Famous last Blogathon Wordles

2013 Blogathon Wordle

One of the great things the WordCount Blogathon has introduced me, personally, to is Wordles. I was first introduced to these fantastic word clouds back when I participated in my first Blogathon back in 2010. Today I make use of these amazing pieces of word art in several ways.

This year’s Wordle is based on this blog. 2013 Blogathon Wordle

This article isn’t the only place you’ll see a Wordle based on Informed Ideas. I also used a Wordle as the cover image for my new Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJCHammond (and if you haven’t “Liked” me, please take a moment to do so, my Author Facebook Page is where I plan to share information about all my writing but especially my fiction and I hope to have some big news to share very soon!)

As great as Wordles are, they aren’t always as visual or as creative as I would like. So I played fast and loose with one, combining it with one of my favorite images to come up with the profile image on my personal Google+ profile. I’ve recently created a professional Google+ Page as well but haven’t used it much. My intent is to use Google+ for curating content about my interests outside blogging, but we’ll see. It’s still in the very early planning stages.

Since Wordles sort of visually sums things up, maybe I should sum up the last month and what keeps bringing me back to the WordCount Blogathon. Informed-Ideas.com was brand new when June began. Most, if not all, of the things I have achieved here is a direct result of the fantastic participants of #Blog2013 and the wonderful inspiration they and Michelle Rafter provide.

What have I accomplished? Well, in a single month, in fact in its first month, Informed-Ideas.com has been visited more than 660 times! The 43 (now 44) posts have generated more than 50 comments. And, most amazingly to me, 45 of you are following  Informed-Ideas.com! Thank you, everyone, for the support and encouragement! I’m looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

Speaking of looking forward: What’s next for me and for Informed-Ideas.com? I intend to continue with the daily posting habit I’ve established this month. I also plan to build on June’s strong foundation by expanding both my Facebook and Google+ presences as well as working on my various RolePlayWriter blogs (on WordPress and Tumblr), which will include information bloggers and especially fiction blogger will find useful) and paying more attention to Informed Ideas for Writers, the Group I founded on LinkedIN for all kinds of professional writers, not just bloggers. In particular, I want to focus on you, my readers and fellow bloggers, and provide more of the kind of information that will help you succeed and, hopefully, that you enjoy reading.

Am I being overly ambitious? Perhaps. But one thing this blogathon has taught me is that great things are possible as long as you are willing to work for them. I’m willing to do the work so I fully expect to achieve great things. What about you?

HARO Query: Seeking Lifestyle/Fitness Bloggers

In the News

If you aren’t a member of HARO (Help A Reporter Out) you’re missing some great opportunities. Some bloggers might argue they aren’t experts, but if you are creating original content for any kind of audience, chances are you qualify. If you blog for a business or an organization you definitely do! In the News

This service is about far more than just opportunities to establish and promote your expertise. You can also register as a reporter and use the service to discover and develop sources for you your blog posts.

Even more importantly, every once in a while something like this call for contributors comes across:

Query:

A new national, modern lifestyle website and brand is launching this fall and we are looking for contributors. This is a women focused website that encourages women to live the life they dreamed and allows them to see that we really can have it all, without being perfect or Martha Stewart. We are looking for savvy women who have a passion for sharing their ideas, knowledge, and want to build an audience for their own personal brand as well, and want to show women we do not have to be pinterest perfect. Looking for blog posts in the areas of organizing, business, fashion, skin care, DIY, cooking and home decor.

Ok, so it’s not actually a job ad and in all probability (although this hasn’t been confirmed) it doesn’t pay. Still, if you can provide the requested materials (a line about yourself and your interests, a link to your work or personal brand, a sample post of the kind of content you want to contribute and a photograph of yourself) or can get all of those together by July 8, 2013, this query from an anonymous HARO reporter could be an opportunity worth pursuing. It sounds like a start-up, which is good and bad. Good because getting in on the bottom floor can be the start of a great relationship if the site has the financial backing and wherewithal to establish it’s brand online (or better yet an established offline brand to build on). It can be bad because you can put a significant amount of work in without seeing much if any return under a semi-constant cloud of closure. That’s the way it is when you work with start-up. Exciting and risky. Some bloggers thrive on it. Others, not so much. The point is, depending on who the anonymous site turns out to be, it could be an opportunity you won’t get anywhere else.

And that’s the real value of HARO. It delivers, two or three times a day, opportunities you don’t see everywhere else. Sure, you could create some of them on your own. And you definitely should develop your own list of sources as well as  potential markets and blogging opportunities. There’s nothing that says you can’t do it all…with a little help, of course.

How to Write an About Page (No. 2 Pen reblog)

Now that you’ve written your Blogger Bio, it’s time to really dig into your blog and what you hope to accomplish with it by creating an About Page. Although many blog templates include a sample About Page, you’ll want to do more than just pull out the boilerplate text (that would be the Latin or nonsense text that shows of formatting but is essentially useless). Fellow Blogathoner Sara Lancaster of No. 2 Pen has some great advice on crafting About Pages for individuals and business blogs at: How to Write Web Content for an About Page | No. 2 Pen Blog.

I couldn’t say it better myself, so I’m not going to try (yet, anyway). Prolific bloggers will want to pay particular attention to the concept of an About Section. Even if you don’t have enough content to fill and entire section right now, it is an excellent roadmap for developing your blog in the future as you become more and more successful.

Welcome to #Blog2013

2013 Wordcount Blogathon Participant Badge

The 2013 WordCount Blogathon has officially begun!

2013 Wordcount Blogathon Participant BadgeFor those who haven’t heard, this is an annual blogging event coordinated by professional blogger and technical writer Michelle Rafter. Every year Michelle challenges all kinds of bloggers to post content to their blog(s) every day for a month. Think of it as NaNoWriMo for short attention spans.

Daily blogging can be a challenge. There are days when you just don’t feel like it. Other days your Muse calls in sick. Sometimes technology conspires against you severing your internet connection or throwing other hurdles, from power outages to lost passwords, in your way. Clients, kids, employers, spouses and friends distract you until it’s too late to post on a given day.

The rewards for overcoming the challenges are tremendous. It’s not just the great prizes you could win. It’s what daily deadlines do for you, professionally and personally that make events like the WordCount Blogathon worth doing year after year after year.

You will:

  • Get into the habit of being productive.
  • Become comfortable with short deadlines.
  • Learn how to overcome writer’s block, set priorities and multitask more effectively.
  • Increase your knowledge of and familiarity with your chosen blogging platform.
  • Connect with an amazing and diverse group of creative people who share your passion for writing and blogging.
  • Get more comfortable promoting yourself, your writing and your blog.
  • Discover some valuable and useful resources, as well as learning to use them.
  • Build your audience and your reputation as a blogging expert in your niche.

The most important reward you will take away from the WordCount Blogathon however is self-knowledge. At the end of the month you will know more about yourself, how you write, what kinds of writing you enjoy most and least, when you are most and least productive and what motivates or inspires you, then you did when you began your daily blogging adventure. On top of that, you will have demonstrated to your most important and critical audience, yourself, that you can write content that others will read every day. You will walk away empowered and more confident, whether you are just starting your blogging career or already an established blogger.

Accept the challenge. You can do it. You’ll be glad you did!