on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Sunday Serial: 100 Days of Bloggers, Social CEOs & Brain Pickers

reading the sunday paper

If you’re reading this, then that means you made it through the first week of 2012 – congratulations! Now, let’s get over setting goals, making plans, and get some real shit done. Who’s with me?

But before we go out and conquer the world, here are four blog posts that left the most impressions on me recently.

Day 100: The Top Ten Things I Learned In the Last 100 Days by Harmony Hasbrook on 100 Days or More

Read this because: In October, my friend Harmony quit her job to take a break of at least 100 days from the work force. And the best part is she blogged during her entire journey and this weekend she reached day 100 and shared the top ten things she learned along the way. And it’s good.

20 Bloggers to Watch in 2012 by Jade Craven on ProBlogger

Read this because: Even though we all know that I’m the best blogger in the world (wait a minute…), here’s a list of 20 bloggers who are going somewhere and the best place to keep track is on their blogs.

My top picks:

    1. Stratejoy
    2. Life After College
    3. It Starts With

The Five Must-Dos for CEOs in Social Media by Chris Perry on Forbes

Read this because: Whether you’re a CEO or not, you’re the CEO of your own life. Whether or not you tweet from a profile that discloses that your tweets are your own, everything you say on social media is an extension of your life, your personal brand, your professional brand, and even the company who employs you. Be smart about what you say.

The Worst New Year’s Resolution: Network More by Dana Hughens on Clairemont Communications blog

Read this because: You want to know the real cost of that casual coffee date, lunch meeting, or that time when someone asked to ‘pick’ your brain.

You will benefit from reading this article because: You are a service provider or are job hunting and want to contact some people for ‘informational’ interviews.

Additional reading material: No You Can’t Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much by Adrienne Graham on Forbes

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Brendan Lynch

NaBloPoMo Goals and Milestones

Sailor Hipster Girl on a Fixie Bicycle

Today is the last day of November which means that all of the men who grew ‘staches for Movember can finally shave, we all flip our calendars and freak out about the goals we have left to meet in 2011, and it is the end of National Blog Posting Month. This is my second year at posting one blog post every day for the month of November and – woah – what a month it’s been!

Goals and Milestones

On November 1st I made six goals for myself to keep this month. Here’s how I did:

1. Post at least one blog every single day

By the time I publish my recap, I’ll have published 27 blog posts in a month with 30 days. I skipped three days; one was because I was out with friends and forgot and two were because it was the first week of my new job and I was tired.

This weekend I read Om Malik’s list of lessons he learned from ten years of blogging and he shared something Doc Searls said: “Blog if you have something to say and respect your reader’s time. If you respect their time, they are going to give you some time of their day.” And while there are a few blog posts I wrote this month that I categorize as “throw away” posts (meaning that I could have gone without writing them because I was too exhausted from life, uninspired, was unwilling to write, or had plain and simple writer’s block), every single post that I wrote and published went live before midnight and that’s an awesome accomplishment.

2. Stick to the content calendar

Who was I kidding when I wrote this? My blog is the place where I can write about “life according to Laura,” and this life says that content calendars are great, but mostly irrelevant for whatever I’m feeling right here and right now.

Screw that.

Okay, okay, so I probably stuck with the content calendar 30% of the time, like today and this recap. I’ve had this recap blog post planned for an entire month

3. Be fearless

Yep, did that, but not without hesitation.

4. Increase traffic

I totally nailed this goal and my traffic for the month of November 2011 was up 56% from November 2010. I’m proud of achieving this goal.

5. No epic blog posts

I made sure not to write or publish any “epic” blog posts this year. Epic blog posts are essays or articles that could honestly be a senior-level college thesis. They include a very strong point of view and research to back that up. And they take a lot of thought to write and a lot of time to edit. Epic blog posts should not be cranked out in 2-4 hours, but days or weeks.

While I technically didn’t write any epic blog posts this year, there were three blog posts that were about timely subjects and I wrote them a day or two in advance. The problem, you see, is that NaBloPoMo isn’t about writing everyday, it’s about posting every day. So there were a few nights where I cranked out that day’s post, published it, and went straight to writing the next one. That was a little hard, but it sure was fun to relax and not write the next night.

Small victories 🙂

Oh, and the best part about not writing epic blog posts is I’ve been listening – to what you’re responding to in my posts, to what other bloggers are writing and asking about – and I’ve put all of those ideas in a queue and I’m very excited to dive deeply into those topics. So get ready.

6. Read one new blog every single day

I’ve been reading a lot this month, but I haven’t been commenting as much as I wanted to. Why? I quit my job and started another one. Oh, and I’ve been blogging. A lot. So suck it. It happens.

Milestones and big announcements

Bragging rights

Blogs I had the most fun writing

  • Happy Thanksgiving Eve – I had the most fun writing this post and telling you not to listen to every other blogger and Tweet during Thanksgiving (Okay, ‘fess up, who stayed online all weekend?)
  • Picturing My True Identity – Because who doesn’t love sharing photos of themselves from high school?
  • That Blog Post About my Cats – Even though cats may rule the Internet, being a cat lady is still does not. This was one of the most creative posts I wrote and, let’s be honest here, I have cats, two of them, and they’re pretty awesome.

So long, NaBloPoMo, we’ll meet again!

I had fun this month. And while I really think that the 2010 NaBloPoMo experiment was my breakout year, I kicked ass this year and I’m emerging from the 2011 NaBloPoMo season as a better writer who is pretty damn good at blogging. And as a result, I know you and myself a lot better. Thank you for being with me on this journey.

What’s next? Not a new blog post on Thursday, December 1st, but you will see a new post this weekend.

Stay tuned boys and girls. And thank you for being here with me.

Photo Credit: Lorena Cupcake

Sunday Serial: 6 Blog Posts to Start your Week off Right

First off, I want to thank each and every one of you for stopping by and reading this blog. I’m lucky to be a writer who blogs because unlike writers of fiction and epic novels that are published in a static journal or book, you and I get to speak to each other if we want to. I get to share my thoughts and perspective with you, and you, if you choose, get to share yours. No writer has ever had this direct-line to his or her readers before.

For that, I want to thank you.

6 Blog Posts to Start Your Week off Right

Paper, boy

It has been an enormous week and I’ve spent most of the weekend with my head down, recovering. And while I’m really getting into the flow of writing and blogging once a day, I want to take some time to share. So allow me to introduce the Sunday Serial, a weekly installment of the top blogs, articles, and essays that I read over the past week. Enjoy! (more…)

500 Words or Less

Writing a paper

Last night I went to Scott Berkun’s launch party for his new book, Mindfire. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a literary event and I started the night off right by going to a bookstore.

During his speech, he said two things that I keep thinking about. The first was an anecdote about how writers don’t normally self-promote by telling a story about a poet who did (Walt Whitman) and how the art of the essay has been lost in this age of blogging.

The Art of the Essay

‘Essay’ is a dirty word that brings back memories of learning how to master the five-paragraph essay in high school and endless late-nights to crank out three-to-five double spaced pages with correctly formatted citations in college.

What’s the difference between writing an essay and writing a blog anyway?


According to every high school teacher, an essay is like an inverted pyramid that introduces a broad idea, delivers a thesis, and leaves you three more paragraphs to defend it, and it all comes together in a very fine point at the conclusion.

Essays contain the author’s personal point of view and require that you take a stand on a subject, research it, defend it, and convince your reader to agree with you. They also take a lot of editing to make sure your point is crystal clear and cohesive.

Essays are akin to articles, which exist as a ‘published’ piece of work to generally deliver news, research, academic analysis, or debate (thanks, Wikipedia!). Notice that articles are not required to represent the author’s point of view, but facts; very important distinction.


Blogs offer real-time, fresh content that’s updated on a regular basis. (Or to the bane of most bloggers, they want to update it regularly.)

Blogs can provide commentary on news and events, be the blogger’s personal (and public) diary, or provide a content marketing platform for a personal or corporate brand or product. A blog can be anything, though common characteristics include visual graphics, links, and the ability to comment (hint, hint).

The conversation and commentary is the main distinction between an essay, an article, and a blog. Though, with the way that the media has shifted, readers expect to be able to ‘comment’ on any and every piece of writing that appears on the web and have their point-of-view be listened and responded to (and the latter part of that cycle rarely happens). As readers, we don’t write letters to the editor in hopes of receiving a response; we demand it.

Blogs can be articles, but not all articles are blogs.

Citations, quotes, and proving your point

Essays require you to cite your sources in lists or very specific ridged ways that the MLA, APA, or CMS guides require. Articles are based on eyewitness reports, interviews, and quoted references, and again, provide a non-biased perspective on the subject. Blogging, well, there are no rules for citing sources, just common courtesy to link back if the blogger is ‘inspired’ by someone else’s ideas so they can prove that they didn’t steal them.

Are we all on the same page now? Good, now we can move forward with the initial point I was trying to make.

500 words or less

Scott Berkun said one thing in his discussion about essays and blogs that stuck with me – “If you can’t make a topic interesting in 500-words, what right do you have writing a book?”

@Berkun Twitter quote

What I think he was getting at – and this is not confirmed by the time of posting – is that many people bloggers write and ramble. They toss their ideas out there online and add to the content overload that we experience every time we log into Facebook or check our stream on Twitter. And the process of writing an essay requires restraint. It requires you to think and process and prove what you want to say before you throw it out there.

And the 500-word limit means you need to get to your point. Fast. It’s a reflection of the 140-character, enlighten us, but make it quick, world that we live in. If you can’t get to your point right away, then you shouldn’t even bother.

Photo Credit: Erunion

Note from lamiki: Everything that did not sound like my usual voice for it was too formal can be attributed to articles on Wikipedia to help define the difference between an essay, blog, and article. And in case you were wondering, this post was over 500-words.

On Blogging, Mustaches, and Going Paleo

Moustache May the 6th

It’s 9:55pm on November 1, 2011 as I start this post and my mind is blank. This is actually hilarious since I’ve been writing my inaugural NaBloPoMo post all freaking day.

This is not a good sign.

Today is November 1st and the start of three very big things: National Blog Posting Month, Movember, and the great paleo challenge.

As though I didn’t need more ‘new things’ to juggle…

National Blog Posting Month

Last November I embarked on a month-long journey to post one-blog post every single day for thirty days. I did this on a dare form an amazing and awesome blogging buddy.

The plan was simple, I laid out some goals, and I was good-to-go.

But what I didn’t know was how much I’d learn about myself through the process of writing. (You can read the recap here: When Creativity Flows, Don’t Turn Off the Faucet.) And over the past year, I have become an even stronger writer, communicator, and individual. And a lot of that was due to the routine of writing – and publishing – every single day.

For my sophomore attempt at National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), here’s what’s changed:

New blogging buddy

Anthony is still blogging, but he’s trading up from NaBloMoMo to participate in National Novel Writing Month (or so he says).

Meet Ms. Melinda Moseler, my NaBloPoMo blogging buddy! For background and bragging right, I helped inspire her to start her personal blog and made her fall in love with Twitter. She and I have been writing together at Jolkona for almost two years. At Jolkona, She and I have a dual writer/editor relationship that most hermit-writers dream of. You know the kind where you write something, one reviews it, and somehow figures out how to pull that point that makes your article, your blog, or even your media pitch that much stronger. I do that for her, and she does that for me. It’s pretty awesome.

In other words, she rocks.

She’s also based on the east coast, has accepted the fact that I blog late-at-night. 😀

I am so exited to have her with me on this journey this year! Here’s Melinda’s first NaBloPoMo post: It’s National Blog Post Month!

New goals

Setting goals last year kept me on the ball and off of the ledge of despair. So here’s what I’m shooting for:

  1. Post at least one blog every single day – this is required.
  2. Stick to the content calendar – but I have permission to be inspired and write on a whim.
  3. Be fearless – write what I think, say what I mean; this is my blog after all.
  4. Increase traffic – I want to have more views this month than in November 2010.
  5. No epic blog posts – still want quality, but there is no time for quantitative research-based articles. Those will have to wait.
  6. Read one new blog every single day – I’ve been slacking on my reading list, commenting, and connecting with new bloggers, want to try and work that in this year.

There’s one big giant difference between this year and last year, and that’s the fact that I have a fulltime job. Sure, staying up until (cough) 2am will not fly this year.

Though I am a better, stronger, writer who knows how to kick out a blog in no time…when I’m focused. So we’ll see if those two elements can work together or not.

Mustaches and Going Paleo

Right, so this month is not just about blogging. I’m officially a mo’sista for the team that John is leading for Movember. He’s doing some really cool stuff to raise money and awareness for men’s health, like sell some of his artwork and donate the proceeds. (Here’s a preview; I’ll write a more substantive post with the story this week.)

Also, I’m going paleo. Yes, the hunter-and-gatherer, eat-like-a-caveman diet. Again, I’ll go into more details later, but this is altering my behavior so it’s going to be rough. I promise not to try and eat my blog late at night when I’m trying to crank out a post and all I want to eat is sugar, bread, salt, and bacon.

That’s right, bacon is not paleo.

What’s that you said about bacon?

I’ll go into detail about that later. For now, welcome NaBloPoMo! I’m very excited to see you again!

Are you participating in NaBloPoMo? Leave a link to your blog and help me with my sixth goal!

Photo Credit: KalebColeman