31st Jul2010

Day 13: Shopping! And Blogging

by Daenel

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.

31st Jul2010

One Year Later…

by Daenel

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.

31st Jul2010

Day 12: Scheduled Blogging and Social Media Checks

by Daenel

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.

30th Jul2010

Avoiding the Social Media Time~Suck

by Daenel

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.

29th Jul2010

Didja Think My Chocolate Cherry Colored Hair Is Natural?

by Daenel

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?

29th Jul2010

Day 11: There’s Thunder and Lightening but No Rain

by Daenel

Problogger ChallengeI remember when I was in high school my English teacher used to try to get me to use that  brain storm cloud thingy to come up with ideas for writing assignments and it just never worked for me.  I preferred to sit with pen and paper (back then we were old school and we used a pen and paper when we had to write) and just start writing.  I still write like that ~ free style.  I let everything hit the page and then I go back and edit until I’ve formed a cohesive post.  Sounds insane and disorganized but it works for me.

This is also how I get my ideas ~ I just let things flow but I also draw inspiration from things that happen to me during the day, reading other people’s blogs, reading Twitter, watching the news, etc, those are all good fodder for blog posts.  However, I’m going to follow the rules and use a mind mapping tool to come up with some new blogging topics.

After trying both Bookvar and bubbl.us, I settled on bubbl.us.  And, um, this whole process was hard.  Mind mapping is so not the way my brain works.  I tried using old posts as jumping off points and I just could not get the juices flowing.  Although I’m sure this process works for others, it simply did not work well for me at all.

Have you ever tried mind mapping?  Does it work for you?  Can you really get blogging ideas from mind mapping?  Please share with me.

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

29th Jul2010

I Write Like….

by Daenel

I found this writing analyzer on Lisa’s blog It Keeps Getting Better and decided to give it a try.  The post I chose to have analyzed is called My Droid Hates Me and the Feeling May Be Mutual, it was written just after I traded in my BlackBerry Storm for my Droid.

Anyway, here is the result…

I write like Cory Doctorow

I had to look Cory Doctorow up and all I can say is, Really?

You know I had to do it a second time just so I could see who else The Analyzer would come up with, so…

The second post I had analyzed is called Women of Faith:  Miracles and Monkeys.  So let’s see what The Analyzer has to say:

I write like Dan BrownUmmmm, ok.

Now it’s your turn, have your writing analyzed and see what happens.

28th Jul2010

Day 10: I Want to be the First to Know

by Daenel

Problogger ChallengeI don’t know why I didn’t think of setting up alerts before.  Doh!  I used to get them all the time when I was blogging about my life as Queen of the Histolibrarianivists.  Speaking of which, I’m not certain why I stopped getting those alerts.  Hmmmm….

I liked receiving alerts for my library blog because it kept me abreast of what was going on in library land (even though I know a lot of people, sometimes things slipped through the cracks).  Again, not certain why it didn’t occur to me to set up alerts for this blog.

Anyway, I set up my alerts through Google News because I’m using a Droid and it loves Google.  I used the following keywords:





*Living Outside the Stacks





I tried to use the keywords that pop up most often in my post tags.  I also set up a “Vanity Alert” so if anyone says something about me, I know about it.  That sounds slightly paranoid, huh?

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

28th Jul2010

Weigh~In Wednesday

by Daenel

Wow, I cannot believe I haven’t written a Weigh~In Wednesday post since 21 April.  What’s even sadder is that I weigh about the same thing.  At least I’m consistent, right?  Nor have I gained, so that’s even better.  I haz a Weigh~In Wednesday happy!

Two days ago I downloaded the My Fitness Pal (MFP) app to my Droid and lemme tell ya, there is nothing like seeing how many calories you scarf down right there on your phone.  After I set up my profile, MFP guestimated how much weight I should lose per week in order to meet my weight loss goals and it set up a daily calorie intake calculator.  This helps me out a lot.  Because I know I’m only allotted 1200 calories a day, I’m much more selective about what I choose to eat.  No more donuts and coffee for breakfast, I’d rather save those empty calories for a healthy snack or a filling dinner.  MFP also tracks my water intake as well as my daily exercise.

