Make Your Blog Sail Like Santa Maria

Posted on Sep 12, 2009 in Blogging by
23 Comments

Oh, you don’t know what Santa Maria is? If you’re reading this from the American continent, well, Santa Maria is the main cause you’re living there. 500 years back, a man called Cristofor Columb discovered what we all know today as America, with a fantastic sailboat called Santa Maria. It went from Spain all the way over Atlantic Ocean and found a New World.

Now, I can almost see it: left eyebrow slightly up, fingers ready to hit the keyboard and the lips slowly starting to move, ready to chew the following question: “well, let’s say I understand all this sailboat thingie and I heard about the guy… somehow… but what does that have to do with a blog, dude?”. Relax, let your eyebrow slowly descend in its place and join me, I will tell you how to blog like you’re sailing a sailboat. A fantastic sailboat.

How To Keep Your Blog Afloat

You may write the best content in the world, but if nobody can find you, your content will be as good as buried in your back yard. Subsequently, if you build a ship, but you won’t have a sea to sail on, your ship will be useless. I think you’re starting to see where I’m heading. And you’re right. Your content must find a way to sail. Your ship must find a sea to float around.

The water of your blogging ship is made by inbound links. That’s right, you heard me: inbound links. The more you have, the higher the level of your sea. If you have hundreds of links already pointing to your blog, you know what I mean. Sometimes, all you need is just some water and you’re just drifting away, effortless. Building inbound links for your blog is like creating a sea for your ship.

I always saw this activity as important as creating content. Sometimes, even more important. Being connected and inserted in this huge web of links has many advantages, not all pertaining to the current moment. Having a constant flow of links will have huge benefits for the medium and long term. There are tons of techniques on how to build inbound links, I won’t go into detail here, but if you want to know more, you can always check out 100 Ways To Improve Your Blog.

Rise Your Posts Against The Wind

If your incoming links are your sea, your posts are your sails. You are actually pushed away by your sails. Imagine you have a blog with a lot of inbound links, but with no content. Nothing really happens there. It’s like a ship stuck in the middle of the ocean. In order to move forward, you have to create constant, quality content.

The quality of your sails is directly affecting the speed, the maneuverability and the balance of your ship. Being constant is one of the keys here. A ship with sails filled with holes won’t sail as fast as one with huge, continuous and consistent headsails. A ship with partial sails won’t be very easy to sail either.

Writing good content is very similar to using good sails for a sailboat. Your posts have to be consistent, complete, balanced, time proof and effective. Of course, you can write whatever crosses your mind, but don’t expect something wrote just to fill in the gaps to behave in a same way a well crafted sail does.

Stay On Top Of The Content

Remember that place on top of the mast? The guy on duty? Ready to see every danger that could arise from the ocean? Well, that’s the place you have to be, as the captain of your ship.

Stay on top of the content, don’t lose your main course form sight, have a bird-eye of the map at any moment. It’s easy to get caught in a daily routine while blogging. Whenever you have these feelings of limitation or boredom, just climb up the mast again and look at the sea around. Look at your ship from above (having your blog into mind map will surely help about that).


Watch The Shores

They say a sailor has a wife in every port. Well, this is true. Except ports in this comparison are success stories for your blog. And the term “wife” is used in its general meaning of “fun’. So, if your ship is the blog, shores – and especially welcoming harbors – are your success stories. This is where you become famous and have fun. Lots of fun.

Every time you reach a new destination, your blog will become more valuable. Every port you anchor in is in fact a new level of your blog. Every shore you touch, is the end of a new travel. But a sailor needs sea. Enjoy your success, have your fun, but don’t stay too long in a port.

Anchors away. Don’t try to taste more than you can have, because if you stay in a single port too long (meaning, enjoying too much of your success) you’re going to lose the very ability which lead you there.

Watch Your Compass

Every skilled sailor needs a compass. You have to know every time where you are heading. Your highest place on the highest mast of your ship won’t be able to help here. A compass is a much more sensitive and deep tool.

In blogging, your compass will be your intuition. Find new trends. Or create them. Identify new opportunities. Or, again, create them. Find new partners, new ideas, new subjects every day.

Not using a compass can create this very awkward situation: you have a huge sea to sail on, good sails and a functioning boat, but you don’t really know where you’re heading. Or where you are. Or why are you there.

