Getting Back to Being an Effective Blogger, Again

This site is not dead but… I do need to find it again. Keeping focus and staying true to your own voice are not easy when you look around at other sites and start comparing yourself. If you can manage to do it constructively, that’s great. I’ve gotten sucked into my own wormhole of blog envy. Not envy, but self unsatisfaction. So, I need to pull myself out of it and get back to the basics, again. The key to sustainable blogging is showing up and showing up the next day too when you’re run out of stuff to say and feel like everyone is doing it better than you are.

This list comes from Katy Rose, the Modly Chic blog. I found it in submissions for fashion blogs at dmoz. I usually take a look around at sites I’m listing. Some just get a skim for the basics, to make sure they are original and focused on topic. Ironic, eh? So often we know the answers but we haven’t been paying attention or didn’t want to remember.


What if you Could go Back in Time…?

What if you could go back in time?

What if, one day, when you were a grown-up, you went back to your old home and climbed the ladder into your parents’ attic?

And, way in back, in a dim corner, barely illuminated by the flashlight in your hand, there was a box, a trunk, a large, dusty wooden trunk, with a lock that used a skeleton key?

So you contemplate whether or not to open it, to turn the key and open the lock, carefully, because you don’t know what might be in there, and the attic was a place that you seldom entered when you were a kid, not only because it was hard to get to, but because it was a cold and dark and drafty and scary place, and only the grown-ups were allowed in there.

Still, you want to know what is in the trunk.

Because you know it contains memories.

It is filled with the kind of memories that generations more than a hundred years ago could never have: photographs.

Not only photographs, but the negatives, too, a treasure-trove of memories.

But whose memories?

And when they join you in the present, are they the ghosts that you once thought haunted the attic?

Source: Ghosts – Darrell Noakes

Have you seen rephotography before? I’ve seen it done several times but have yet to try it myself.

Individual Bloggers Need Their Own Niche

Top 5 Ways to Master Online Content

1. Optimize, Not Compromise

Content farms are so obsessed with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that they prioritize search terms within content over logical narrative. Worry less about how Google indexes, and focus on delivering great information about potential keywords.

5. Find Your Niche

Being an expert at one thing is better than being knowledgeable on many things. Do research on a specific area of interest. Find what is under-represented and fill the void.

via Too long. Didn’t read. – The Writer.

I think finding your niche (actually, creating your niche) is the real way for individual writers online these days. We can’t compete with the amount of general content on the content farm sites. Even as a writer on one of the content farm sites we seldom stand out enough to make enough money. So, the key is to stand out on your own in some way. Find your niche, something you can sustain, and then get into promoting it so people will begin to find you out here in the vast online wilderness.

How to Stop Typing the Blue Alt Characters on your Keyboard

Now and then my fingers stray around on the computer keyboard and I end up clicking a few wrong buttons in a row. Most often this just gives me typos – but, now and then I get my keyboard messed up. It types the wrong characters. I can’t type things like @ or ? and other stuff comes up instead. I’m typing the characters which show up in blue on my keyboard, alternate characters, instead.

This is not something which needs to drive you crazy. The fix is simple!

press hold left ctrl+shift and tap right shift key

via How do I turn off the alternate BLUE keys on my HP keyboard – HP Support Forum – 1426059.

This works! I don’t remember how I fixed the blue character keyboard problem the last two times I’ve had it happen. But, it was something simple like this. It did not involve changing the keyboard language – but that is the tech support advice which comes up most when you search for help.

I am adding this here hoping it will help someone else. Maybe even me the next time it happens.

Could you be a Managing Editor at Yahoo!?

Managing Editor, Shine Canada  

Yahoo! is focused on making the world’s daily habits more inspiring and entertaining. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the globe. In turn, we create value for advertisers by connecting them with the audiences that build their businesses. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. For more information, visit the pressroom ( or the company’s blog (

Job Title             Managing Editor, Shine Canada

Reports into       Sr Director, Media Network, Y! Canada

Job Responsibilities

As managing editor for Shine, you will be responsible for setting the vision for Shine Canada, creating user and content experiences that establish daily habits amongst your users with the aim of establishing the property as an integral part of your users day and a leader in the lifestyle media landscape in Canada.   Your success will be measured on whether you manage to drive up new adoption, as well as increase frequency of visits and engagement/ visit of existing users on your property. Priorities include setting a strategy for the site to meet these objectives and then overseeing execution of this strategy including, establishing and working with BD to fulfill key content needs, prioritizing, influencing and coordinating product development, managing both short and long term editorial calendar, running the day to day operations of the site as well as tracking performance. The role also involves managing a 7-day original content production schedule, organizing freelance contributors and editing content for blogs in a voice and style that comply with the Yahoo! Editorial Style Guide.

