Now That I Have Your Attention

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Did this post title grab your attention? Good, because that’s what this post is going to be about, getting the attention of the reader or visitor of your blog. Oddly enough, I get many compliments on my blog, how it is laid out, it’s flow, and it’s overall vibe. I’m very intentional when it comes to what is seen, there are no accidents here, it all has one very direct purpose, I want readers to be visually stimulated long enough to make them inquisitive. I have 8 seconds or less to do this, 8 seconds to either make an impact or to bore y’all to tears. Now, I get asked repeatedly how I figure out what I want my blog to look like, to feel like, and what reaction I shoot for. So, finally I let myself get talked into sharing my secrets and my model. Remember, this is how I do it personally, it’s not going to work for everyone.

In today’s technology-fueled and fast paced world, there are distractions in every direction. Our ever shrinking attention span makes it extremely challenging for bloggers to reach their potential visitors. Getting our virtual message across quickly becomes critical. Think of it like a billboard along a highway, a vehicle speeding along @ 70mph has 2-4 seconds to take in the information. With digital information at our fingertips, communicating to visitors is no different; you have just seconds to make that all important everlasting impression.

Depending on the generation y’all are directing your information to, the average attention span can vary wildly. Younger visitors, for example, are especially difficult to grab the attention of, having grown-up with the internet at their fingertips, their attention span is relatively short. Boomers on the other hand, may take a few extra seconds to consider the information being presented. On average, you have roughly 8 seconds to make that all important lasting impression, good or bad.

So how do you do it? Here are a few of my personal ways I’ve learned over the years on getting my message noticed.

State what you want to communicate immediately. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t get cute or clever, just tell them what you want or how they can benefit from it. They’ll either be interested or they won’t, end of story.

Use unique imagery. As George Carlin said, “If you put two things together that has never been put together before, someone will buy it from you.” Combining images to create something that jars the imagination can stop someone in their tracks long enough to arouse curiosity.

Ask a question. Questions gets the mind thinking and humans are problem solvers by nature. When a question is put in front of us, our subconscious mind begins to work on it. When it comes to your blogging message, get the visitors thinking of how it will better them for reading until the end.

Add a little mystery. This technique is completely opposite of tip 1, however, if used effectively, it can stop someone dead in their tracks. Wrap your post in such a way that the visitors wants to find out more, thus creating a desire or passion for your message.

Tease them. Similar to creating a mystery, teasing arouses curiosity by providing just enough information to get their attention. Teaser ads are often used in print and sometimes outdoor. When using this strategy, timing, punch, and impact is everything. Make sure the time span between the teaser and the actual message is short enough that the visitor doesn’t forget about the teaser to begin with. As the old saying goes… “Always leave them begging for more.”

Use humor. A light-hearted image, a clever statement, or a quick joke or pun is a good method on getting someone’s attention. We all enjoy a good laugh or something that makes us smile.

Keep it simple stupid. Like a billboard, the fewer the words the better. This is sometimes challenging to accomplish, but a shorter message is actually easier to remember and makes the longer impression.

Know your target audience. Even the finest crafted message can miss the mark if aimed at the wrong crowd. Know what you want to achieve and who you need to achieve it. Then customize your message to fit the demographics.

Animate it. Where media dictates, use motion to grab the person’s eye. Colorful, fast moving images are immediate attention getters… just be careful not to over do it… then it just becomes obnoxious.

These tips just cover a few of my basics. Use your creativity to come up with new ways to grab (and hold) the attention of your visitors. I hope I held your attention long enough for you to complete this article. If so, mission accomplished. I don’t typically like doing posts like this, but because the are the basic tools in my box I figured it really couldn’t hurt. The internet is a great and vast place, y’all too will find your niche and make it work. I’m no expert, just a simple man with a blog that I have fun with. Remember that word, fun.

Who In The Fuck Cares?

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I have never claimed to be a writer. I have never claimed that I have a full grasp on everything the English language has to offer. I have never claimed that I am someone special. I have claimed, many times that I “write” here on this very blog for the pure fun of it. I am not in it for the money, fame, or any kind of publicity. I am just here for the hell of it and that is it in a big giant fucking nutshell. I like monologuing through conversations that would otherwise just bounce around in my head with no place to get out. My blog has but one purpose in its existence, to let me display my personal opinions on whatever in the hell it is that I have an opinion about. I never set out to have fans, to have a following, or even to be liked. But, shit happens doesn’t it. I also seem to have a substantial following of haters, people who don’t know me but hate everything I say and how I say it. I have learned that it literally comes with the territory when possessing a blog of this nature, a blog without purpose or gain. Shit, the only reason words are spelled correctly is because my Android employs a heavy handed autocorrect that has proven to be utterly relentless. But wait, what is my point here?

