Dear Beginning Blogger – Be Awesome

Six weeks ago, I wrote to you and shared most the things I wish I’d known as a beginning blogger.

One of the things I told you was

“for the first month or two, just focus on writing.”

It’s been a month or two. I figured it was time to check in and give you a wee bit more advice.

(Hint: If I could have squeezed in in, the full title of today’s post is “Dear Beginning Blogger: How to be awesome at social media and get lots of comments on your blog posts.”)

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A Christmas Wish List for Bloggers

Yep, a Christmas wish list post.

This post is NOT shameless self promotion.  It has nothing to do with my recent declaration that I’m not as popular as I want to be.  Nope.  This isn’t about me at all.

(Although it IS an effort to be helpful and solve problems.  I’m at least TRYING to solve problems on my blog this week.)

This is a helpful list.  I’ve got a few suggestions for what you can give your favorite blogger (who isn’t me) for Christmas.

(psst… bloggy friends.  you can share my post if you’re too shy to ask for these things for yourself.  i’m helpful that way.)

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Writing Prompts for Writer’s Block

If you’ve written or blogged for any length of time, sooner or later you face writer’s block.

It happens to all of us.  Sometimes you sit down in front of the screen and just stare.  Sometimes, everything else just gets in the way and seems more important.  Sometimes, pure exhaustion sets in.

For a variety of reasons, writer’s block just happens.

Every writer has their own way of dealing with it, and I’m always looking for new ideas.

Here’s what I’ve found that works for me: [Read more…]

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Lessons Learned from 31 days

So… last year I joined hundreds of other bloggers in the Nester’s 31 days challenge.  It ran the entire month of October, and for 31 days straight I wrote about Finding Joy in Motherhood.

I loved it.

I hated it.

I almost quit partway through. [Read more…]

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Dear Spammer – About your grammar….

I’ve been having a bit of a fit this weekend about grammar (or rather, the lack of it by Spammers).

If you follow me on Facebook (and you should) you may have seen a few snarky remarks.

If you follow me on Pinterest (and you should) you may have seen me throw a pin fit as I created a new board dedicated to the subject.

(that was Saturday night, right as Pinterest stopped working for all of my friends. i may or may not have inadvertently broken pinterest. oops.)

Before I launch into a full blown rant on the subject, I need to get a few details out of the way. [Read more…]

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Ch-ch-ch-changes….

Oh come on admit it… you remember the song about changes.  The one by David Bowie?

So what about the Turn Turn Turn song?  The one by The Birds that is direct from the book of Ecclesiastes?

In some ways, both are talking about the same thing.  Life comes at us in seasons.  At a certain point, there comes a time for change. You can either embrace it and move on, or you can fight it.

I don’t recommend fighting it. Just… trust me on that.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-changes?

It’s time to make some changes to my blog.   Again. [Read more…]

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To my friend who doesn’t blog

to my friend who doesn't blog

Forgive me while I write an entirely self-serving post to my friend who doesn’t blog.

Given that I’ve had bits and pieces of this conversation with several friends over the past few weeks, I’m hoping my friend won’t recognize herself.

(and if she does, i’m hoping my friend won’t get her feelings hurt. girl – you know that’s not how i roll.)

See, my non-blogging friend thinks my blog is a waste of my time and talents.  She doesn’t even see it as a cute little hobby or an ego-centric online diary.

No.  She sees it as a giant time-suck… a distraction from important things… a total waste of my time.

This goes beyond her criticism that my blog does not make any money (it doesn’t – the rare gift card isn’t enough to cover my expenses).  It’s her assertion that my time could be better spent on activity that actually does make money.

My friend who doesn’t blog has me quite upset.

At one level, I understand what she’s saying.   Blogging is (quite frankly) a giant time-suck.  Writing, creating artwork, marketing my blog, spending time on social media… it can consume as many hours each day as I let it.  Even after all of that is done, there’s still back-end maintenance, the total redesign of how the blog looks, networking with potential sponsors… the list is endless.

So yeah, I get it.  On the surface, it looks like I’m wasting a LOT of time on something that offers very little return on investment.

I understand her point about there being only so many hours each day.  Trying to run more than one home based business (blogging and direct sales) demands more hours than exist in a week.  I get that.

Trust me.  I get that.  The juggling act lately has been insane.  Crazy.

I get it.

But….

There’s no way I’m giving up blogging.  Not now.  Not when it meets so many of my needs and makes my heart sing.  Not when it seems that every part of my life weaves together and makes sense because it all ties back to one little spot on the web.

The direct marketing thing?  I can give it up.  I have fun with it. I love being a bit more sociable.  I love how it lets me encourage other women and invest in their lives.   I love how it gives me more interesting things to blog about.  I love how it stretches and challenges me to turn weaknesses into strengths.

And…

Here’s the deal.  I know the juggling act is a bit much.  I understand that there is a limit to how effective I can be at anything because I just don’t have time for everything.

So I quit.

Yeah.   Just like that.

I quit.

You know what I’m going to quit?  I’m going to quit trying to survive without maid service.  I’m going to quit watching that vapid show on television.  I’m giving up pretending that I can do it all.

So there.

Problem solved.

One last thing?

Just for my friend who doesn’t blog.

How in the name of all that is rational and logical can you spend twenty minutes berating me for my giant time-suck of a blog and then turn around not an hour later and ask for my help starting your very own blog… because you’ll use it to make money?

How?

Seriously.

Did you not even appreciate the irony of my response when I referred to helping non-writers start a blog as a giant time-suck that didn’t seem like it would make me any money.

I really was taken aback when my response hurt your feelings.

After all, I was just quoting you.

why i blog

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Blissdom Bliss for Non Bloggers (#5club 2)

blissdom for non bloggers 2I had an awesome and amazing time at Blissdom and I came back with ton of stuff I wanted to share – my Blissdom Bliss

Most of what I learned applies to EVERYONE – not just bloggers and social media junkies.    (as a reminder, even if you aren’t tweeting , your tweens probably are.)

Over the next few weeks, I’m sharing some Blissdom Bliss posts on a random basis.

The very first speaker I heard at Blissdom was Jon Acuff.  It was 5am for the aptly named #5club.

Part one of my notes is in a previous post on Blissdom Bliss.  You can read about why we were meeting at 5am. [Read more…]

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Blissdom Bliss for Non-Bloggers #5club

blissdom bliss for non bloggers

I had an awesome and amazing time at Blissdom and I came back with ton of stuff I wanted to share – my Blissdom Bliss

My blogging friends have asked me what I learned, and I can’t blame them.

But I also remember what it felt like to read these kind of posts when I didn’t have my own blog.  I felt left out.  I wanted to just move on to the next post because I didn’t see why I should care.

So here’s the deal.

Most of what I learned applies to EVERYONE – not just bloggers and social media junkies.

(besides, if i don’t tell you how amazing it was, then i can’t possibly meet you in person at a future blossom event and hug your neck, right? i promise – i’ll put blogger or social media specific stuff in it’s own section where the rest of you can ignore it.)

So over the next few weeks, I’m planning on sharing some Blissdom bliss posts on a random basis.

The very first speaker I heard at Blissdom was [Read more…]

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