Makers Gonna Make

Writing

So Much Work, So Little Blog!

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 in Career, Writing | 7 comments

I have to admit that I’ve been slacking.  Long time readers of my blog will remember this song & dance, as I’ve done it a few times.  Yet this time it’s a slightly different reason I’ve unfortunately neglected to deliver any good content for you.

Before, when I worked in an office, it was sometimes a chore to come home, fire up the computer, and write a quality blog post.  I’d already been working all day under harsh office lights, listening to random idiotic conversations around me in the adjoining offices, being constantly interrupted with small tasks, etc.  I got home and just didn’t want to sit in front of my computer for much more time and needed to relax.

These days, it’s a little different.  Now that I work at home, I set the tone of my environment – music or not, lights on or curtains open, breaks on the oh-so-comfy couch with some tv on during lunch, etc.  So when I first began working from my “home office”, I thought I’d have much more energy to write blog posts.  But something different has reared it’s head – monotony.

I work on a laptop but it’s hooked into the same peripherals as my personal desktop via KVM switch, so even if I’m done working and switch over to my personal computer to do personal stuff, I’m looking at the same screen, sitting in the same room, in the same chair… well you get the picture.

So my question goes out to those of you that work at home but also try to work on personal computer related projects (whatever they may be) – how do you break it up and not go insane?

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Leaving on a Jet Plane

Posted on Sep 15, 2008 in Career, Writing | 2 comments

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Southwest Airlines Wing at SunsetI apologize, dear reader, as this blog has been on auto pilot lately.  A lot has been going on in my world, both personal and professional, and it’s still taking a lot of time and energy to get sorted out.

The good news is, I’ll be back at the helm soon.  I’m heading down to CJU tonight and then Blog World Expo next weekend, so I’m sure I’ll be super jazzed to come back to this blog in full force.  Lots of travel in my future, which makes me slightly even more stressed considering I’m not the biggest fan of flying really, and I haven’t packed anything yet.  Luckily, I have been traveling so much in the last year that I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping travel sized stuff always packed in my toiletries bag instead of packing the stuff I use normally.  Travel size for the win!

CJU will be my first network event, and I’m excited.  I was looking at the agenda last week in putting together my schedule, and I really appreciate that there aren’t really that many choices to choose from during the few break out sessions.  I assume that most of the sessions are just put on my Commission Junction staff considering there’s no names attached to the sessions like other shows.  The keynote will be given by Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple guy now working on AllTop.com.  I’ve been following Guy on Twitter for sometime now, so seeing him speak in person will be nice.  I know a few folks who’ll be there, so it should be a good time.  My one regret is that I didn’t book soon enough to get into the conference hotel, Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.  I’ve heard great things, but booked too late so I’m staying nearby.  Maybe next year!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I checked out the agenda for Blog World Expo and there’s about 7-10 sessions per time block to choose from!  It’s hard, because my interests vary and I know some good people on panels that I want to check out.  Savvy internet marketers talking about monetization that I don’t mention nearly enough, Michael Buechele and Tim Jones.  And of course there’s the usual suspects that I love – Jim Kukral, Lisa Picarille, Shawn Collins, etc.  I’m not done scheduling for that since I have some tough choices to make in terms of which sessions to attend.  I also noticed that one of my favorite musicians, Mike Shinoda, is going to be participating in one of the keynotes.  I have no clue WHY lol, but I may have to throw my last Linkin Park CD into my bag in hopes of an encounter!

So, that is what’s on my plate for now.  I only have part of a day in between CJU and BlogWorldExpo, so hopefully I’ll get the notes from my CJ sessions up for you to learn from before I’m off again!  In the meantime, I hope you’re not overinundated with the daily definitions and happy to take a break 😉

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Blogging: The Root of all Evil?

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 in Writing | 4 comments

Is blogging the root of all evil?  This argument is swaying, even for me as a blogger.

On some level, I have to agree.  Blogging has turned many people into increasingly poorer writers.  This “First draft culture” that he describes isn’t too far off, I’m afraid.  This ties into a post by Jim Kukral a couple weeks back titled Your Grammar & Spelling Is Going to Ruin Your Career.  I have to agree, as grammar and spelling have ALWAYS been pet peeves of mine; even in casual conversation it KILLS me to hear someone say “more better” or “funner”!

