Blogging: Establishing Your Fine Print (Blogging with Purpose)

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A couple years ago I wrote a post Does Your Blog Reflect Your Purpose? about how focusing on my purpose helps me to continue to write and also about living in the moment as a catalyst for post ideas. As I sit here, I decided to update my views on this topic with a follow-up: Blogging: Establishing Your Fine Print (Blogging With Purpose).

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Each blog is different because each individual is different. We each have our own set of thought processes and routines that we feel makes our writing better and our blogs overall capable of expansion. As such, I have noticed one thing in common with each blog that I follow, the ones I have come to really enjoy: Purpose. Most of the blogs I follow touch on a variety of topics. Our posts have the potential to scan the horizon. From poetry, to short story, to news articles, to quotes, you name it we’re writing about it. I love this because variety makes it possible to reach  more people than a singular subject ( or niche) and for this I love diving into varying topics.

The Fine Print

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Fineprint – inconspicuous details or conditions printed in an agreement or contract

While my blog, like most, is filled with variety, there is also a primary purpose that remains in the fine print and I have found it in each of the blogs in which I read. That purpose is the inconspicuous detail. It doesn’t matter how many topics the blogger touches on, each person has his own primary purpose for blogging and that is the foundation I think we should each take into account as we build readership. I call this The Fine Print. Everyone has one because we all have a certain set of values that govern how we live. This doesn’t mean we have to shout to the rooftops about it, but it is the underlining foundation to how we live our lives. If we apply this to blogging, I think it will help us to build and maintain focus. By us I mean myself as well. These posts are not professional blog advice, in fact its not really advice at all but thoughts I tell myself to help me to become better that I’d like to share.

Finding Your Fine Print:

1). What are you passionate about?

Think about what matters most to you outside of blogging. Your passion usually will lead to your purpose. Your purpose is then incorporated into your everyday life: including blogging.

2). What is the one thing that motivates you to blog? 

I didn’t ask you what your blog was about because it’s deeper than that. Your reason for creating your blog is also not necessarily that thing that keeps you blogging. Your blog can be about puppies but puppies do not get you up every day to publish posts. I also did not mention why you write because not all bloggers are writers. Some bloggers are photographers, chefs, etc. But I asked you what was the one thing that motivates you to blog because if you can name that thing that insists that you must blog, that thing that tugs at your being and demand that you release words into this public forum, then that is the first step toward finding your Fine Print.

3). Do not Preach Your Fine Print

Your Fine Print is for you. To help to keep you focused. Once you’ve defined your purpose, it’s not going to help you to preach to the choir. The reason this is called a Fine Print is because it’s a foundation to the entire document. You can read through an employee handbook, but the fine print is what sets the document apart as serious business.

A bloggers fine print is their driving force, their purpose, their one motivating factor, their reason for doing. Its not something they have to bring up in every conversation, but it is that thing in which they strategically incorporate into their blog in a way that drives curiosity and helps readers to get to know them better. If you bring your purpose up in every post it will drive people away. No one wants to be preached to or forced to accept anything. Your fine print is to help YOU to stay focused. When people sign a contract they are agreeing both to the contents of the document itself and also to the fine print. Fine Prints are that underlying message. When you follow a blog, you may not know it, but you’re not just supporting that blog, you are also agreeing with that blogs Fine Print, which is the whole point. In other words, that bloggers purpose for writing intrigues you in some way and has prompted you to endorse them.

Does your blog have a Fine Print?

Find out what drives you to blog and keep that as the underlying message to everything that you post. This is your Fine Print. It doesn’t mean bash everyone over the head with your ideas. It is instead using your purpose as a driving force to produce quality material. People follow blogs for so many different reasons that it is possible that your one weekly feature was their sole purpose for following you. In this way, you have reached them. Though your Fine Print is inspiring people, your weekly feature became the catalyst for which this was done, the method that has proven effective in a way that will continue to drive traffic.