***

History tells us that Santa Maria ran aground in the Christmas morning 1492 and had to be abandoned. But it did that only after discovered a whole new continent and opened a fantastic chapter in the world’s history. The captain, Cristofor Columb, was still alive. And guess what: after this incident he chose other ships and continued his discoveries.

Don’t let your ship go aground before you use it to discover a great new world.

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23 Responses to Make Your Blog Sail Like Santa Maria

  • umm, Christopher Columbus did not discover America, he landed on what today is know as the West Indies, in fact he was incompetent “leader”, thought the world was flat, thought he was sailing to Asia, thought he landed in Asia when he encountered the indigenous ppl there, his crews didn’t respect him, you may want to use another example or revamp your article.

  • Supposedly Americo Vesppucci discovered “America” in 1497 however evidence shows that the Chinese who invented the art of navigation was the first to discover “America” in 1421 even earlier, but Asian was not really into conquest, if you want to get more technical indigenous ppl came from Asia too but was vulnerable to Europeans, I know this has nothing to do with your blog but couldn’t help myself, heehee.Sorry.btw, America was given its name by a German mapmaker.

    • Hey, that’s one nice comment, thanks :-) Gives me the opportunity to grow my comparison even more. First of all, I won’t revamp the post, I think it fits the purpose nicely. Second, thanks for all this historical info, I appreciate it and it does complete the post.

      However… :-) However, I don’t really think this is the point. First of all, Santa Maria was in the first fleet which sailed to what we know today as being the “new world”. It was the first big transatlantic trip of a commercial ship. This is my point. The big trip. Your blog can make this big trip too.

      Second, Cristofor Columb may have been a poor leader. By our modern standards. But by that time standards, he was ok. He did what he has to do in order to fulfill his mission. He worked with what we had. And, most of all, he continued his trip. His motivation may have been greed, or some political expansion, but the result overcome this initial intention with several orders of magnitude. He actually discovered a new world. This is what a blogger can do too.

      That’s my point. Thanks for the comment, it was fun responding to it :-)

      • Dragos,
        the Santa Maria was not the first fleet which sailed to what we know today as being the “new world”. Christopher Columbus did land in the west indies known as the Carribean today,but still though he was in the east Indies in Asia hence “Indians”.You said he sailed to America.I know it wasn’t your point, I got what you were trying to convey,sorry if I ruined any good feelings with his blog, I actually enjoy reading your blogs, you seem to have a lot of willpower.Peace.

        • Columbus sailed 4 voyages in which he discovered the New World for Europe. I don’t believe he ever landed in what is now the U.S. but he certainly landed in “America” (You know Central and South?). On one voyage I believe he hit south America and on another I believe he landed in Central America. His 1st voyage came very close to Florida when he landed in the Bahamas. That’s my contribution of a 35 year-old memory of schooling.

          As far as revamping you said he believed the world was flat. Huh? He sailed west to go to almost straight east to EAST Asia on a flat earth? Columbus in no way thought the earth was flat. His whole point was to circle around the globe, which he way underestimated in size.
          .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..The Power of Small Things =-.

          • Stephen, Columbus’s did think the earth was flat,his initial intention was to sail east to find a new and better trade route to Asia and he thought he was sailing around Africa to get to Asia and somehow accidently stumbled in the “West Indies” or the carribean.That’s how incompetent he was!lol.After the initial discovery of “the new world” that’s when he set sail again this time knowing he was sailing to the west.called The blogger did mean America as in the U.S. sorry can’t sugarcoat that.I guess if more research was done it would be more credibility to the story.

  • One thing I’d like to add is:

    The crew is your subscribers and loyal readers. With them, your duties would be much easier. They help to promote your posts and comment on them. So the bigger your crew, the easier you’ll get popular and reach your destinations :-) .

    You might also like to add this point to your post. ;-)

    By the way, this post is a very comprehensice guide, Dragos! Nice example using the Santa Maria too :-)
    .-= Gloson´s last blog ..I’m Officially the Youngest Published Poet in Malaysia =-.

    • That’s one pretty clever idea, Gloson, and I like the way you inserted it in the overall web of the post. Consider it part of the post, for now :-)

      Congrats for being the youngest published poet in Malaysia :-)

  • As an American I was taught in grade school, Columbus discovered America in 1492. We have a national holiday here October 12 celebrating Columbus Day.