Yesterday, the kids and I went for a walk along the Back Mountain Trail.  We didn’t do it so much for exercise as we did just for the chance to hang out, but we did walk a little over 2 miles.  In fact, the kids were up, dressed and ready to go before I was (nice ’cause I’m usually waiting on them).

I’m not sure what’s on tap for today but I will get my exercise in and I will be tracking those calories, because I like it when the numbers on the scale stay the same but I love it when the numbers on the scale go down.

Today’s Weight:  158.6 lbs

27th Jul2010

Day 9: Join a Forum and Start Participating

by Daenel

Problogger ChallengeWell, I’m already involved in several forums although I’m not the most active member.  Sheesh, it’s hard enough for me to keep up with Twitter, Facebook and the comments on this blog as well as the reading of my favorite blogs, but I do my best.

Here are the forums/communities that I actively participate on:

BlogFrog ~ This is new to me but I’m actively participating.  I’ve made it to Day 9 of the challenge, so there you go… I do have my own community on BlogFrog but I haven’t really taken the time to develop it yet.  I think that’ll be next on ever growing my list of things to do.

Better Your Blog ~ A forum that proves when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Created by Alyna to help out a group of women who were frustrated with a blogging workshop they were taking, this group incredibly supportive, understanding and nurturing.

The Secret is in the Sauce ~ I don’t post often but I do read the tips that are posted on the website because I find them useful.  Furthermore, I’ve discovered some interesting, funny and heartwarming bloggers through SITS.

Oh my gosh, is this another list post?

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

27th Jul2010

Book Review (and Giveaway): Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets by Lisa Quinn (Closed)

by Daenel

Life's Too Short to Fold Fitted SheetsIf you’ve read my About Me page, you know that I pride myself on “having the organizational skills of a mother and the domestic skills of a Stepford wife” but even I need to take a few shortcuts every now and then…  I, like many women who came of age when Martha Stewart was folding paper napkins into chandeliers, believed I had to not only butcher the pig, but fry it up while balancing a baby on my hip.  Yeah, right, life’s too short for all of that…

And Lisa Quinn’s new book, Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets: Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation, is the perfect manual for showing all of us overachievers how to maintain a neat house and serve perfect but not~quite~homemade meals (the book includes 17 recipes made from deli chicken!) all while maintaining our sanity.  Sprinkled with self~deprecating humor, common sense and practical information, this book will have you laughing and wondering Why didn’t I think of that?  One of my favorite tips comes from the section called “Not~So~Good Housekeeping”, where Lisa lists the top 10 things you have to clean if company is coming over in 30 minutes.  Among the common sense ones, like cleaning the toilet and mirrors, she offers this little gem:

“Spray a fine mist of nontoxic spray cleaner in the air right by the front door.  You didn’t really clean anything, but it smells like you did.  Remember, perception is reality.”

LOL  All this time I’ve been spraying air freshener!  Oops.

Lisa Quinn is an Emmy award~winning TV host, set dresser, author, wife and mom of two, so she knows of what she speaks.  She has appeared on the Early Show, HGTV and The Oprah Winfrey Show and designed sets for the National Geographic Society and the Discovery Channel.  This lady has done it all and she lived to tell us how to do it the easy way!

Giveaway:  I received a copy of Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets:  Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation courtesy of The Mom Renewal Project and Jill Daniel of Pasta Queen Public Relations, I’m giving away the second copy of the book that I received to encourage my readers to check out the book and related information about the author, Lisa Quinn.  For a chance to win a copy of the book, please do the following:

1.  Leave a comment telling me who your favorite television mom parent is

*Please make sure you leave some way for me to contact you*

*Leave a comment for each entry*

Extra Entries

1.  Subscribe to my blog

2.  Like my blog on Facebook

3.  Tweet about my giveaway “Win a copy of Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets from @DaenelT and Living Outside the Stacks http://tiny.cc/io0a4″

Contest ends Tuesday, 3 August 2010 at 10 PM EST.  One winner will be randomly selected using Random.org.

Disclosure:  The book that I reviewed as well as the copy that I’m giving away were provided to me free of charge courtesy of The Mom Renewal Project and Jill Daniel of Pasta Queen Public Relations in exchange for a review.  This does not in any way compromise my review.

