I feel less than chipmunky for putting up a new post before even responding to your kind comments and well wishes from my last post, but, psst…
…I have something in the works for later this week, and it requires me to get to my ‘200th blog post,’ which means putting up three more posts before the end of the week.
Wait. That came out wrong. I just really wanted to share some highlights from my extended anniversary weekend (truly extended – we decided to stay an extra night and just got back today!) in Long Island.
We were fortunate enough to stay in a family-owned summer home, for free, alone. It’s the same house my dad spent every summer in as a kid, and where my paternal grandparents lived full-time later in life, so it was a booze-filled terrific walk down memory lane.
I had a wonderful time, but I missed you so much that I kept seeing mustaches everywhere:
The title of this post implies that I’ve gone off to do something I don’t normally do. Ha ha. Well. Let’s go with it.
That’s right. I’m going fishing drinking.
Peppermeister and I celebrate our 4th anniversary today, and we’re headed to Long Island ’til Sunday. My extended family has a little house by a bay where I haven’t visited in 10 years, so I’m pretty excited to return. Even if the weather is crap.
The house doesn’t have internet access, which I’m nervousdepressedconfused about okay with. We’ll have, um, cruiser bikes…and bocce ball…and love. So that’s something.
Right now I’m imagining all of you charming little chipmunks scurrying around, cursing the copy machine, looking for your red staplers and hating The Man.
Meanwhile, I’m kicking off my first two-week vacation in a thousand years. Instead of doing this yesterday and scheduling it to publish at 6am EST today, I decided to write this post when I got up and see what happens.
Wow. I feel so daring.
In case you missed my fancy sidebar widget and my last post: I attended my first blogging conference, BlogHer ’12, on Saturday. I left bright and early to take the train from New Jersey into Manhattan, armed with ‘stache glasses and a lightness of heart only vacation time can bring. By 7am, it was already as hot as Hades, so I went to that special place in my mind. You know the place – it’s normally reserved for Second Husband and talking animals.
I was more excited than nervous. I’d met JM from Accidental Stepmom twice before, but was meeting Thoughtsy from Thoughts Appear and Misty from Misty’s Laws for the first time. Of course I worried I wouldn’t match up to their expectations (and maaaaybe stressed about all of the unflattering pictures they’d take and post on their blogs), but we’d
already established a bond online, and had the bloggy business in common.
At the Hilton, I registered and waited for Misty and JM to find me. Misty is anonymous on her blog, so I had no idea what to look for. A purple-clad vision of loveliness suddenly accosted me. Thank gawd for Misty.
She’d been there since Wednesday night and knew all the ins and outs. There were several sessions throughout the day, in different ‘break out’ conference rooms, as well as tons of expo centers where you could stock up on free swag.
After the gorgeous and altogether badass, JM, showed up, Misty said we should
skedattle to make sure we got seats in our lectures of choice. We split up and I went to a session on ‘branding your blog.’ Thoughtsy joined me there, and let me tell you she’s one sweet li’l chipmunk. First of all, she gave me these:
And THEN she gave me this:
I love you, Thoughtsy. Look how happy we are (we’re even happier later. In the bar):
I didn’t learn anything new in the lecture, except that I really need to start a Go Jules Go Facebook account. Apparently Facebook is the number one way bloggers get traffic and buzz. The other advice will probably sound familiar to you, too:
Be consistent both in voice and lay-out
Use the same name across all social media sites (if only that Mexican dude would give up his @gojulesgo Twitter handle! Por favor?). In other words, make it easy for people to find you
Keep your design/lay-out simple and fresh (no colored font on black backgrounds, I’m afraid, and no music playing!)
Don’t be self-depricating; believe people want to read what you have to say
The second lecture I attended was about when to spend money marketing your blog. The advice can be boiled down to:
Consider your time as money
When you find yourself spending more hours on marketing your blog than you can ‘afford’ to, it might be time to invest in someone to help you (if you don’t think you market, remember that every time you read and comment on another blog, you’re advertising yourself)
If you’re on a self-hosted platform (like WordPress.org), hire a web designer (it sounds like it’s a few hundred bucks)
After that it was time for lunch and guest speaker, Katie Couric. Katie defies the laws of nature; she is ageless. We were all the way in the back, so I didn’t hear much, but got to meet some other wonderful bloggers at our table (this is where the business cards came in handy!).