4). Stay Focused

Purpose – the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

Don’t get so caught up in the purpose of someone else that you subtly make their purpose your purpose. Your fine print is not really for them, it’s to help YOU to stay focused. Blogging is a communal activity. This means that one thing we all have in common is that we want our blogs seen by the online public for whatever reason (< your fine print). Otherwise we would all just keep. private journals, diaries, notebooks, whatever but we would not be writing so openly on the Internet. For whatever reason (fine print, purpose) we are writing online. No, we are not just writing for ourselves. I do not believe that. To publish material as openly as the internet has to be for a reason deeper than personal gratification. For whatever reason, we are blogging. We serve this community by interacting with one another. In essence we serve one another. But what I think keeps a good blog going is the individual’s  focus on their fine print once they’ve found it. It is not something they are willing to compromise and it is not something they will allow others to take away.

Have you ever read a book that was so good in the beginning but towards the end it fell short? That can happen with our blogs. We must remember that the fine print is not so much for readership as it is for our own individual marker to help keep us focused. This naturally makes it easier to produce material without compromising the integrity of the blog.

And that’s it for me. I hope these tips are helpful to each of you as you continue your blogging journey.

8 Ways to Avoid Stress

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  1. Take some time to sit quietly and appreciate everything that you have. Happiness is not in having more physical wealth but having less wants.
  1. Stop trying to change things that are beyond your control. Sometimes stress comes from not being able to alter those things outside of our control but trying to anyway. Stop that. You’re just going against the grain and you’re not going to win.
  1. Forgive yourself. If you make a mistake, get back up and forgive the less mature version of yourself who made it. Peace cannot exist around you if it does not first exist inside of you.
  1. Forgive those who hurt you the most. After you forgive yourself, forgive others. Instead of seeing what they did to cause you hurt, try and see them through the eyes of mercy. Sometimes people have been hurt and they pass that hurt on, try to see that. Look at them with the eyes of love instead of revenge. Excess pain is just baggage and in the words of Toni Morrison, “If you wanna fly, you gotta give up the stuff that weighs you down.”
  1. Learn to create balance in your life. Being busy is no excuse for surrendering your peace. We like to use the “I’m too busy” for everything but it just ends up being an excuse. Take breaks. Go on vacation. Date. Take some time to actually smell the flowers. In the words of Lena Horne, “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
  1. In times of pressure, seek to be calm and centered instead of frustrated and angry. The calm person is the most productive person and makes the best decisions. Quick story. When I returned from a road trip last month, I thought I lost my USB or better yet, left it in Chicago, a 13 hour away drive from home. Upon realization that I’d lost the drive with all of my files and manuscript revisions (which I’d unwisely not saved anywhere else), I was actually too tired to worry about it! I literally put my worrying off. My exact words were, “I don’t have the energy to worry about this right now.” I didn’t even look for the drive. A few days went by and I knew that at some point I had to try and find it. Those things on that drive were very important after all. On the third or fourth day, I sat down in my chair and searched the place I last remembered it and found it. Just like that. By choosing to be calm and not worry instead of frenzied and out of control, I was capable of thinking clearly about where I’d last had it. I also learned a very valuable lesson. In remembering everything has a purpose, I understood that I should never save important files in just one spot.
  1. Don’t compare yourself to others, it’s the easiest way to fail. It is also the easiest way to cling to your fears. Sometimes you can be so sure something is for you until you look at how others are doing it, saying it, or have done or said it. Own what you know to be true and perfect being you. People don’t want to see how you can do something the same as others are doing it. They wanna see how you can do it differently.
  1. Speaking of comparisons, be true to yourself. Stop worrying about being accepted by others. This too can cause unnecessary stresses. Don’t dilute your light for something superficial. The light bulb may shine bright now, but it is in no comparison to the sun.

4 Reasons Why I Won’t Change The Name of My Blog

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Branding logic says that my blog should be called after my name. Had I thought of this before starting this blog, perhaps I would have (maybe) gone with logic. However, because I’m a tad bit crazy, even being aware of this hasn’t moved me to change the name of this blog (even after much suggestion).