26th Jul2010

Day 8: Sharing My Favorite Posts

by Daenel

I’ve found that interlinking posts probably benefits me more than it benefits my readers.  You know, I go back through old posts and I’m like dang, did I really write that?  That’s pretty good.  Sometimes you have to pat yourself on the back, especially when others won’t or don’t do it.  Usually when I interlink it’s because I’m trying to make a point or reference something that I’ve written about previously.

Today I decided to do something different and highlight some of my favorite posts.  I hope you like them too…

One of my favorite posts is the memorial post that I wrote just after my father passed away unexpectedly.  That post wasn’t written for this blog but it will always be one of my favorites and I do link to it quite often.

Another one of my favorite posts that was written for this blog was also written at a difficult time in my life.  I had just started to really get into the job search process and I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the fickle nature of people in human resources and how they select candidates to interview.  I compared job hunting to going on a blind date because in both cases you’re trying to see if you’re compatible enough to enter into a long~term relationship.

I took up photography this year and one of my favorite pictures is one that I took of my husband as we were walking through an underground pass through.  Believe it or not, I took the picture with my cell phone.  Another one of my favorite photographs were some that I took of a bird’s nest right outside my front door.  The mama was not happy with me taking pictures of her babies, but I couldn’t resist.

I had fun with today’s assignment, I hope you did too.

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

26th Jul2010

Monday Mingle: Without My Internet, I Would Die (not really but…)

by Daenel

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants. Afterall, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions were submitted by Robyn from Robyn’s Online World and they are all about being connected to the Interwebs:

1. How many computers in your house?
2. Are you connected on the go (via cell phone with data service, netbook, laptop, etc)?
3. What is the longest amount of time you can go without the Internet before missing it?

Sadly, there won’t be a Monday Mingle next week because Jennifer will be getting ready to go to BlogHer.  Enjoy, Jennifer!  Can’t wait for you to share when you get back.

25th Jul2010

Mamavation Monday

by Daenel

Mamavation ButtonForgive me, sistahs, it has been 20 days since my last confession…  In that time, I’ve done so many of the wrong things for my body and for my health.  Let’s see, I’ve eaten ice cream cake, had sodas, eaten fast food and totally given up going to the gym.  I don’t really have any excuses other than I’ve gotten lazy and now I’m paying for it.

Even though I bailed on my own health and well~being, I have encouraged several of my friends to check out Mamavation because they are in need of support in their quest to get healthy.  I’m not sure if they plan to pledge or not, so I’m not going to call them out but if they are reading this, I want to say again that this is an awesome community of women who will offer you support not only in getting healthy but in handling life’s issues too.  Just seek them out on Twitter, using #mamavation.

My plan is to get back on schedule.  The hubs is threatening to cancel my gym membership and my pants are getting very snug, yet again.  I did realize something though, when I had a goal I worked so much harder.  For example, when I was working towards the 5K in April, I went to the gym faithfully and I ate right so I think that’s what I need ~ a concrete goal and not just a “I wanna lose weight.”  So I guess I’m gonna have to check out the running boards again and see what’s coming up in the area.

My healthy commitments for this week are:

  • Drink water
  • Give up the junk food
  • Go to the gym
  • Focus on my emotional, mental and physical health
  • Actively participate with the Mamavation sistahs

Weight:  160.2 lbs

This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by Katy Bowman and her series Aligned and Well.  Katy Bowman is a biomechanical scientist who specializes in body alignment for optimal health.  Her DVD series offers a series of exercises that help to restore the body to its proper alignment in as little as 15 minutes per day.

Disclosure:  I didn’t receive any compensation for this post.  This post is my entry into the blogging carnival that is being hosted by Mamavation and Katy Bowman.

25th Jul2010

Day 7: Sharing the Link Love

by Daenel

Problogger ChallengeAhhhh, the linking post…

Sometimes when I’m blog hopping, I’ll read something that inspires me to write and when I do, I like to link to the originating post.  I do it for a variety of reasons, but mostly so that the primary blogger gets credit for my idea and secondly so that my readers can find out what inspired my post.

