Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Juicy Blogging E-Course

I no longer update this blog (follow me on Have Fun, Do Good instead), but I do still train women how to blog.

My next Juicy Blogging E-Course: The Art and Play of Blogging for Artists, Writers, Creative Entrepreneurs and Do-Gooders starts on June 1st, and runs for four weeks.

The course will help you:

• Discover what you love to write about
• Create a big ‘ole list of juicy blog post topics
• Design a blogging schedule that works for you
• Learn tricks and tips for building community & engagement
• Connect with other juicy bloggers

The course consists of three kinds of fun-work:

• Reflection questions to refine your blog’s purpose
• Connection assignments to build community and traffic
• Creative, juicy blog post prompts to get you writing

Schedule

Your blog posts and juicy homework assignments will be posted on Wednesdays (June 1, 8, 15, 22). I’ll post a short related video on Fridays (June 3, 10, 17, 24). We’ll also have a check-in conference call on Wednesday, June 15th from 5:30-6:30 PM PT.

Juicy Bonus

You’ll receive a coupon for 25% off a one-hour blog coaching session tailored just for you.

Investment


• 2-3 hours per week (that’s less than half an hour a day!).
• $75, when you register before May 25th. Use the discount code JUICYSUMMERBLOG11
• $100, when you register after May 25th.

Register today!


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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Why Women Blog: Beth Kanter

Beth Kanter is a truly amazing blogger. One of the most prolific and efficient I know. She writes for Beth's blog, BlogHer, NetSquared, and Cambodia4Kids. If you want to know anything about nonprofit technology, ask Beth.

1. Why did you start blogging?


I started in 2001 because at the time I was doing a lot of teaching and curriculum development on nonprofits and technology, web site building, and web literacy skills -- so needed to be keeping up on resources and pull together curriculum materials. I found blogging a great way to do that. My main motivation for blogging is professional development - it helps me keep up on what is happening my field, gives me ideas for instruction/teaching, and forces me to write regularly.

2. What blogging tool(s) do you use and why? What are the pros and cons of the tool(s)?

My first blog in 2001 was created using Blogger. It was free and fairly simple to set up. It lacked categories which was a really important feature for me. I complained about this to colleagues. One of them, Jon Stahl, from OneNorthwest, set me up with a Moveabletype blog in 2002. Then Moveabletype came out as an asp - which is known as TypePad. I like TypePad because it is easy to use, you don't need to know anything about server installation, and it has lots and lots of feature. I've used it since 2003.

The best resource on pros/cons of software is here:
http://www.idealware.org/blogging_software/

3. How has your life changed since you started blogging?

I'm late for school pick up and the laundry doesn't get done :-) Seriously, I've gotten work and notice from blogging. I've had to invest a lot of time with it ... But it is paying off. I always looked to blogging as professional development, not promotional or marketing tool. That followed.

4. What advice do you have for new women bloggers?

Don't be afraid to experiment, make mistakes and learn. Try to commit to a regular writing schedule. Write what you know about and love or write what
you want to learn about.



Friday, November 17, 2006

Why Women Blog (at every age): Julie70

I "met" Julie70 when I wrote to tell her that I was using her photo on Flickr, Providence--she was using her Mac, to illustrate a post on this blog. After reading her profile, I realized that not only did she have a very active Flickr account, and Daily Motion video account, but she wrote for six blogs (Il y a de la vie apr├Ęs 70 ans, Paris balade, Retro blog: 1944 vers 2004, Journal de Sidonie, Julie, Journal de Jeunesse, Argenteuil ma nouvelle ville, and was over 70! I asked her to tell me a little bit about her experience blogging.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging through Picasa and Circuit from NYTimes that explained it, with Blogger.

What blogging tool(s) do you use and why? What are its pros and cons?

Blogger is free and I can do many blogs. TypePad permits reverse order, but costs money, or does not give me freedom to change anything. Blogger, the new one (now in beta) will also have categories and a completely object construction. I am waiting to be able to transform all my blogs to it (personal, about rumania, photoblog, about my town, journal).

How has your life changed since you started blogging?

It did change my life a lot, I was retired and alone. I feel a lot less alone and already even met personally some of the bloggers. I did start two years ago, but was before retiring in microcomputer's business for long time, almost the beginning, the Apple II time.

What advice do you have for new women bloggers?

Blogging for women is not different as with men, perhaps they tell more about personal problems, but I did learn a lot about men also, reading their blogs and I have as many women as men between the blogs I read every day.

My advice for every new blogger is to go out and leave comments. Then others will slowly come too, and to write regularly, every day, at least a bit, so people returning with time come regularly to them.

Photo Credit: After: To Fix a Moment of Pure Happiness by Julie70.



Why Women Blog: Katya Andresen's Non-Profit Marketing Blog

Solutionary Woman, Katya Andresen, the Vice President of Marketing for Network for Good and author of Robin Hood Marketing, started Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog last month. In this brief e-interview, Katya talks about why she started blogging, what tools she uses, how her life has changed since she started blogging, and her advice to new bloggers.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging for three reasons: I had something to say, I had someone I wanted to say it to, and I wanted the enforced writing discipline that comes with committing to a blog. To the first two points, I vainly feel I have quite a bit to say to people – especially do-gooders -- who want to compel people to action through marketing. To the third, more personal point, since I finished my book, I fell out of the habit of writing daily. I don’t like that my writing muscles were in danger of atrophying. A blog forces me to write often. In the process, I find myself regaining my voice and creativity as a writer.

What blogging tool(s) do you use and why? What are its pros and cons?

I use Expression Engine, hosted by pMachinet. This was the recommendation of my blog designer. It has many, many features, is search-engine friendly, extremely flexible and easy to manage. I’m a technical newbie yet I can easily manage it. I’m not sure what the down sides are yet – I haven’t had any problems.

How has your life changed since you started blogging?

It’s not as if people are yet flocking to my new blog or posting much in the way of comments, as much as we bloggers dream of such things. So I can’t say I’ve changed my field by creating an active community around innovative nonprofit marketing. But it has changed me. For starters, before I started the blog, I spent a long time asking myself if the world truly needed another blog. I wanted to decide what was different about my writing and thinking. This was a very good exercise in focusing myself on important things that played to my strengths, both in terms of my writing and in my day job. Second, by having to sit down and produce a creative thought every day or two, the blog has made me more original and more disciplined. I both love and hate that pressure.

What advice do you have for new women bloggers?

My advice is the exact same advice I’d give a writer of any kind. Write what you know. Write what gets you excited every time you think of it. Don’t try to be what you aren’t. Find your voice. Dare to be personal and fully human. The more true to myself I am in my writing, the better reception my writing receives. That always amazes me. People want to know you, so let them see your unique self.





Why Women Blog: Green LA Girl

Can do * good bloggers change the world? I hope so. I asked one of my fav do * good women bloggers, Siel, or Greeen LA Girl, why she started blogging. Siel writes about all things green in LA and in particular about The Starbucks Challenge and Fair Trade coffee and chocolate.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I knew that California and Los Angeles were both doing a lot to encourage environmentally friendly practices -- but often, these efforts were unknown to the public. My very first post was about recycling a DVD player -- something I had to do HOURS of research for, to figure out where I could take the broken DVD player, at what time, etc. Once I did the research, I knew I couldn't let that info disappear without letting others know about it. Thus, the blog.

How has your life changed since you started blogging?

I've met many amazing environmentalists in the Los Angeles area via blogging. I've also found a way to channel my environmental and social consciousness through a medium that feels productive :) Also, I get a lot of free coffee.

What blogging tool do you use and why? What are its pros and cons?

I use Wordpress, mainly because it's open source. Yay open source! I really don't see any downsides to Wordpress.


What advice do you have for new women bloggers?

I would encourage them to 1) consider what readers might find useful and interesting, versus what the writer herself might find interesting (i.e. details of her own life, which often tends not to be interesting to people other than herself), and 2) blog regularly, worrying more about the quality of the content than the quantity of readers.


Photo courtesy of Green LA Girl.




Thursday, October 19, 2006

How to Decide What Kind of Blog to Write


I think that the best blogs have a specific topic. Think of your blog like a magazine. Magazines have a lot of articles about a lot of things, but there is usually one theme throughout. Your blog should have some kind of theme, even if that theme is that you are writing about your everyday life. What aspect(s) of your everyday life do you particularly want to write about: work, family, relationships, shopping, religion, food? It helps to have a focus.

The best way to decide what kind of blog is a fit for you is to read other blogs. BlogHer, where I am a Contributing Editor, is a great place to check out different types of blogs written by women.

They have 20+categories with 2 or more Contributing Editors writing in each category:
You can also check out their Blogrolls where women bloggers can list their blog. Once you've been writing on your blog for over a month, be sure to submit it to BlogHer.



How to Read Blogs

Dutch Blogger Joitske Hulsebosch, published a post on her blog, Communities of Practice for Development, yesterday that I thought I'd pass on about How to Read Blogs. It is a nice complement to my post, How to Choose a Feed Reader.

Joitske provides tips for tools for two kinds of blog readers:
* if you read blogs now and then.
* if you read blogs systematically and want to track any new post.

Even though I think feed readers are the easiest way to read blogs, you may find another way that is a better fit for you with some of the tools Joitske suggests.

Photo credit: Providence--She Was Using Her Mac by Julie 70.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How Artists Can Use Blogs

I have a client who is interested in how artists can use blogs. I've been doing a little research about it and thought I'd share some of the examples I've found:

* BlogHer has a whole list of women writing about art and design.
* Illustrator, Keri Smith has a great blog about the creative process called The Wish Jar.
* Collage artist, Claudine Hellmuth has a blog.
* Designer, Katey Nicosia, has a blog, One Good Bumblebee.
* The fun blog, Little People: A Tiny Street Art Project, is an art project unto itself.
* Another cool blog, On My Desk: Creative folk share the stuff on their desks, is just what it says, posts by artists with photos and descriptions of what they have on their desk and in their office.
* David Byrne, co-founder of the Talking Heads, who is also a visual artist, has incorporated a blog/journal into his web site.

Looking through these sites, I would say that some ways for artists to use blogs are:

* To discuss the creative process.
* To share their daily life with their fans.
* To create an online art piece
* To advertise events where they will be appearing
* To market and sell new work.
* To create an online community

Photo Credit: Artist's Pencils by Anne Norman.


12 Ways to Get More Blog Readers

This is the question everyone is asking, especially the folks who are putting ads on their blogs. Copyblogger has written a post, How to Attract Links and Increase Web Traffic, that lists 50+ posts about blog marketing. Blogger also has an article in its help section, Promoting Your Blog, that has more information as well. Obviously there is a lot to say about this topic, but here is a quick list culled from some of the posts to get you started:

1. Link to other blogs in your posts and in your blogroll.
2. Comment on other blogs and respond to your readers' comments.
3. Ping blog search engines when you write a new post.
4. Tag your posts so that they are easy to find.
5. Write engaging first sentences, and snappy titles with keywords.
6. Include photos, or some kind of illustration with each post.
7. Post about current events, or better yet, break news.
8. Interview people related to your blog's topic.
9. Post lists, like this one! It helps if it has a number. One of my most popular posts is 10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Blogs.
10. Post regularly. Whatever regularly means to you. It doesn't have to be everyday, but it shouldn't be once a month.
11. List your blog's URL in your email signature.
12. Write about what you care about. If you are excited about your topic your readers will probably get excited about it too.

Photo credit: Mild Winter Afternoon Reader by JimmyOK.



How to Get More Comments on Your Blog

Problogger has a great post about Ten Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog. Here is his list:


1. Invite Comments
2. Ask Questions
3. Be Open Ended
4. Interact with comments left
5. Set Boundaries
6. Be humble
7. Be gracious
8. Be controversial?
9. 'Reward' Comments
10. Make it Easy to Comment
Problogger always has lots of good tips for improving your blog. I highly recommend adding him to your feed reader.