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Too Much Noise (Warning: May Contain Top 5 List)

For the past two hours, I've been trying to conjure up a story about leaving home unprepared. Some sort of analogy that I like to lead off with when I go into observational mode in my blog. Nothing was working. Nothing fit and I was getting further away from what I originally wanted to write about.

It's been well over a month since I had a 9 to 5. Since that time, things have been thrown into a sharper focus as far as not only what I want to do for a job, but what do I want to do with my life. I started out as a Creative; an actor, performer, a singer in a rock band. When that wasn't paying the bills anymore, I moved on to something that did. And when that wasn't doing it anymore, something else. And so on and so on and compromise and sell myself short and lose sight of what I did until I finally ended up here; a stone's throw from 50, no richer than when I left school and a strong realization that I should have never stopped creating to begin with. The urge to blog, to write, to publish, to go back to being creative is now far greater than the urge to take that job that will probably be a poor career choice not only because this job you wanted me for had nothing to do with the last one I had, but because it was the first one that came along and I'd probably last a month anyway because you can't see it in your heart to pay me enough to put gas in my tank in order to get to the job but that's okay because the interview was going to be a waste of both of our times anyway because just like everything else in this town, I have no experience in what you need so it would probably be better if you hired a high-schooler or a retiree to fill your position rather than someone who you'd think would jump at the first thing that came to him even though it would be more of a liability RUNONSENTENCE!!! *GAAAASSSP*.....

What I'm trying to say is that because I'm not getting any younger and my skills don't match what employers are looking for, I want to go freelance. I want to work for myself. I think that now is the time. Everyday I'm jumping onto forums and networking and communicating with like minded people and despite not starting off with a decent analogy, this is where I'd like to start...


Branding. I suppose it would be helpful if I knew how to brand myself, what to brand myself with and where to go to do that. But trying to navigate that is like trying to find a seat in a high school cafeteria when you're new in town. It's that feeling where you feel you have to be something, as if you somehow magically weren't anything before. There's a sense that you have to hurry up and decide which club you want to be active in, which clique looks better on you, who's colors you want to carry.

I come from a different school. My Alma Mater is the one that observes, shares and engages. From the looks of things, it would appear that my education has not prepared me again for the real world. From what I gather, in order to make it as a freelance blogger, or anywhere for that matter, you have to hit people over the head to get them to buy something.

Presenting: The Top 5 Types of Bloggers!!1!

That's right, a Top 5 List; the National Currency of Blogging! ‟Goodness Gracious,” your thinking to yourself. ‟When's he gonna get to a list or something? I have a life to get to! I can't wait around here and listen to this jibber-jabber and not be given a list to read! What is this world coming to?” Here's my list of the top 5 bloggers on the internet. Yeah, I know its better if I lead off with a list so people won't tune out halfway down your post, but you made it this far, and I'm going the long way around to make a point again. I would also like to point out that this list based solely on observances and not actual research, y'know, like most of the lists online...

Fabulous, Dahling...
   5. Fashion Blogger: This one has a pretty wide net. There are a handful of reviewers, but this one is primarily the domain of the person who creates. Fashion blogs are owned and maintained by craftspeople selling their own creations. From jewelry to t-shirts, haute couture to up-cycled blue jeans, from posts on Etsy to updating their own website, these people are content providers in more ways than one. They are their own business, entrepreneurial, and have a keen sense of what it takes to make a name and survive.

Uh-Oh, I think we lost him...
     4. Reviewer: Food, films, books, entertainment...too many choices these days and where would I be if I didn't purchase something based on someone else's scrutiny? Reviewers...are...somethingsomethingsomething...blippty bloppty bloop...phhththhththttthhhh sorry, I kind of
lost interest in the whole scheme of this thing halfway through #5. Yes, lists are handy. But sometimes, it's almost as if some authors put their blog on autopilot when they list things; especially the Reviewer. These guys tend to regurgitate the same material over and over again, because it's cheap, easy, you don't have to put much effort into it and search engines will love them for it. Think I'm being too harsh? Ever StumbleUpon a FilmSchoolReject blog one too many times? I rest my case.

Don't leave me hangin', dude. You're coming back soon, right?
    3. Cooking: Yes, I'm continuing this theme even though I abandoned it. Because...y'know...lists! By god...we shall have lists! My frustration started last week when I wanted to monetize my blog just a little bit more. I am anything, if not ambitious and so I started research on how to take full advantage of Adsense. Months ago, I formatted my blog the way they suggested to take full advantage of ad placement. That part has been taken care of. Now, I started looking for ways to monetize further (because, making a whopping ¢.09 in a month just wasn't cutting it for me anymore). Adsense now has a function where bloggers can actively solicit businesses directly for use of your ad space. You can go to a company, hopefully a company that is related to what you blog about, and say, “Hey, I can put your product on my page for x amount of time for x amount of dollars, what do you say?” And if all goes well? TAH-DAH! Instant revenue stream! Which is awesome, except for the fact that this blog, MY blog, lacks a theme and direction. I'm a nuanced Slacker, I'm not selling the latest and greatest iPhone app. Nor am I making one. I observe and share; it's mostly things that bounce around in my head too much and I need to let them out, see them for what they really are and deal with them accordingly. I don't think there is a thriving market for catharsis. Perhaps if I went in an other direction...?

Dude! What the hell is wrong with you? Seriously!
     2. Business/Technical: I used to be a devout follower of Odd Todd. Not only was he laugh out loud hilarious, but the back story of how he came to be and prosper is the genesis to why my attitude is the way it is: Things not going your way? Try something new, take a risk and who knows, you may end up surprising yourself. In the early days of his website, his sponsors would include start-up companies who shared his philosophy; mom-and-pop websites selling their inventions complete with glowing endorsements from the Odd one himself. I always thought that was brilliant. In my quest to further monetize my blog, I thought maybe I could do the same thing. I could go to websites of start-up companies and get them to advertise on my blog. But then it all came back to that whole... no focus/no mon-ay thing. So then I started looking into trying to wrangle my blog into something cohesive, something that has a point. Maybe I should blog about something that I have no concept of, like computer hardware or haute couture. Something to grab the attention of all the major search engines. Maybe something practical like: 10 Easy Steps to Removing Ketchup Stains from a Dashboard of '67 Karmann Ghia. Maybe I should abandon who I am and just blog to make money. Right? This is the noise that I've been running into for weeks. The only way that you are going to be a successful blogger is if you become one of those...

aaaand we're back...
   1. Bloggers Who Like To Make Lists: Actually, there are two different camps on this. One saying that lists are the way to go, the other saying that they are complete waste of time. Too much noise. I like to write. I like to write a lot. As of right now, I am for sale if anyone needs articles written or something. Research isn't an issue, I actually like doing it. Perhaps one day when I grow up, I'll be writing about SEO and UGC and sound really professional as I fake my way through it.

Apologies for my candor. Too many things that happened this morning that I allowed to get under my skin and I haven't stopped writing since. Fortunately, I gleaned some inspiration from it and I'll be acting on it soon. 

Please feel free to share your experiences and advice. All feedback is appreciated.

...back soon...

Photo Credits:

Volume Button
Fashion Victim
Hipster Critic
Perfect Couple Grazing
Board Room Meeting
Top Ten

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