#1: Connected To My Name

My blog is already connected to my name. What this mean is that many people are already aware that The PBS Blog is the blog of Yecheilyah Ysrayl. Branding in one sentence, as defined by Kristen Lamb is:

“A brand is when your name alone has the power to drive sales.”

I think this is the most clear and simplest definition of branding. Taking this into consideration, Author Branding is just the same “when an author’s name is strong enough to drive sales”, or in this case, drive views. I believe The PBS Blog is strong enough to hold its own as the blog home of Yecheilyah without me having to make that my blog title.

#2: Introversion

I’m shy! I’m not sure I’m comfortable naming my blog after me! “Welcome to the wonderful world of Author and Blogger Yecheilyah Ysrayl!” Just writing that made my skin crawl. I’ve always hated bringing attention to myself. Remember those days in High School where everyone wanted to show off their name brands but you were too poor to afford the Jordan’s? Good, now go back to that one time in forever you actually got a pair, and that one person who annoys everyone called you out and you knew it was just to mock you? Yea, that. The worst. Anyway, I digress. Long story short, I’m really shy even though I’ve come to notice people don’t believe I’m as shy as I am. I always get the side look when I say I’m an introvert, but it’s true. I am very laid back. I have the potential to sit in a room all day and not say anything and be completely fine with it.

#3: Not Just an Author Blog

I’m passionate about sooo much more than writing! For this reason, this is not just an author blog, even if I do talk about writing 85% of the time. OK 90%, whatever.

#4: Mission, Purpose, Goal

I named my blog Pearls Before Swine with the subtitle Truth is Stranger Than Fiction because it embodies my mission for this blog. That is, I will always prefer the truth (pearls) over the lie (swine) no matter the color, shade, or persona it’s packaged in and I will never force the truth down anyone’s throat. You see the truth is very precious, delicate and fragile like a pair of your mother’s most elegant pearls. She’s not going to give these over to anyone, let alone a pig who will rip them open and tear them apart.  A reference to Matthew Chapter 7, Verse 6 of the bible, Pearls Before Swine keeps me focused, and reminds me that truth is to be given only to those who want it. To those who will take it into their hands and protect it, use it, and wear it like sacred garments. Looking up at my blog name ALWAYS keeps me focused on my primary objective. I am to use my writing and skill set as a way to bring truth in the most creative and effective way possible. I am not to force, debate, or argue the truth because truth speaks for itself, and I am to never compromise my personal integrity because someone says so. Pearls Before Swine, because I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.

You Don’t Have to Do What Everyone Else is Doing

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that your words flutter nervously across the page in anxious anticipation of acceptance. I can see the dilating pupil of uncertainty starring back at me, for you have let others define you. It’s not enough that you wear societies clothing, listen to its music, read its books and regurgitate its ignorance, but you even let it define who you are. When you do gather the courage to be yourself it is not long before you are already planning on how to take your words back, erase them into the dungeon of nothingness. Some of you climb inside of yourself and turn off the lights, over there praying for invisibility and trying not to be you. Why do you cloak yourself in darkness? Always skating timidly through life as if the next step will be the one to shatter the ground. Always apologetic for the way in which you see the world as if your purpose in life is one big mistake. If you have passion, stand by it. You owe no one an explanation. It doesn’t matter what we struggle with on a daily, it always helps when we are ourselves. Despite the mistakes we make being transparent is the only way to transcend and to overcome. In that process, remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Besides, “if you don’t define yourself for yourself you’ll be crushed into other people’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.” – Andre Lorde

Understanding the Revolution

“We must begin to understand that a revolution entails not only the willingness
to lay our lives on the firing line and get killed. In some ways, this is an easy
commitment to make. To die for the revolution is a one-shot deal; to live for the
revolution means taking on the more difficult commitment of changing our
day-to-day life patterns.

~Frances Beal