Thoughtsy, JM, Misty and I weren’t really interested in the next panel of ‘celebrity’ speakers, so we loaded up on swag instead.
This was my favorite swag piece. Uncle Jesse immediately claimed it as his own:
My favorite part of the day was hitting the hotel bar to chat (why do you assume I suggested this? Well… you’re right). We plopped down in a circle of comfy chairs around a low table; it was mellow and quiet – the perfect atmosphere for caring and sharing.
This was exactly why I came to BlogHer; not to network or take frantic notes, but to meet JM, Thoughtsy, Misty and a few of their bloggy friends. It was divine.
JM and Thoughtsy had to leave in the early evening, so I crashed a sushi dinner with Misty and the beautiful and hilarious Johi of Confessions of a Cornfed Girl. It was the perfect end to an altogether satisfying outing.
In fact, I even saw Michelle Williams on the walk back to the train station! We made eye contact and I should have said hello. We have history.
And now, as promised, I’m about to stalk the shiz out of you and your blogs. I love you. (I really do. Well, some of you. Some of you I just like a lot and we’re not there yet. But I bet we’ll get there if you compliment me enough.)
P.S. – I apologize on behalf of both NJ and NY to any out-of-towners visiting lately. Yes, it really IS this humid and NO, you are not inside someone’s mouth.
Right after I send this, I’ll be en route to Manhattan for you, my first blogging conference.
I must confess: Every time I say that, my inner nerd pushes up her taped-together glasses and giggle-snorts in anticipation. Then the other part of me rolls her eyes and goes, “Blogging conference? There are conferences? For blogging? Really?”
How many conferences do you know of, Jules, that get the President of the free world to speak? I can almost hear you saying.
Oh-hoh am I ever looking forward to this issue, Chipmunks. Also I may or may not be wearing pants.
Given that I focused on lovely lady-bloggers last week, I figured it was only right to focus on steamy menfolk this week. Grab an ice-cold lemonade and fire up your Scoville scales because it’s about to get hot like Peppermeister‘s (Husband #1) peppers up in here.
Editor’s Note: For those of you still experiencing WordPress Reader issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll get you squared away. Thanks so much for the tip, Jess!
That’s right, I said guilty pleasure songs. FWH goes far beyond food and wine. And even if he didn’t, I’d still read, because food and wine are my favorite FWH is hilarious. His humor is fresh and fun, and when it comes to making a fine meal or infused vodka, he’s the guy I want on speed dial. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s one of my favorite posts.
If you need any more proof of his chipmunkitude, check out what he tweeted me the other day (don’t you want to follow him now, too?):
Dave at 1pointperspective is a riot. I don’t know what’s more thoughtfully funny – the comments he leaves around the blogosphere, or his blog posts. That is really saying something.
What’s more, he’s a fantastic artist. For k8edid’s “7 Deadly Sins” writing contest (which he’s already won twice, ahem), he also creates illustrations. Here’s my favorite – can you guess which sin this was for? (Just kidding, this one was done for another incredible story, Forty-Seven Shades of Pink or as I like to call it, Ode to Bacon.)
If you’re new to Dave’s blog, this is one of my favorite posts.
That Fun and Quirky Last Page of Every Magazine – MJ Monaghan
If you need a friend -or a laugh- in this cold, cruel world, please head over to MJ’s blog (or follow him on Twitter). I’m especially fond of this post.
And let us not forget he is our best hope for getting In -N Out burgers:
I’m woefully behind on reading your blogs, and even on responding to some of your comments. It humbles me beyond words that you continue to visit Go Jules Go despite my negligence. Thank you. I have vacation time starting next week. Which means I’m about to stalk the shiz out of you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now. Please shower these smokin’ fellas with attention and compliments in the comments section below, and/or let us all know what else we should check out in the blogosphere!
Sometimes I feel like I love you so much I want to cut you into pieces and carry you in my pocket.
But I don’t have any pockets.
Because, as I told you in the second sentence of this post, I’m not wearing pants.