Oh Man, Where are the Followers and What Do They Read?

The other day I was reading a blog posting about how one of the bloggers I follow on WordPress just got his 11,000th follower on his blog.  In July 2013, he only had 6,000.  He wrote a brief “success” blog about how and what he did to reach 11,000 followers.

I am a bit jealous of his success. In his humble opinion, he isn’t the world’s best writer or blogger. His blog is so poorly written it is hard to read and gives me a headache.  I want to take my red ink pen out and correct it like a murderer/slasher on a 1990’s flick.  A lot of his problems are due to the run on sentences, bad sentence structure, and terrible grammar.

Yet, he has some great stories and 11,000 followers so I can pretty much suck it, right?  I have measly 400 or 500 followers so I really can’t say how to build up a huge following, can I?  Of course, my blog is built on Worthless Advice so maybe I’m killing myself and my blog?  He spins his tales like a drunken sailor (his description of himself) and people love it.  Imagine what he could do with a ghost writer living on Kauai?

What is the secret to his success?  He uses a bunch of tags that the magic internet search engine spiders love and brings in his type of readers (followers).  Even if his blog post has nothing to do with those tags, he still uses the same tags and categories over and over again.  Now, I’m not sure he is making money online but he has written a book and has self published it.

Oh, and a lot of his terms are about sex, crime, and drugs.  His life experiences are downright scary.  So we do know what the general public is looking for, don’t we?  And I don’t have anything against others blogging and writing exactly what they want to write.  I admire anyone willing to throw themselves out there and open themselves and their writing up for the world to see.

Your thoughts and comments?

Updating your Life with Worthless Advice: Career Changes

Every once in while, I think I should switch careers and do something else besides photography.  Then I realize that I don’t any transferable job skills. Rather quickly, I give up that line of thinking.  Oh no, you might be telling yourself…Kevin is giving up on his dreams?

Hold on now, let’s have a reality check.  Currently, most of my time is devoted to avoiding work, watching TV, reading about “making money online”, and taking naps.  Sometimes, I do manage to do a little photography work and get paid, but those days are few and far between.

I do a fair amount of daydreaming and thinking that I want a regular 40 hour a week job with benefits.  A few of my friends laugh at this idea (or they maybe laugh at me actually working a 40 hour week).  But it isn’t the idea of having to work 40 hours a week that appeals to me (who wants to work at all?), it is the appeal of the wonderful world of benefits: medical, dental, vision, a pension plan, a 401k plan, etc.

Again, I then realize that these are great things but the chances of me getting an easy job with great benefits is pretty darn slim.  Heck, our unemployment rate in Washington State is currently at 8.6%.  According to Cyndi (my imaginary stalker), I’m a highly desirable individual with marketable job skills that just needs to get out there and give it the good old college try.  But then you know how Cyndi and my mother like to build me up with positive affirmations!  They both agree that I’m wonderful!









Light Rail rider/passenger

Bus rider/passenger

Blogger (everyone is doing it and none of them are being read)

TV watcher

Novel reader

Internet surfer

Talk Show Host

Advice Columnist (Worthless Advice Columnist might be easier for me)

Motivational Speaker (some would say Demotivational Speaker)


Reality Show Star!


Hmm, upon further review, this list really isn’t that good.  But again, I don’t have any real job skills so producing a blog worth reading is a bit hard.  But let’s face it, this is a list of things I like to do.  And all the motivational speakers tell you to follow your heart (I learned that on the Oprah Winfrey Network OWN so it must be true!).

Now some of you might say that my list is a cop out of facing the reality of a harsh world; that I really haven’t thought of what I really want to do in life.  The harsh truth is that all I want to do is sit around the house, read a good book, do a little travelling, eat out a lot, and not have to worry about money.  Yes, I’m avoiding the harsh realities of my career change by living in today’s harsh responsibilities of my life.  Oh boo hoo.

Really, what I should do is build up my blog readership writing about making money online offering worthless advice.  Clearly, that would make my everyday responsibilities lessen to such a degree that I would be able to make that career change.  I could blog about my amazing transformation from no name blogger to internet sensation (making hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars online).  My career is set.  Bring on the money!

How I became a New York Times Bestseller author!

If you really want to be depressed, do a little research into making that creative career switch.  As my imaginary stalker Cyndi and you both know, I have a dream of writing that next New York Times Bestselling novel that will make me rich!  Oh yeah! I’ll be jet setting around the country in first class (sweet!) and wearing a tweed jacket, reading passages from my latest work to adoring fans, sipping an Americano and chuckling at my good fortune.

