Writing and blogging

Goodbye WordPress, Hello Freedom


Before making the decision to move The Measured Life from WordPress.com to Bluehost I worried a lot if getting traffic would be a thing of the past for me now.

I was thinking, that since most of my traffic came internally from WordPress, it would be a ghost-town around here after a move. Boy was I wrong about that (luckily).

It has been less than 24 hours since I indexed the new sitemap and since Google has begun crawling the site, but I am already getting some traffic from Google searches to some of my older posts. This leaves me with a very positive outlook on the future of The Measured Life.

The searches are already telling me a little bit about where I should maybe focus my efforts topic-wise. Without saying too much: People seem to like the somewhat more science-oriented posts I have done a great deal.

Which is great, because I have really wanted to boost my credibility for a long while exactly by writing about things that are maybe a bit less philosophical than usual and a bit more grounded in scientific theory and practice.

It has been maybe three or four months since I have written in English on a consistent basis, though, and that shows in the quality of what I write. At least that is how I am feeling about it right now.

Exactly because I am out of shape in terms of writing in the English language, this is just going to be yet another short post. This time around I don’t want to push myself too hard so I am taking it easy for now. Slow and steady wins the race, right.

Anyway, thanks to those of my old readers who might have stayed throughout the move. I am working on improving my SEO skills as well as a short eBook to be published on the site for free soon. So things should be back on track here in my little neck of the internet woods soon.

Was this post meaningful to you? If so, I always appreciate comments, likes and shares. Thanks!

Moving and relaunching! Stay tuned for announcements…

For quite a while now I have felt the need to do a change up around here in order to regain the desire to share my thoughts with you!

Long story short, I am moving the blog away from WordPress.com to be hosted over at Bluehost instead.

My hope being that gaining full control over the blog will inspire me to work more on putting quality content out there.

I am just going to do this, without having done a lot of research into the specifics of moving a blog. It shouldn’t be rocket science.

Now, I might loose all of my subscribers. I might loose my search engine rankings. I am not sure what will happen. If nothing else I know that I will keep my URL and all of my content.

The answers are out there, of course. I just have to do a quick Google search, yet I haven’t been inspired to do even THAT yet.

So I am just going to focus on getting the move done soon and take it from there.

So guys, anyone interested in following and connecting with me here in the future should stay tuned and check out the site from time to time over the next couple of weeks. Whenever I implement a new change I will make a short announcement.

Was this post meaningful to you? If so, I always appreciate comments, likes and shares. Thanks!

3 Effective Types of Blog Posts

For a while now, I have been thinking about structuring my blog posts from a new set of predefined rules. The following three types of blog posts will in my opinion work great with my blog,  and – hopefully – with yours too.

  • The Seth Godin Post. Seth is the master of short form blogging, or micro-blogging. Many of his posts are only a couple of paragraphs long, and that can be a great thing when utilized correctly. He cuts out all of the bullshit and delivers only what he deems absolutely necessary. This is a great way of being more effective – in blogging, and in life in general. Find Seth Godin’s blog Seth’s Blog here.
  • The Leo Babauta Post. Leo Babauta is the master of bullet points, of lists, and of breaking up longer posts into more digestible bits. Many blog followers will only read text that is in bold or text that is broken up into small peaces. Leo knows this, and he has successfully built one of the largest worldwide followings based on this knowledge. Find Leo Babauta’s blog Zen Habits here.
  • The Minimalists Post. Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus mainly write what they consider to be somewhat long form essays. This approach works well for them because they are really good writers, and because they have a lot of personal things (to their own lives) to say. Out of the three types of blog posts, I think this type is the one that is the most useful to the reader because it’s not as much about the information as about the people, but I also think that it is very difficult to master. Find Joshua and Ryan’s blog The Minimalists here.

All three of these highly successful bloggers get along just fine by structuring their posts the same way over and over again. They understand that simplicity is key – even if their approaches are quite different from one another. I don’t think any of these styles are superior to the others. Just as there are many ways to reach spiritual enlightenment, there are many way to become a great blogger.

Was this post meaningful to you? If so, I always appreciate comments, likes and shares. Thanks! 

