Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Day 13: Shopping! And Blogging

Problogger ChallengeToday I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a book called Eat, Pray, Love for my NEPA Chick Lit Book Group (there will be a review when I’m finished reading it, which proves Nolie’s point that every experience can lead to a post).  And while I was there, I decided to do a bit of people watching and marketing homework per today’s assignment for the SITS Problogger Challenge.  Actually, the assignment was to go to the mall but, um, yeah, I hate our mall.  It’s incredibly small and not my idea of a good time but Barnes and Noble…  Oh my gosh, every time I walk in there, it’s like the mother ship has called me home.  Truth be told, I feel that way about Pier 1 too.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Barnes and Noble was that all of the new books and best sellers are right up front, so you can’t miss them as you enter the store.  Hmmmm….in thinking about my blog, my newest post is the one that pops up first when you first access my blog.  However, I like how some bloggers have their blogs set up like store fronts.  For example, when you go to Jennifer’s blog, Eighty MPH Mom, the first thing you see is a rotating “featured content” section that highlights not just her newest content but giveaways that she’s hosting or other posts she might feel to be important.  This allows the reader to pick what they want to read or follow Jennifer’s guidance and read what she wants thinks is important.  Just like in a store, you don’t think the candy bars are by the cash register by accident, do you?

The next thing I noticed was how people shopped in the bookstore:  women browsed the shelves while men headed directly for whatever they were looking for.  OK, I’m making generalizations here, but you’ve all seen men and women in stores.  We shop differently.  The lesson for blogging is that you have to appeal to the sexes.  Women, for the most part, want to know why you do something and men want to to know how you do something.  I think a good blog provides a nice mix of the two.  Krystal Grant’s Guide to Life offers practical advice for dealing with both the hows and whys of a situation.

Last but not least, there’s the smell of the store.  Barnes and Noble smells like Starbucks.  And lemme tell ya, coffee is probably one of the sweetest smells around and when I figure out how to scent my blog, you will be the first to know.

This post was written as part of the 31 Day Problogger Challenge that is being sponsored by SITS.


One Year Later…

I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve been so bleh for the last few days and it just occurred to me that it was a year ago this week that I walked away from everything that meant something to me.  Well, maybe not everything, but at least everything when it came to my career.  I resigned from my position as a reference librarian and university archivist to follow my husband to a new job and, due to circumstances beyond our control, the new position didn’t happen and I was left unemployed.

I thought by now that I’d have a job, maybe not doing what I was doing before but I thought I’d be doing something.  But here I sit, a year later, and I’m still unemployed.  I’ve tried to blame the economy, the job market in this area, etc but now I have to think the problem is me.  It’s hard not to look around and say OK, what the heck is wrong with me?  And, quite honestly, it’s embarrassing to admit that I’m unemployed.  I have a Master’s Degree in History and Library Science and I can’t get a job.  What the heck?

To say my self~esteem has dipped lower than economy, would be an understatement.  A friend of mine, who I want to believe was trying to be helpful and supportive, said that I should stop being a snob and accept any job that comes my way.  Once I got past the stinging comment, I tried to explain that it isn’t a matter of me being an occupational snob, it’s a matter of me being in a catch 22.  Let’s see, I could lie about my education and then during the background check get found out and not get the job or I can put my degrees on the application and get rejected because I’m overqualified.  So what do I do?

I keep on smiling while inside a piece of me crumbles inside.


Day 12: Scheduled Blogging and Social Media Checks

Writing last night’s post made me realize that I really do need a blogging calendar, not just for setting up a blogging schedule but for regulating my social media time.

Here’s a picture of my blogging/social media schedule.  It’s subject to change as needed.

Blogging/Social Media Calendar

I think I’ll probably start adding specific topics as needed but for right now, this set up works for me.

Do you have a blogging schedule, if so, what do you use it for?  Do you think it’s helpful or just another thing to add to your to do list?

This post was written as part of the 31 Day Problogger Challenge that is being sponsored by SITS.


Avoiding the Social Media Time~Suck

When I started this blog, I didn’t realize the investment in time, thought and patience that it would require in order to make it successful (and by successful, I mean, read by more than just my immediate friends and family).  Honestly, this started off as just a way for me to write down some thoughts, keep a daily journal of interesting things that happened to me throughout the day (looking back, I realize that my more personal posts are seriously lacking), etc.  But then I started writing reviews and offering giveaways and that’s when things started to change.

I realized that in order for my reviews and giveaways to be successful, I had to attract attention to my blog which meant I had to step up my game.  I joined a few forums, started posting something new every day, lit up Twitter, created a Facebook page and basically started running myself ragged.  Over time, I realized that this “little” hobby was starting to suck up more and more of my time.

And since I started the SITS ProBlogger Challenge even more of my time is sifting away “like sands through an hour glass…”  And apparently, I’m not the only one who needs help avoiding the social media time~suck.  A lot of challenge participants are wondering how they’re supposed to balance blog maintenance with everything in their daily lives because all of the tips have proven to be just a bit overwhelming.  Granted, I realize this is a challenge and not something I’d engage in every day unless it was my job but still

Anyway, I stumbled across this article by Katie Urbain, in which she discusses six ways to waste your time on social media.  Has Katie been reading my mind?  The article offers six tips for managing your online presence and still remaining productive during your work day.  As I read through the list of social media time~sucks, my head hit the desk.

I think the biggest takeaway from the article was that I can’t be everywhere nor can I can keep up with everything, so don’t even try.  And with that I’m shutting down my computer for the night to spend time with my family.  I will catch up on with Day 12 of the challenge tomorrow.


Didja Think My Chocolate Cherry Colored Hair Is Natural?

Ok, I know it looks like I’m stalking Lisa from It Keeps Getting Better but I’m not.  Ok, I am but I’m harmless.  Trust me.  Honestly, I just thought it was hilarious that we are both Feria lovers.  I used to use the guides on the box as a reference point but can I tell ya something?  I’m African American.  Surprise!  And, well, our hair takes color a little bit differently depending upon whether or not our hair is natural or has been chemically straightened or what types of products we use so my hair never comes out like the box.  That being said, I have never been disappointed with the results that I get from Feria.  So when I saw Lisa’s post, Loving My Feria Copper Shimmer #74, I decided to post my Feria pic too.  By the way, love, love, love Lisa’s color.

Feria 36

I’ll ask you the same question that Lisa asked, What’s your favorite at~home brand?

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