I got into this research mode with a stop this afternoon at the local grocery store. I noticed they had some brand new books for sale on a display table near the checkout stand.  As I flipped through a few pages of the novels, I wondered how much money the author would receive from this hardcover book.  Since it wasn’t a genre I had any interest in, I made a mental note to look up the author when I got home (which I since have forgotten the author’s name and the book’s title).  Oh well.  I decided to see what an author might expect to sell their first novel for (in terms of advances) and how many copies the first book might actually sell.  Was it ten thousand books?  Twenty thousand copies?

Yikes!  What a wake up call.  It might be as low as 500 books!  I know that everyone wants to write a novel and become a published author.  I didn’t know the pay was so bad.  I looked around at a few blogs and some people commented that they wrote because they love to write.  Bravo for them!  That is fine as a hobby but not as a career.  Some comments even alluded to the fact they would make more money flipping burgers at the local fast food restaurant than as an author writing for a whole year.

I have nothing against writing as a hobby.  However, if it is something I’m really passionate about and I want to make a living at it, then I do want to get paid more than the average burger flipper.  Call me greedy for chasing the dollar but my family does like to live in a nice house and have food on their dinner plates.

Sure, I could say “Follow my heart and the money will follow”.  A better piece of advice would be to write that novel in my spare time, try to sell it, and don’t quit your day job.  We all know that no one has spare time; it would be an evening and weekend endeavor.  I don’t mind doing that as a hobby but it sure would be nice to get paid if I am doing a part time job on the side.

Writing isn’t easy.  Characters and plots take time.  You have to develop a story, write a rough draft, and edit it.

Am I whining too much?  Sure.  I’m entitled to do a little whining.  Like everyone else, I want it to be easy.  I know it won’t be easy but it might be enjoyable.

I just hoped that by investing that amount of time into a project, it would at least spin off some additional income I could invest with.  Maybe build up my retirement that much faster.  Being 40 and having a stock market crash and real estate crash knock me down a bit, it would like nice to have an extra income stream to rely on.  A business that I only had to work on a few hours a week yet would spin off some nice cash flow.  Maybe a blog about fairy tales?  Because this is what this blog entry seems to be about!

As always, your comments, concerns, and suggestions are always welcome!

Making Money Online…can a small fish survive?

Jeez, where do you start with building your virtual online business? I have a few websites for my current business ventures (www.hellriegelstudio.com, www.kevinre.com, www.redstarhomes.com, www.kevinhellriegel.com) but these are mostly informational websites that don’t sell anything (except the http://www.hellriegelstudio.com has links to my client’s portrait images). I want to build a website that has e-commerce component to it and will generate money even when I’m not there. But then again, isn’t that everyone’s dream?

Considering the real estate market is in the toilet and all my equity (and my net worth) has disappeared in the real estate crash, I’d like to have some kind of additional income coming in besides my primary business of photography.

Some people have told me that I should get into writing and copywriting. I wouldn’t mind doing that. I enjoy my simple blog and the joy it brings to others (in my arrogant opinion). However, could I write for others as well as I do myself? And is my writing much better than the average “Joe” out there? I must admit that I do try to spell correctly (thanks to spell check!) and get my thoughts out in a concise and easy to understand matter.

I also enjoy making direct mail pieces and writing the copy for my promotional internet pieces. However, I don’t know much about copywriting in general and how to market myself as a copywriter. I don’t have a lot of experience outside my own website and marketing pieces when it comes to copywriting. I suppose that with every new adventure, you need to start somewhere (even if you don’t know exactly where that starting point is).

Ideally, I’d like to make money online by building a new website and calling it something like Hellriegel Creative Services. Then again, no one can spell “Hellriegel” so that wouldn’t work that well. If you take some time and put some thought into, my current Hellriegel’s Foto 1 isn’t exactly easy to remember right now. I’ll have to thank my Dad for that easy to remember name.

Perhaps it would be better to stick to a generic sounding name like HCS or HC Services. Easy to remember…maybe something like Hell Services? Maybe KGHServices?

If any of you dear blog readers have some ideas, drop me an email or leave them in a comment here on this page.

Making Money Online isn’t too easy. I also don’t want a name that sounds like a fly by night web operation located off the coast of Jamaica. Hmmm, “SuperKevintellsall.com”: a website about how to cry yourself to sleep with your empty bank account and your upside down investment properties!

I guess I’ll keep working on the website name and sign up for some more affiliate marketing websites! Oh, and I can work on my self-help ideas as well! I can see my future now (that’s called “visualization”) and it is bright (maybe I’m looking into the sun?)

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome!