On Christmas Eve, I was going through thrift stores to find a few last minute additions to Christmas gifts I made, and I stumbled upon this cute picture! Given the name of my blog, I had to pick it up. I plan on painting the frame and maybe replacing the border. We’ll see how I can dress it up!
Hope everyone is having a safe and fun holiday season!
The weather has been fabulous, so my blog has been neglected. We’ve had sunny days, warm rainy days, and even a nice small thunderstorm (hoping for some bigger ones this season!)
Of course, this means that I need to be more disciplined than ever to work on the stuff I want to get done, including reading, blogging, exercising, and most importantly, working on publishing company stuff.
The upside is that just being outside has been giving me inspiration. Lots of story ideas, productivity ideas, and inspiration for things I want to do (like that list needs to grow.
How is everyone else’s spring going? Are you having trouble staying productive to?
I read a great piece on Copyblogger this week about a strategy for writing one great piece of content a week. I love this concept, because working in SEO, I see a ton of thin blog content, and working in publishing, I see a lot of authors who feel pressured into posting every day. This leads to that thin content that no one really wants to read, and it also leads to authors being overwhelmed because they’re spending all their time blogging and none of their time writing their books, poems, stories, or preferred medium.
Personally, I usually write blog posts in one sitting, maybe two. But I do like the way the author of that article breaks down the required steps for a blog post into manageable tasks. Here is my mental checklist for blog posts (which sadly, I don’t always follow, but lately I’ve been better).
Craft Headline (sometimes I do this first, but I usually analyze after I’ve written the post to see if I can come up with something better)
Add photo/graphic (such a pain sometimes, but it really does make each post so much better)
Add tags/categories (I only do one category, and 3-5 tags, as I like them to be a focused as possible)
Scan for keyword usage (not always necessary, depending on topic/point of post) (When I do do this, it includes checking the content, url, meta description, and photos for my keywords and related terms. Sometimes it won’t make sense to have them in all of these places though, so remember, you’re writing to get a message across, not just keywords).
Schedule post/social shares
After it posts, share social, try to bring people to blog.
I do try to include a question or something to get people commenting, but I don’t like to force it.
I don’t do what the author of the copyblogger article does, and email people about my post. But I do share on Facebook and Twitter, and sometimes when I find related articles, I will comment on them and mention that I have a related post. I don’t do this all the time though, and I don’t go too far out of my way, since I like to comment on people’s sites to build community, not to self-promote.
So, that is what goes into my blog posts. Do you have any other checklist items that I don’t? Or strategies for crafting exceptional content? Let us all in on your secrets!
I should blog more. I should do a lot of things more. I did actually write down a bit of a story the other day, but it was mostly autobiographical and not of stuff that I wanted out on the great big internet. But I am reading more, and with that comes the inspiration to write more.
You’d think because I’m not writing at work very often, I’d write more at home. But of course that procrastination thing that rules my life gets in the way.
Oh well, lots of exciting stuff going on, and all of it pretty boring.
But I’m going to a Sarah Bareilles concert on Sunday, with One Republic and Serena Rider! I’m super excited!
Tomorrow I’ll write you a poem, but for now, I leave you with the words of One Republic:
Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
So when I remember that I have a blog and goals to post on it regularly, I pay pretty close attention to the stats. Maybe staring at the numbers of people viewing my blog make me feel like I am working on it. I don’t know why, but I do like looking at the stats, figuring out if I can narrow down how many of my visitors were people I know, and the like. I also pay attention to the search strings that people find me through (I do work in SEO after all), and people have found my blog using some interesting terms. I remember a couple special ones: “poetry with the word airhead in it”, “short airhead poem”, the turkish phrase for “real phoenix” (I do have a Phoenix poem), “I don’t mind being an airhead” and more.
And then of course there’s that search term blog owners love to see “unknown search terms” or “other search terms” both of which usually show up together and glare at you saying “nyah nyah nyah, I’m not telling!”
Recently I finally sat down and played with Google Webmaster tools, hoping I could see a few more of the search terms. What’s cool is that it shows the search terms see your site as an option for, not just the ones that they used to get there. So you can see which term you’re ranking for and which ones cause people to actually click through to your site. There were some interesting terms that I showed up for. The most interesting to me were ones that involved parts of my site’s name. Here are a few that I looked up to see what they were: Read the rest of this entry
So, the anthology group I am a part of is getting everything together, and we’re releasing our collection of Fairy-tale/mythos inspired stories in October! We’re putting together a kickstarter for the project, which will be live on July 1st! I’m not going to nag you all about it too much, but it’d be cool if you checked it out! There will be information about all the authors and their stories on the kickstarter page.
Anyway, that combined with the fact that I’m reading a book called “the tipping point” are what inspired this next little snippet. The tipping point is all about the little things that cause epidemics, whether they be diseases, or social epidemics like fashion trends and tv shows. I realized that the terms “kickstarter” and “tipping point” have similar meanings. So here is what popped into my head on the drive to work this morning.