How I Find Free Photos for My Blog Posts

In blogging, every little detail matters. From site design to quality content. I am not an expert in either of these areas, and while I am not always good at practicing what I preach, I do know that it is VERY important to make sure that you don’t infringe on anyone’s copyright. It is all about credibility, and credibility comes from paying attention to details like these.

At the moment I don’t copyright anything on The Measured Life. I might switch to a creative commons license one day, but, at least for now, I believe that it is in my best interest to allow everyone to do what they want with the content I produce. (Let’s be real here: no one is going to “steal” my stuff anyways.) I won’t worry about copyrighting my own material as long my audience is as small as it is.

As my blog presumably grows, however, I will have to be more aware of copyright, both in relation to my own material, and to the material I “borrow” from elsewhere. And since this is a challenge all of us face, I thought it might be useful if I shared what little I know about finding uncopyrighted photos for your blog posts.

Now, writing “how to” posts is a new thing for me, as it has always been a huge challenge for me to structure more or less anything I write. So it will probably serve you better to look up the info elsewhere. Still, here is my personal take on finding royalty free quality photos for your blog posts:

Do an advanced Google search

There are many places on the web where you can find uncopyrighted photos. The more professional your blog is, the more should you probably consider using a payed service. Where I am at in my “career” as a blogger that is not at all necessary, though. Doing an advanced Google search does the trick most of the time. The process is quite simple:

  • I do a regular Google image search on whatever kind of photo I need.
  • I then click advanced search on the settings menu.
  • Next, I scroll down to usage rights at the bottom of the page and click free to use or share.
  • I then click the advanced search button below, and bingo, I’ve got a bunch of photos that I know I am allowed to use.

It couldn’t be simpler than that (It probably could, but I just do this every time I do an image search for the blog anyways). Of course, this approach is quite limited, and you are not going to find truly original content by doing an advanced Google search alone. But it is an easy step to take to at least make sure that you are not breaking anyone’s copyright.

Or search through Flickr commons

I haven’t used Flickr Commons much, but this is one of the options I am considering trying out, as I am taking blogging more and more seriously. At Flickr Commons you will find a lot of those great, original photos that you might not find through a regular Google search.

Also, this approach is a match made in heaven, if you ask me. As a newbie blogger I am interested in giving my blog a great visual appearance while the photographers over at Flickr Commons are interested in gaining public exposure. So by using Flickr Commons photos I am hitting two birds with one stone, helping out both myself and up-and-coming photographers in the process.

You can find Flick Commons here.

Other resources

I am still a novice at finding good, free photos, and will have to admit that I mostly still just do advanced Google searches. So while I haven’t tried out any of his photo suggestions yet, I can recommend Hongkiat as a great resource for design and technology tips in general:

30+ Websites For Stock Photos and Royalty Free Images

If you know of other places to find good, uncopyrighted photos, please post below in the comments section. I would love to check out your suggestions and learn more on this subject. Thanks!

Photo is “Copyrighted Rock” by photographer and Flickr user James Glover.Enhanced by Zemanta

Was this post meaningful to you? If so, I always appreciate comments, likes and shares. Thanks!

Site update

Design update in progress…As you can see, I am currently making several big changes to the site, switching from the 2013 theme to the 2014 theme. I am adding a lot of new content, going directly against the previous minimalist style. Although cluttered, I view this as an overall improvement to the site.

The new WordPress 3.8 allows you to do small twitter-like non-posts like this (in the Aside format), a feature I might make use of more in the future for sharing quick thoughts like this from time to time. Stay tuned for more.

Meditation, Focus, Music, Art

Today I woke up experiencing the same feeling of desolate sadness that has pervaded me often in the mornings lately. First thing I did was picking up my mobile phone and checking Facebook, as I do often…too often. But something has changed this morning and I think it has to do with how meditation is changing the way I perceive and think.

Continue reading

10 life-changing blogs you should know about

This post doesn’t need much of an introduction, really, but I’ve figured that it would be a good idea to practice building more “structured” articles from now on. So I am doing that.

Below you will find short descriptions of great blogs that have all played important parts in my personal self-development journey.

To this day I read all of them with great detail and I am truly thankful towards their authors for their continued  output of amazing, high-quality content!

So without further ado, lets get the show going with Zen habits, one of my all-time favorite blogs.

Continue reading