I think my most popular linking post has to be Exactly How Do I Get Paid Then? which was written in response to criticisms some mom bloggers were receiving for “giving away their services for free.”  I linked my post to Mom Bloggers:  There is No Good Reason to Work for Free. None. by Jennifer James.  I stated my reasons for linking to posts above, but I want to explain why this post grabbed my attention.

I know a lot of mom bloggers are hoping to turn their blogs into a source of secondary income and they have no idea how it’s done or how to attract the attention of sponsors for blogging workshops or advertisers for sidebar advertising, yet they’re constantly being harangued for “giving away their services for free.”  After reading these posts for the umpteenth time, without any tips for how to monetize or rectify the situation I decided to throw the question out there and see what happened.  Jennifer responded to my question with a brief outline in the comments section and then followed up with a post on her blog, Jennifer James Online.  To avoid redundancy, I wrote a follow up post on a related topic but I linked to her response so that my readers could get the information directly from her.

For me, this process was about asking a question and doing some follow up.  Not only does this help my readers, but it helps me too (and it also helps drive traffic to Jennifer’s blog).  And, most importantly, it helps those bloggers who want to monetize their blogs to get a rough idea of how it’s done.

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

24th Jul2010

Day 6: Must~Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers

by Daenel

Problogger 31 Day Blogging ChallengeToday’s assignment for the SITS Problogger 31 Day Challenge is to read twenty~seven tips and tricks from successful ten bloggers and then share the ones we find to be the most useful.  Ok, I can handle that.  I think.  I mean, that is a lot of reading for one day but I can do this, right?  Right.

And just so that I can prove that I’m learning something from this challenge, I’m going to do this list form so that y’all can get to the point quick and easy.  And because it’s Saturday, I’m going to limit myself to 5 blogging tips:

5.  Living Outside the Stacks:  6 Ways to Make Your Blog More Appealing to Companies ~ offers a few suggestions for making your blog more appealing to companies for those who wish to make money from their blogs (Hey, nothing in the rule books said I couldn’t mention my own blog)

4.  Chris Brogan:  Blogs as Loss Leaders ~ talks about how your blog may not provide an income but it may be a jumping point for other services that you can offer for cost, e.g. becoming a social media maven, creating custom blog designs, etc.

3.  Dosh Dosh:  Infographics Can Help You Spread Ideas and Attract Attention ~ pictures can sometimes be just as important to a post as the words because they convey an idea and can bring on an emotional connection to your post

2.  Seth’s Blog:  The Art of Seduction ~ know your audience, speak to them effectively and they will buy whatever it is that you are selling

1.  Successful and Outstanding Blog(gers): The Only Way to Attract a Vibrant, High~Trust Community ~ like attracts like, so if you want a rich and expressive community you have to be a rich and expressive person

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

24th Jul2010

Doll Houses and Memories of Family

by Daenel

The Doll House MysteryWhen I was little girl, I lived with my dad for about six months in Spottsylvania County, Virginia and then we moved to Washington, D.C.  In D.C. we lived with my grandparents, uncle and aunt in a quaint little four bedroom house on one of those streets where everyone knows everyone and all the elderly remember when the adults were kids.  You wouldn’t believe how many times I heard “When your daddy was a little boy….”

Anyway, one of the memories that I value most about my time in D.C. is my trips to the Washington Dolls’ House & Toy Museum with my aunt, Sissy.  The doll museum was owned by the late Mrs. Flora Gill Jacobs who often talked dolls and doll houses with my aunt (an avid collector of antique dolls) and me.  To me it felt like we spent every weekend wandering the museum, pointing out old favorites and picking out new ones.  I remember the intricately appointed doll houses, some with electricity illuminating teeny books lined up on book shelves eagerly waiting to be read by miniature families…  Perhaps that is where my love affair with dolls began or my fascination with all things literary.

Yesterday my aunt sent me a box of my father’s belongings and in the box was an autographed book by Mrs. Jacobs.  The book, The Doll House Mystery, was written in 1958 and autographed for me in 2004.  The inscription reads:

The Doll House Mystery by Flora Gill Jacobs inscription “For Daenel ~ With very best wishes from Flora Gill Jacobs May, 2004″

When my father died two years ago, I thought that my connection to his side of the family would end but seeing the book and other memorabilia in the box brought back many fond memories of my time in D.C. and I’m glad I had the chance to share my life with my dad and his family, even if only for a brief moment in time.