Remember that web content doesn’t go away.  Archives endure and even if you completely delete your blog…chances are cached pages will exist somewhere.  So do yourself a favor and treat blogging like a real job that you’re getting paid a lot of money for if you ever want to advance your career and actually get paid to blog.

And listen to some of these points and try to straighten up & fly right, will ya? 😛

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A Happy Blog Birthday to Me!

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 in Career, Writing | 6 comments

birthday monkeyIn my hustle and bustle lately, I neglected to realize that I’ve been blogging “semi-pro” as I refer to it for a full year.  I went back to see some of my earlier posts from last August and was reminded of this one – Hats, Hats, Everywhere! Could it be that it was just a year ago that I was still managing PsPrint’s mailing services?  It’s also sad to say that I was “in charge of” social media marketing – a project that never took off on the company level, but I’ve obviously been running strong with it.

It feels like it’s been much longer than just a year that I’ve been at this, but I have to say that I’ve learned so much in a year that it’s incredible.  In many ways this blog as served as a gateway to that knowledge and opportunities that I’ve been given.  I’ll never be able to thank this little blog enough lol.

I wish I’d discovered Google Analytics sooner so I don’t have complete data, but thank you to the 16,000+ visitors this year that stopped by.  Thanks for spending those few minutes to check out what I’ve been spewing out there into the webverse.  I hope you’ve come by more than once.  Told your friends.  Subscribed despite my trials and tribulations in getting a freakin’ feed to work properly.  And come by despite going through three URL changes…

Stay Classy, Interwebs.

 

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67 page views per day

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 in Writing |

Not bad considering that I haven’t been posting a lot of good content lately.  I admit, I’ve been in a slump.  A general lack of motivation and drive has resulted in my taking days upon days off and not blogging that much here.  I’ve been spending ample time on Twitter, a good amount of time on my new fancy BlackBerry Curve, and of course doing what it is that I get paid for at PsPrint.

bored manActually, my hats have been expanding here.  I’ve been doing more web development on small projects to assist with our overloaded graphic services department, and I’ve been doing more development of images for our e-mail campaigns.  It’s nice to have something new and different to do every once in awhile; it definitely is something I’m very capable and willing to do and breaks up the monotony of staring at CJ weeding through affiliate applications.

I’ve also given myself a sabbatical on the social networking.  I haven’t sent anything through StumbleUpon or Digg, and haven’t been stumbling or digging anything lately either.  It was getting to be too big of a distraction during the day, and trying to get everything done was a hassle.

Now it feels like things are calming down a bit now that we’re two weeks or so out from the holiday weekend and I’ll probably be picking up where I left off on the social media stuff, ramping up and collecting tips for my roundtable discussion next month.

Do you have any social media and networking tips to share?

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To Continue This Blog Or Not?

Posted on Jun 13, 2008 in Career, Writing | 7 comments

I’m considering whether or not I want to continue with this blog. I’m not sure that many people really read it consistently, and I’m beginning to doubt if there’s room in this space for another marketing blog from someone who didn’t even go to school for marketing. Is my perspective that unique? Not sure… so, I’m at a precipice I guess.

2008 Visitors

The blog isn’t even a year old yet, but I find myself questioning whether or not the blog is adding any value to the space or am I yet another jackass sharing their opinion with people who didn’t ask for it? According to Google Analytics, which longtime readers will see that I couldn’t even keep THAT working, I get about 61 visitors per day. 10,072 since January 1. But how accurate is this since my reporting has had fails a couple times? And does this even matter?

Unless I receive a boom of entries for the contest by Sunday, the contest has been a complete failure with not one single entry as of this moment. I thought the prizes were pretty sweet… hell I’d love to win them myself. What did I do wrong? Not put WIN A VADO! in the title? Rely too heavily on promoting it through Twitter?

Of course, this first year is a total learning curve. Find what works, what doesn’t. I can’t expect to just jump in and be the bomb. Am I being too rash? Not patient enough?crossroads

Confusing whether I’m representing my employer or myself is also weighing heavy. Am I forsaking my employer by endorsing my personal brand within my web presence?

These things weigh heavily on my mind as more and more work seems to pile on me – both at my place of employment and at home. Sure it’s building my “personal brand”, and I’ve gotten some cool opportunities from it like co-hosting the Affiliate Thing podcast and an upcoming opportunity that I’m not quite ready to announce yet, but…is it ultimately worth it?

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