a task done?

It doesn’t matter how long the article is, if I can’t read it in the same time I can read a Tweet, it’s too long and I lose interest fast. This sounds like symptoms of attention deficit disorder or ADD to me. Even if no one is forcing me to move fast, it feels like there’s someone pushing me or a voice in my head saying “I ain’t got time for that“.

I feel like my lack of reading comprehension skills has significantly affected my ability to write. Have I unknowingly become part of the TL;DR movement? It’s ridiculous that TL;DR exists at all, but I can see why it’s a legitimate thing.

I need to slow down and read articles from beginning to end. I need to stop letting notifications take my attention away from whatever it is I’m doing. Responding to Twitter, then Facebook, then email, then back to Twitter creates an endless cycle of interruptions and lack of productivity. I need to increase my comprehension skills before I don’t have any left.

I Can’t Stands No More

Those of you who have been following my progress as a writer know that at about this time last year, I had a great opportunity come my way thanks to a referral from a friend where I was offered to write for Performancing.com. The pay was great compared to anything I’ve ever seen before. However, it didn’t take long to realize what I had stepped into. After working with Performancing for two to three months, I started to come up with ideas and ways to reinvigorate the brand/community/site. What I proposed was a radical change to the way things were done. I was filled with ideas and motivation to turn things around. My ideas were noted and passed around but progress was slow. While a redesign for Performancing has taken place on a platform that at some point the site will be migrated to, the site is where it was a year ago.

I wish I could just publish the email I sent this morning which clearly illustrates my frustration with the site but I don’t feel that would be in my best interest. However, I feel I can post a quote from it.

Ultimately, Performancing.com in its current iteration is a bottomless pit. Or an empty auditorium. I’ve been waiting for someone to bust my ass for lack of production or lack of enthusiasm but I’d pay to see anyone get enthused about this site now adays. Then I’d have to wonder what kind of shrooms they ate.

In my mind, Performancing would turn into an awesome site if there was a team of people writing for the domain. Each one of these people were so called experts are at least, in the know for a particular CMS/publishing platform of their choice. So, I’d fit the bill with WordPress, someone could do MovableType, someone could do Joomla, etc. Sure, it sounds like CMS Wire, but they do newsy posts. Our goal would be to help bloggers succeed using these publishing systems and doing this as a team. Think about the mini competitions we could have with one platform versus another. I think their would be endless content creation opportunities and the audience I think would love it. Top it with a forum, a podcast, maybe some screencasts, and wow, what a helluva resource for bloggers of all types. That’s what I would turn Performancing into if I had the cash and know how.

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from Performancing.com, especially regarding managing a site. Because the site has exchanged hands at points in the past, has cared more about content generation versus all other aspects of the domain, and no continuous maintenance, we now have a site with a huge six year archive, a bunch of spam user accounts, comments, and blog posts, not to mention stuff on the built in forums all of which make it difficult to do anything with the site. It’s one of those situations where I’d like to just reformat and start over but you can’t because the archive is the only saving grace of the domain.

I know they are currently in the migration phases to move from Drupal to WordPress and that will most likely solve half or more of the problems associated with the site, just as long as most of the crap is not migrated over as well.

It doesn’t matter how much you pay me to write on your site. If 90% of comments are junk, I have no idea if someone links to the post or not, I’m stuck with a platform that sucks, there is little to no way to build community or loyalty around the site, eventually the writer is going to burn out and wonder what the hell is he doing wasting his time going upstream rather than with the flow. I’ll no doubt miss the $1,000.00 a month in pay but being able to bust my ass and reap the rewards which is more than just cash coming in is worth more to me in the long run.

Now can someone point me to the soup line?

I Can't Stands No More

Those of you who have been following my progress as a writer know that at about this time last year, I had a great opportunity come my way thanks to a referral from a friend where I was offered to write for Performancing.com. The pay was great compared to anything I’ve ever seen before. However, it didn’t take long to realize what I had stepped into. After working with Performancing for two to three months, I started to come up with ideas and ways to reinvigorate the brand/community/site. What I proposed was a radical change to the way things were done. I was filled with ideas and motivation to turn things around. My ideas were noted and passed around but progress was slow. While a redesign for Performancing has taken place on a platform that at some point the site will be migrated to, the site is where it was a year ago.

I wish I could just publish the email I sent this morning which clearly illustrates my frustration with the site but I don’t feel that would be in my best interest. However, I feel I can post a quote from it.

Ultimately, Performancing.com in its current iteration is a bottomless pit. Or an empty auditorium. I’ve been waiting for someone to bust my ass for lack of production or lack of enthusiasm but I’d pay to see anyone get enthused about this site now adays. Then I’d have to wonder what kind of shrooms they ate.

In my mind, Performancing would turn into an awesome site if there was a team of people writing for the domain. Each one of these people were so called experts are at least, in the know for a particular CMS/publishing platform of their choice. So, I’d fit the bill with WordPress, someone could do MovableType, someone could do Joomla, etc. Sure, it sounds like CMS Wire, but they do newsy posts. Our goal would be to help bloggers succeed using these publishing systems and doing this as a team. Think about the mini competitions we could have with one platform versus another. I think their would be endless content creation opportunities and the audience I think would love it. Top it with a forum, a podcast, maybe some screencasts, and wow, what a helluva resource for bloggers of all types. That’s what I would turn Performancing into if I had the cash and know how.

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from Performancing.com, especially regarding managing a site. Because the site has exchanged hands at points in the past, has cared more about content generation versus all other aspects of the domain, and no continuous maintenance, we now have a site with a huge six year archive, a bunch of spam user accounts, comments, and blog posts, not to mention stuff on the built in forums all of which make it difficult to do anything with the site. It’s one of those situations where I’d like to just reformat and start over but you can’t because the archive is the only saving grace of the domain.

I know they are currently in the migration phases to move from Drupal to WordPress and that will most likely solve half or more of the problems associated with the site, just as long as most of the crap is not migrated over as well.

It doesn’t matter how much you pay me to write on your site. If 90% of comments are junk, I have no idea if someone links to the post or not, I’m stuck with a platform that sucks, there is little to no way to build community or loyalty around the site, eventually the writer is going to burn out and wonder what the hell is he doing wasting his time going upstream rather than with the flow. I’ll no doubt miss the $1,000.00 a month in pay but being able to bust my ass and reap the rewards which is more than just cash coming in is worth more to me in the long run.

Now can someone point me to the soup line?

Blogging Is A Juggling Act

As I reach ever closer to my goal of being able to use blogging and online activity as my primary source of income, I am finding it increasingly difficult to manage my time to accomplish tasks from day to day. I’m currently bringing in around $1,300.00 a month from my blogging ventures but that cash is spread out amongst 3-4 different jobs. On top of this, I work 32 hours a week from 9PM-5AM and that doesn’t seem to make things any better. I’ve also noticed that my sleeping pattern has changed to the point where I am really sleeping in instead of waking up at a decent time. This is leaving me with even less time to get things done and it is driving me up the wall.

I’m really thinking about cutting myself down to weekends only for a little while to see if I can get my life back on track. I envy those like Lorelle and others who seem to write mile long posts and publish things on time. These folks make it seem easy although I doubt it really is.

Kudos to those out there who are making a living online by creating content while also maintaining a social life as well as a second job.

Is Content The Only Thing That Matters

My experience in blogging as part of a blogging network is very limited but based on what I have experienced thus far, there is a very strong focus on creating content because the content drives traffic which in turn, drives advertising revenue. The question I have is this, is content the only thing that matters?

I’ve noticed publishing systems which have seen better days, publishing systems which are way out of date sometimes by over 4 version releases, things that are broken and after notifying the guy up above about the problem, the broken thing is still there after 7 days, front end designs which could really be improved to not only highlight what is going on on the website as a whole, but increase accessibility of the backlog of content these blogs provide. Hell, some of these sites don’t even have a proper archive setup. Does none of this matter?

I realize that most technically savvy people browse sites now a days through their favorite RSS reader, but people still come to the site itself and I don’t understand why more emphasis is placed on the frontend and backend of a particular site along with the content that is published on it.

Are any of the things I mentioned above money makers or potential increases in revenue if the improvements were to be done? I would think with an archive page, it would make it easier for people who actually visit the site to find stuff in the backlog. With a focus on community through a recent comments block, you tell visitors that people hang out here and actually discuss things, with a related posts block as well as an area which highlights 5 or so random posts, you give visitors a chance to see something ELSE that might catch their eye, keeping them on the site longer and perhaps turning them into a subscriber if they weren’t already.

As a blogger, I could just as easily do things on my own. But my own blog doesn’t rake in any money and I have no experience or desire to mess with adwords, adsense, sponsored posts, text ads, direct advertising, and all of those other methods of monetization. So I write for others. As I have found out, it is tough to write for sites which in the back of your mind, know they could be so much more than what they are or have been in the past but because of ownership and the way things work, things just don’t work that way.

I guess the bottom line which I have had to cope with is this. The blogs I write for are not mine. I am hired on to write content for the blog, not much else. I can give suggestions, critique, comments, or whatever else, but I must not make demands and just because I say something, doesn’t mean it will happen. Writing for someone is not like Burger King where you can have things your way. It’s their way or the highway. I respect that, considering it’s not my site, but I wish it wouldn’t boggle my mind how making improvements to a brand or website and trying to take the site to it’s fullest potential would be pushed aside because none of those things make money. Sure, they don’t make money DIRECTLY, but I think I could make a strong argument for changes like what I described above to make money INDIRECTLY.

Has anyone else here ever written for someone else? Either an individual or for a blogging network? I wonder if you have gone through the same situations as I listed above. If so, how did you deal with those?