23rd Jul2010

Day 5: Connecting with My Readers Through Comments

by Daenel

Problogger ChallengeMy husband says that I spend too much time responding to comments on my blog.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t spend enough time.  He says I don’t have to respond to every comment.  I think I do.  If someone takes the time to not only read my blog but leave a comment, I feel like the least I can do is say “thank you” and answer any questions they may have or clarify information the information I presented.

I tend to reply to comments directly on my post and I will follow up with comments on the individual’s blog if they provide me with a link to a post that is relevant to our conversation.  The one thing that was disturbing me about my responses to comments was that I wasn’t sure if people knew that I had replied.  So I started futzing around with the plugins and found out about embedded commenting which allows me to reply directly to each commenter rather than just writing generic replies.  That discovery led to my post called I’ve Been a Bad Blogger but It Wasn’t On Purpose.  In it, I showed a few ways that I’ve adapted my blog to make it more “user friendly.”

I think the biggest benefit I’ve received from replying to comments is reciprocity.  When someone leaves a comment on my blog, I often check out their blog and leave a comment on one or two posts (especially if I’m participating in a meme, it’s ok to look around and see if there’s anything else you’d like to read).  I try to make sure that I say something more than “Good job” or “I agree”, I want my comment to be meaningful and show the blogger that their words touched me or made me think.  I mean, that is the purpose of a blog, right?  To share information and to inform…

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

22nd Jul2010

Coffee Talk: Ass~Hat Trifecta

by Daenel

Note:  I cannot claim credit for the term “Ass~Hat.”  I first heard it used by a group of my friends in library land and I think it fits the situation.  I hope they do not mind me co~opting the word for this post.  I love you guys, you rawk!

22nd Jul2010

Day 4: What Makes a Successful Blogger?

by Daenel

Problogger ChallengeThis was a tough assignment because I don’t really see myself as a niche blogger.  I blog about whatever strikes my fancy.  However, when I started to look a little more closely, I could see a few themes developing:  family, books and fun stuff (meaning memes, product reviews and chatter).  Since it’s hard for me to focus on just one blog, I decided to look at a variety of blogs to see how I compare.  For the record, I don’t rate success on followers, monetization or any of that kind of information because I know that some blogs have a lot of followers because they run contests where people have to subscribe to their blog in order to enter the giveaway. To me a successful blog offers relevant information, leaves me thinking or simply makes me laugh.

Code Name: Mama is successful because of the information that is provided.  Even though I don’t have young children, I find it interesting to read about how other parents are raising their kids.  Furthermore, I know several people who will be having little people soon and I’d like to be able to share information with them if they ask.  For example, this post called  Identifying Plants with Young Children is cute, informative and wistful, I’m sure some of my natural loving friends would enjoy it.

Contrary to popular belief, librarians do not sit around reading books all day, we do in fact do a lot of work outside of “book finding.”  So when I get the opportunity to read for pleasure I enjoy it and I like to share it.  Next month, I’ll be participating in an online reading group hosted by Trish at Hey Lady!  Whatcha Readin’? We’ll be reading of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (great book, read it if you can, better yet join the group).  I think Trish’s blog is successful because she’s asking people to participate with her in reading a book that she enjoys ~ this makes the discussions so much more lively and it’s a way of engaging her readers in active rather than passive participation.

When it comes to meme participation, nothing beats 5 Minutes for Mom.  People gravitate to their memes because they’re fun and they’re interesting.  And for those who are concerned about driving new traffic to their blogs, you know you’re guaranteed some visitors from their blog hops.  When I participated in The Ultimate Blog Party 2010 I found a lot of great blogs out there and a few people found my blog.  But, mostly, I had fun and stepped out of my comfort zone (I vlogged for the first time).

When I read through my blog posts, I try to be informative, entertaining and engaging and I hope that I hit all three.  And if people keep coming back to read my words, then I know that I must be doing something right.

Now you tell me, what do you think makes a successful blogger?  Is it the number of followers they have on their blog?  Does the fact that they draw an income from their blogs make them successful?

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


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