Over the past year I have had the pleasure of getting to know Alvin Tatum as a Twitter pal and {grow} commenter.  I love his blog and am sure you will agree that you probably have not read about blogging from the perspective of this guest post!

By Alvin Tatum Jr.

“This Is My Blog.  There are many like it, but this one is Mine.”

If you’re familiar with this line you know I’m making a play on words from the movie “Full Metal Jacket,” but it’s actually the opening line to the Rifleman’s Creed. Through my own personal experience however I learned how true that line is (“This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine”) and how you can apply it to your blogging life.

My Background

My name is Alvin Tatum Jr. and I’ve been in the United States Navy for almost 17 years where I serve as a Weather Forecaster.  In 2008 I began a tour to Baghdad which really gave a new meaning to the term “a fish out of water.”  Typically sailors don’t find themselves in sand, but there I was preparing to go into the heart of a war zone to provide weather support to the Army’s top brass.  First I would have to make a detour to Basic Combat Training in South Carolina. There my best friends would become an M16 and 40 pounds of body armor. My enemy?  The unrelenting August heat.

In the Navy not everyone is required to carry a weapon, but for the next eight months I would have an M16 by my side 24/7.  I had to become intimately familiar with it. I had to learn how to break it down and put it back together. Most importantly I had to learn how to fire my M16 from various positions, and learn how to shoot targets up to a quarter mile away. Thankfully I wasn’t expected to learn these skills overnight and I had about 4 weeks to master them. By the end of training I could take it apart and put it back together like a pro, and the “Rifleman’s Creed” resonated with me all to well. This brings me to a few points about life … and blogging.

Get Mentally Prepared

(This is my blog)

Whether you’re in the military or just an average Joe, at some point in life we all have to prepare ourselves for something difficult.  It doesn’t matter if it’s personal or professional, the first step in any challenge is to move forward. Procrastination is mental not physical. If you want to achieve your goal then you must get your mental house in order. Going to war takes a lot of mental preparation. Blogging is not war, but don’t let the mental process become a battle within yourself.

Be Original

(There are many like it)

My trip to Iraq required a lot of time and training, but it came from people who had already traveled the road.  Look at your niche and do the same. Become familiar with it, be able to break it down and know who’s who and what they do well. This will help you find your aim and the position that’s best suited for your talent. 

Quality is King

(But this one is mine)

Quality only comes from hard work, determination and preparation. I needed all of these traits to accomplish something I’d never done in my military career, and blogging is no exception.  You must have all three of these traits to be successful and know the Core Values of Blogging. Quality is not necessarily showing up in the numbers either. You will come across all kinds of information that will sell you on fast success. More followers, more comments, more traffic, but it’s all a facade.

At the end of my training my M16 wasn’t just a gun it became a part of me and I felt naked without it. Your blog should be an extension of you. Most importantly it has to be yours and provide your readers with a level of intimacy that will lead to an inseparable relationship.

In war and in blogging it’s not how many rounds you fire, it’s how many you hit on target.

Alvin Tatum Jr is a husband, father, and 17-year Navy veteran who loves blogging about technology. His site is maddencorner.com.

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