I got an email with a monologue lecture, 6149 words, where it was explained to me why I am not and never will anything remotely resembling any kind of writer. Duh……..I know this already dumbasses. It was a very interesting read and one of the top things that stood out to me was when I was told that nobody cares what I have to say because what I have to say isn’t relevant to anything. I beg to differ, its relevant to me because 99% of the time I am blogging about my personal life and surroundings. But, she is right, I mean really, who cares? That’s a two way street we travel though, people write in with their particular criticism about my writing and my skills to do so, and I don’t care about that either. Wait, does writing or blogging about it mean that I care? They do humor me, just like this last bonehead, because people spend so much time complaining and do it with such a beautiful passion that it makes me want to talk about it. Perhaps if I had an increased amount of formal education then I could be a snobby jackass as well. Or I would be able to string sentences together more eliquintly so they appealed more to our educated society. Well, fuck that, I am who I am, what you see is what you get. No, I do not care about the feelings which I hurt or the toes I stomp on. You visit by choice and I will always defend a person who is smart enough to evaluate the choices in his/her life. I may not like the choice personally, yet I appreciate the fact that people still make choices. I have been doing this blog thing for some time now and the way I do it works for me. I appreciate people taking the time out of their busy days to visit and see what’s new here. I also appreciate each and every comment everyone leaves. Mostly, I appreciate the person who makes the choice to send me lengthy emails to explain to me how worthless my blog is to them personally.

On a higher note, take a moment to read my Introduction and Disclaimer found at the top of this blog. I lay it all out for everyone, what to expect from me and what not to expect from me. You will find I am just a regular guy with a wife and family who has enough spare time to do a little blogging just for the hell of it. Other than that, just breathe and live life to the fullest. If you can’t do that then just continue taking a giant shit on people who know full well how to use soap and water. So, remember boy and girls, be sure and eat it every damn day. Have fun, lighten up, don’t be so full of aggressive energy, masturbation helps I hear. Now, go do something you made the choice to do!

Welcome To The Year 2014

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As this year draws to a close I look back at everything I have done and everything that I will continue in 2014. In my blogging world I lost quite a bit and those losses became the lessons I learned to become better at what I do. So what, I lost my blogs I had for many, many years, I got over it pretty fast. I was able to rebuild and eventually move everything to a new platform which was the best decision I ever made concerning my blogs. As time moves forward y’all will see me and The Sting Of The Scorpion move forward as well. The past is a nice pillow to rest your head on but you have nothing until you are willing to put your boots on the ground so you can fight for what you believe.

The Sting Of The Scorpion is, and always will be, a private blog where I express my opinions on my life and the world I live in. My opinions aren’t always pretty, they aren’t always popular, but they are always expressed in a manner that represents what I feel. That’s all you get from me. You may not like what I have to say, that used to concern me, but now it just makes me push harder. In 2014 y’all will not see The Sting Of The Scorpion move in the backwards direction, we are here to stay, and we are here to continue to attempt to show y’all things from an alternative point of view. Y’all don’t have to agree with me, y’all don’t need to understand me either, but I will offer what I have as an opinion. If y’all don’t like it y’all know where the door is, don’t let it hit you in the ass on your way out because I hate cleaning ass prints off the glass.

So buckle up princess, 2014 has allot to offer.

Should I Even Call This Mess A “Blog”?

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I suppose by “definition” what I have here could be considered to be a blog. Do you know the definition of blog? The simple version which concludes that a blog is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. Mine does that. I also do allot of Mobile blogging (moblogging), which is a method of publishing to a blog from a mobile phone. A moblog helps habitual bloggers (like myself) to post articles and pictures directly from their phones even when on the move. Mobile blogging has been made possible by technological convergence, as bloggers have been able to write, record and upload different media all from a single, mobile device. Mobile blogging is popular among people with camera phones which allow them to send photos and video that then appear as entries on their blog, or to use mobile browsers to publish content directly to any blogging platform with mobile posting compatibility. In the end, it is convenient because I can do when the moment arises or the thought crosses my mind. There are many advantages to being able to blog from anywhere and anytime. Mobile blogging is particularly helpful to travelers or people on the move when access to a computer with Internet connection may be difficult. The traveler can snap photos and with an enabled phone can easily upload such pictures with text descriptions directly to his or her blog. If the camera phone is equipped for Auto-geo-tagging, the blog may be able to show a map of the locations. With my new phone, (Motorola Droid Maxx),  which is less than a week old, has many new features which have been really exciting as far as being able to keep up with my blog and all the ones I try to visit regularly.

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A majority of the blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other on the blogs, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes a blog from other static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking service. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers throughout the world. Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. I think I’m still qualifying as a blog. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs.

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People have different ideas when it comes to the length of post. Many people advocate keeping it short, however some of the best posts I’ve written or read have been long, some very very long. They were the best because they did not skim the subject so they gave real value and often told their story making it engaging by making a personal connection with me the reader. I believe that the posts that make that personal connection that resonates with the reader get more likes, more comments, and get shared more. Being I post allot of pictures here as well I often have very short posts because the “message” is self-contained in the picture.

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Anyone who surfs the “net” can find that the blogosphere counts several million active blogs offering a great variety of topics and content. The wonderful aspect of a blog creation is that anyone who has a particular hobby, knowledge, passion or a business to promote, can easily do it, and they generally do. I guess, looking back, the danger is starting a blog without a specific plan, target group, and more importantly knowledge of content for which the blog was created. Good content is the most important factor of your blog since not only it is the key to attract readers and turn them to loyal followers but also to increase your internet exposure via the search engines. I don’t look for search engine exposure, meaning I don’t do anything on purpose which gives me a ranking or page position. People just find me one way or another. I follow some basic rules of engagement in order to produce what I consider to be successful content and, at the end of the day, achieve my blog’s goal which is to get read and encourage readers to return back to my blog. Let’s explore my general rules of engagement and guidelines.

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The 10 Rules I blog by.

01. Define your blog and who you wish to target to read your blog. The 1st thing to do is to organize your ideas and define the main topic which will define your blog’s identity.

  • What do I want to write about today? The next day? 6 months from now?
  • What is my target group of readers, follower, and visitors?
  • What type of language should I use to communicate with my readers?

02. Make time to make posts.

  • A blog needs time and efforts to stay permanently active and help you interact on a regular basis with your readers.
  • Don’t risk losing your audience because of a lack of communication.

03. Take time to talk to your audience. Make them feel as though they can interact with you and make sure they get the interaction they are looking for.

  • Having defined your target group of readers, you will need to write in the appropriate tone and style to attract their interest and understanding; imagine having a conversation with your audience and write clearly and simply as if you were talking to them.
  • When I write, I write as if I am talking, whether just out-loud or physically to others.

04. Give your blog and posts a friendly and inviting format.

  • Even if you believe your post is original and really interesting, if it comes in a big block of text, no one will take the time to read it; you need to provide the reader with a friendly post format by separating it into distinct and concise paragraphs, preceded by sub-headings when needed, use bullet points lists where needed (like here with what I’m doing), illustrate it with images, use bold or italics to point out your key elements and you’ll get your reader’s attention.

05. When starting a new post use eye catching and attractive titles.

  • Once your post is written, take your time to come up with a fantastically eye catching title. Your title is how you’ll attract the readers repeatedly. It should directly inform the reader regarding what your post is about, a sort of “summary” of what he/she will read.

06. Be sure to use “tags” which will be effective in relation to your post.

  • Ask yourself which terms are more likely to be used by users when they search for the particular topic.
  • Then make sure you use the main keywords and come up with different variations that are likely to be searched when formulating your tags.
  • Finally try to incorporate the “tag” words in the keywords of your post in order to increase the possibility to be found in the search engines.

07. Update your blog frequently to keep the content fresh and inviting.

  • As mentioned earlier, you need to determine a time plan in order to frequently update your blog, ideally on a daily-basis.
  • This will not only keep the attention of your readers but also it will help you attract more readers and loyal followers to your blog.
  • The more content you produce the more traffic you are likely to get from your readers.

08. Use “social media” buttons to encourage your readers to share.

  • There are many out there, I personally use Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter.
  • By setting up an RSS Feed and by encouraging your users to subscribe, you will increase your readers and you are more likely to get more returning visitors.
  • Note that most Blogging engines automatically support RSS feeds, so all you need to do is to place their button in a strategic position in order to help readers subscribe.
  • It doesn’t hurt to belong to a great blogging community either. My personal favorite is Blogcatalog!
  • Additionally social media can drive you lots of traffic and they can help you build steady communication with your readers.
  • Make sure you add sharing buttons in your blog and try to place them too in strategic positions to increase the number of shares.

09. Try to incorporate “how-to” and “top-10” posts on occasion to mix things up and keep the reader wondering what’s next.

  • The how-to guides and the top-10 articles usually become very popular on social media networks.
  • People love these articles and they are more likely to read them, like them, comment on them, and share them.
  • Additionally by creating such content you are more likely to increase your search engine traffic since many surfers search for such content regularly.

10. I have found that proof reading and spell checking are valuable tools.

  • This might be common sense but sometimes we can be so enthusiastic about a new post that we forget to take the time to proof read it.
  • Remember that you may be listed and archived in the Internet along with your grammar, syntax or even informative mistakes.
  • Don’t forget to be honest about what you share.
  • If you have the patience to keep being an active blogger and creating good content, you will be surprised to see your audience growing and your blog getting the success it deserves.

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I have learned over the years that my blog(s) tend to develop multiple personalities and sometimes I need to reel them back in. When I started here at WordPress I wanted to have one blog that expressed ALL of my ideas. I wanted one stop shopping. I combined 6 blogs to create The Sting Of The Scorpion which I feel know encompasses the message(s) I’m trying to express. My blog is very much a reflection of what mood I am in at any particular moment. In the end, it works for me and that results in more mileage for my blog. I am very dedicated to the upkeep and appearance of my blog. This keeps me active here which results in more posts for others to read.

All the pictures and some of this information was borrowed from the World Wide Web to be placed on The Sting Of The Scorpion, because everything else just bites. Remember boys and girls, eat it everyday, and twice if you are up to it.