    With that said:
    Dragos your analogy’s in your articles is truly creative and holding my interest as follower of your blog. It isn’t just the story but the unique way you share your knowledge of blogging and writing.

    Great article ~
    .-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..I Remember 911 =-.

  • Salute The Captain!
    Yesterday I wrote my 20th posting. And my realization was that indeed, every new posting is like another step into a journey of discovering the “New World”. Once you get on board of your own “Santa Maria”, the “journey” gets its own life. You can go all the way around the world ending in the same place, but you will never be the same.

    Ps. I must follow some of your blogging (sailing) advices, Captain! The question: “What the heck am I going to write about?” was recently replaced with: “ How am I going to manage my time more eficient to write about so many things that I have in mind?”
    Doru

    • Well, that the spirit, matelot! Don’t you stop right now, the wind is good and steady and the sea is actually calling for you :-)

      Don’t want to make you lose your rhythm (apparently, from the question you mentioned, I can’t do it even if I try) but it was only around 200th and 300th post on this blog when I finally found my pace. Knowing you, I bet you’ll find your pace before 100th :-)

  • Very good inspiration for me to continue goes on blogging. However, a good captain (articles) does not meant can always bring in a loyalty sailors (readers) without showing (promote) what ability you have when the captain still young (fresh). The matter of problem is “time” to building up your efforts.
    .-= Simon Liew´s last blog ..How to Make Your Blog Searchable in Google & Yahoo =-.

    • Absolutely true: time is of essence here. Remember that Santa Maria sailed for 5 weeks before reaching the shores. It isn’t a fast ride. Blogging is an endurance activity, rather than a sprint.

  • Nicely written analogy. And for those readers who want to start a blog, become a sailor, I have always enjoyed this little bit of inspiration:

    “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
    .-= Mark Lewis´s last blog ..Play for The Moment and Dream Big =-.

    • Those are inspiring words for a writer I admire a lot. Sailing on the Mississippi surely was an enlightening experience for Samuel Clemens. The guy we all know today as being Mark Twain, of course ;-)

  • bizsugar.com wrote:

    Make Your Blog Sail Like Santa Maria…

    A comparison between blogging and sailing. Oh, and the answer to the question: who the heck is that “Santa Maria” in the title :-)…

  • Dragos, I got the point. I think the metaphor works and was obviously well thought out. This and your 100 ways article are fantastic resources about blogging that I thoroughly appreciate. I think your 100 ways post is the best I’ve ever seen for what it was trying to do.
    .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..The Power of Small Things =-.

  • Columbus Bolumbus, who cares! :) That’s not your point. I get your point loud and clear. Corrections are fine, but often we humans get caught up in examining the tooth pick and miss the entire HUGE forest filled with vitally alive trees. I prefer to go for the forest you offer us. The rest is irrelivant to me. Thank you for a GREAT post dear Dragos. I badly need this info.

    I have a question: Now I read your 100 ways to improve your blog and am curious; are THOSE the ways to build incoming links? I really was hoping you WOULD go more into more detail on this. It’s juicy information. LOL! :) I wish you would do a post specifically on this. I think it’s THAT important and I don’t really know what it means or how to actively go about it. I comment on other post, but I’ve a feeling there is more I should be doing. Would LOVE to hear more about this.

    Thank you for another GREAT post Dragos. I am so enjoying these. Good job you are doing. Robin
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Are We Eradicating Soul? =-.

  • Lulu, You are incorrect, but I’m not going to argue it past what I say here. Columbus knew the world was round and he sailed WEST. His own logs show him taking westerly routes the whole time. You need to “revamp” your comment. He sailed west to go east and he sailed east to go home west because he believed the earth was round.
    .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..You Cannot Choose the Wrong Path =-.

    • Stephen, you are the one that is incorrect, maybe you are misunderstanding me.The voyage that he took to try to reach Asia was the voyage in which he accidently ended up in the western hemisphere.The whole point of the trip was to find a new trade route to Asia, yes he tried to sail to Asia by sailing westward.Columbus was incompetent, an idiot and a fool.Just because someone accidently stumbled upon gold doesn’t make them smart, if the author of this blog would have done his research he wouldn’t have written this blog.I am done with this and also this website because of this ridiculous blog, it makes me question the validity of the author.And I don’t know of anyone that celebrates “Columbus Day”, no one cares.

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