Responsibilities include:

  • Establishing site vision and strategy for the property
  • Establishing key daily habit needs within channel and making sure these needs are met in a delightful and inspiring way
  • Driving new adoption of the site from off-network as well as increasing engagement  and frequency of existing users
  • Promote use of top social media and search engine optimization best practices
  • Oversee content programming, ensuring sub-channels remain up-to-date with latest, fresh, compelling multi-media content
  • Develop enterprising and original editorial strategies (text or video) to promote important Canadian themes
  • Prioritizing, influencing and coordinating product development to ensure all your key market needs are addressed in a timely manner
  • Own, establish and maximize content partner relations and source contributors

Minimum Job Qualifications

  • ·         Team leadership / previous managerial experience is required
  • Project management skills and special coverage experience are required
  • Content aggregation and packaging – know how and when to package stories together
  • Some experience with managing multimedia and video content
  • A passion for Lifestyle topics and issues
  • New product development is an asset
  • Proven content writing ability and time-sensitive editing ability
  • Experience with blogs, podcasts, Twitter and other social media, and moderating/filtering user-generated content
  • Track record of encouraging community, interactivity and cross promotion content
  • Knowledge of innovative websites in the market and working knowledge of competitors in the media arena in Canada
  • Experience with web audience metrics collection and analysis
  • Strong organizational/record-keeping skills
  • Collaborative and communicative work ethic
  • Willingness to appear on camera
  • Basic Photoshop skills
  • Excellent web writing style
  • Excellent computer skills (MS Office, Excel, etc.) and apt to learning new online tools
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work a flexible work week when news dictates

Preferred Job Qualifications

  • 7 years plus in a lifestyle role for an established media brand

  • Exposure/experience working with global product teams to localize for market an asset

  • Bilingualism in French (written & verbal) is an asset

  • Degree in journalism or a related field

  • Experience working with freelance writers and editors remotely

via Job Description – Managing Editor, Shine Canada (1343644).

Try a New Writing Format

No matter who you are, there will come a time when you need to write someting and just don’t have the inspiration to make a start at it. One thing you can do is try a new format. An interview, when possible, is a good way to go. But, there are other options. I found this list when I was looking at writing jobs today. I’m posting it as a reminder to myself as much as a tip for anyone else. 🙂


Articles will be written in a few key formats. (These formats will expand as we grow).

– A History of…. (e.g. A History of Mars Exploration)

– Nerdy Lists … (e.g. 10 scariest video games of all time)

– Stuff For Nerds (e.g. Twenty awesome iPhone cases for nerds)

– Versus (e.g. Klingons vs. Tribbles).

via Bloggers / Freelance Writers needed for Geeky/Nerdy topics.

Ecard Writing Tips from SomeEcards

Tap into a jarring thought, a complex emotion, a contradictory behavior, an absurd scenario, or a general societal observation – however rude, embarrassing, or illegal. Try to not make your card as overwrought and pretentious as the previous sentence. Make every word count. The key is that your sentiment rings true, but also feels like something people haven’t quite heard before.

Let the image help tell the story – a glance, outfit, time period, unexpected pairing, odd gesture, or age can do wonders to elevate a well-crafted dick joke.

Keep your card to one sentence with no question marks or exclamation points. This is a general rule of the site for the sake of compactness and consistency. Rules can be fun!

Do a gut check on whether it’s “sendable.” Would someone want to receive your card? Will they “get” it? Will they read too much into it and think the sender is desperately unhappy in his or her job or relationship with them? If you answered “yes, “yes,” and “I’m an unemployed loner” then it’s probably fine.

If you love your card right away, something may be horribly wrong. Take a break, then come back to reevaluate. Is your card clear in its intended message? Is it a mind-blowingly profound insight on the human condition? Is it sort of funny? Maybe run it by a few friends to check. Then edit the words or image for a long enough time span that you can’t even remember what you’re doing or why. Continue this until you confidently admire your card or start feeling incomprehensibly alone in the universe. That means you’re done!

-Brook Lundy, co-founder & head writer

via Writing Tips |

How to Turn Off the Blue Keyboard Characters

Don’t let the blue keys drive you crazy. I some how locked my keyboard into using only the blue keys (when I wanted the standard white keyboard characters). I tried a few things but they didn’t work. I started looking online, even the HP computer site, no luck.

My other post about this and how I fixed it.

I found success on Yahoo.

Yahoo! Canada Answers – How do I turn off the blue key function on my keyboard?.

SITS Girls Spring Fling

We’d like to formally invite you to our Spring Fling, completely geared at being easy, fun, and interactive. From May 7th to May 18th, here is what you can expect from us:

One entire week devoted to building your following on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. {And don’t worry a bit if you do not already have any of these accounts. We’ll be showing you how to get started too.}

Another week spent helping you to “spring clean” your blog by figuring out ways you can improve your blog design, About Me page, Best Of page, and other key elements.

Sign up for the SITS Girls Spring Fling Blogging Challenge.

Do You Have a Posting System?

This comes from Founder Tips: Ali Luke Explains How You Can Become a Better Blogger By Becoming a Better Writer

My posting system looks like this:

  1. Come up with ideas. I try to get several at a time – I keep a list on my computer that I add to when I’ve got a few minutes to sit and brainstorm.
  2. Write an outline for the post. My outlines always have “introduction” at the start and “call to action” at the end. In the middle, I’ll have a few key points – these often become subheadings. If I’m planning a list post, I’ll brainstorm the items for the list and juggle them around to find the best order.
  3. Draft the post (following the outline). I try to do this in one sitting, so I don’t lose my train of thought. If I’m working on a really big post, though, I might do different sections on different days. When I’m drafting, I don’t worry too much about writing perfect sentences or using correct grammar: I can fix any problems in the editing stage.
  4. Edit the post. Quite often, I’ll leave a post for a few hours or even overnight so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes. I always find some things that I want to change – sentences to cut out or rewrite, for instance. This is a good chance to look out for typos, too.
  5. Publish and promote the post. It might seem a bit odd to include this in a writing system, but a big part of any sort of writing involves getting your message out to an audience. Personally, I don’t feel like my writing is complete until it has readers.

This is my system too. But I don’t put too much time into an outline. I start the draft and build the format as I go. Usually I’m working on the draft while I do the research, fact checking and formatting how the post will look.