Janie slid up from home base, rushed back around third, ducked under the short stop and rounded second. She barely made it to first as the pitcher caught the ball from second base and then she sprinted with all her might to home plate, where the bat flew into her hands and she got ready to miss the ball three times like she always had before. but first, something happened.
The catcher called her a pathetic loser.
Janie relived that first home run backward, forward and sideways until she went to sleep that night. Then she dreamed about the game, only this time it happened in a castle surrounded by clouds.
“Oh my dreams, get stranger every day, in every possible way” The Cranberries (revised)
Turns out I messed up that quote, but I like the way I have it. Anyway, the dreams I had between pressing snooze and getting out of bed this morning were quite strange. I dreamed of hanging out with a collection of friends who are currently spread out across the country before going to work. We were hanging out in a downtown area, going to assorted coffee places and ice cream shops. At one of them, a guy in line started asking about my blog because a friend was wearing a t-shirt promoting it. Then the cashier started talking about how he wished I did more updates.
Also, random people were walking by my house and texting me.
Overall, some strange dreams, and all it did was make me want a frou-frou coffee drink, a chocolate cupcake with bacon on it, and t-shirts for my blog.
Have a great day everyone!
I just went on a lovely weekend trip to Portland, Oregon, and for once it was sunny! Well, Friday and Saturday at least. So it was great timing that Deena from Keats and Kitsch messaged me and informed me that she had given me the sunshine award! I was completely surprised and thankful; it’s always nice to know people enjoy your writing. Anyway, below is a little bit of information about the award, and some answers to questions that it asks about recipients.
The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere”. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favourite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!
What inspired you to start blogging?
I have always been in the writing and editing field. Now I outreach to blogs all day at work and have been spending so much time in the blogging world that I decided to join it myself! I also think it’s a great way to get my work out there for people to read.
How did you come up with the name to your blog?
Way back when I had a myspace account (highschool) I had made my URL Ditzyairhead because I can be a bit spacey sometimes. One of my friends misread it as dairy airhead. I’ve always liked cows and I also liked the play on words (derrierre head) because I can be a bit of a butt sometimes too. So when I was brainstorming blog names I thought of that and decided to go with it.
What is your favourite blog that you like to read?
My favorite blog is a food blog called Poor Girl Eats Well. It is all about eating healthy and tastily on a budget. I love Kimberly’s writing and the stories behind her recipes. It’s one of the few food blogs that I Don’t skip down to the ingredients section.
Tell about your dream job.
Something that pays me to travel, eat, and write.
Is your glass half full or half empty?
Half full of water, half full of air.
If you could go anywhere for a week’s vacation, where would you go?
Australia. Ireland. Italy. I doubt I’d not enjoy a trip in any country though.
What food can you absolutely not eat?
Alfredo Sauce. Gross.
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Most of the time, milk.
How much time do you spend blogging?
That’s hard to measure. I’ve been trying to post every day, and posts take me anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. But then I spend time reading other blogs and trying to figure out how to get more readers (though the ones I have are awesome!) so I’ll say I average an hour a day, but sometimes spend more.
Do you watch tv – if so, what are some of your favourite shows?
Right now I love White Collar, Food reality shows (silly, I know), Blue bloods, and Once Upon A Time is amazing.
I don’t think I can choose ten bloggers that I like more than others. I often just go to the topics section of wordpress and pick one to explore. I of course enjoy blogs with poetry, travel, and food, but explore others as well. You should do the same!
That’s all for now! Have a great day everyone, and I hope you had some sunshine this weekend too!
The music is loud. It almost hurts my head.
I leave the volume as is.
It drowns out the world, my own mind even.
It leaves room for nothing but the best thoughts,
the ones that deserve to be written down.
And then Panic at the Disco ruins my focus with humor.
When I was in high school, my choir director was a fun, goofy guy. One day he was assigning locations for sectional practice and said “Soprano’s in the back room, Toids, stay in here, Men in the practice room” We looked at him funny for a second. “What?”
“Oh. Yeah. Well I was thinking Altos, altoids… toids.”
His train of thought made a lot of sense and resulted in a fun nickname for my section, but it only gained him weird glances at first because none of us were aware of his reasoning.
I encounter this a lot. Maybe it’s because I hang out with a an assortment of characters and have eclectic tastes. Maybe it’s because I have an overactive imagination. Whatever the reason, I tend to make connections that leave people going “huh?”
This inevitably leads to me trying to explain my convoluted thought process and more often than not giving up. Some things are better left off inside my head. I do have a lot of awesome stories to tell though and it is disappointing when people don’t “get” them or don’t care enough to listen all the way through.
But life is mostly us reliving and retelling the lessons we’ve learned. We share our experiences with others so that they mean something. The people and events that make up my past and my present are imperative to who I am.
So I will babble on, ignoring the fact I am being ignored.
Not that everyone ignores me. Some people listen, and share their stories in return. Let’s hope that that remains the case when more than two people read my blog.