And we’re making up for lost time, because I forgot to celebrate getting a new job on Monday! I know. After a 2 week-long interview process, you’d think a bit ‘o pink bubbly would be first and foremost on this Project Manager’s agenda. But no. I was so busy on Monday, it wasn’t until the following day, when Husband #3 asked how I planned to celebrate, that it dawned on me: For once, I had a valid excuse for the cheap champagne I already drink daily in moderation.
And that’s not all we’re celebrating – today I’ve been “Freshly Pegged”! My friend, the hilarious and multi-talented Peg, of Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings, is featuring a post I wrote in December about my writing process, and I’m thrilled – I really, really want to keep this conversation going.
I love blogging, and I love bacon. For some reason, I rarely talk about either.
One thing I love about both is their ability to bring people together. Run a contest on your blog, or put out a plate of bacon-wrapped appetizers, and the result is the same. Better yet, run a contest with a bacon-chocolate bar prize.
I love when other bloggers talk about blogging and/or bacon. Like Peg and JM. Yet I feel self-conscious doing so, like eating bacon and not having a napkin. You guys don’t mind if I make a mess though, right?
When I started this blog in February 2011, I had no idea what lurked behind the blogging curtain. I thought it might be scary. And not in the hey-girl-you’re-almost-out-of-bacon way, but more in the I-like-to-make-pictures-out-of-toenail-clippings way. I didn’t fully appreciate the prevalence of blogs; I never thought about the fact that some websites I frequented, like Perez Hilton, were really blogs.
My favorite bloggers inspire me to step up my game and invite me to participate in their dialogue. As a writer, this is such a gift. And it’s free! So, you know, you can still bring home the bacon.
To pay tribute to all of those who inspire me (and if you’re wondering who that is, my Blogroll page is a good start!), and to those who are new to this wacky and wonderful world of bloggy deliciousness, I thought I’d offer a few wise words.
Dang, Chipmunks. This is exciting.
Here are the 3 most important things I’ve learned from almost a year and a half of blogging. You may or may not be surprised to find the same principles apply in every day life.
1.) Sincerity – “enough about my bacon, let’s talk about yours”
There is no faster way to shoot yourself in the foot drop your bacon on the host’s white carpeting than to leave a comment that proves you didn’t read the post, or to leave comments plugging your own blog. Typically, if commenting on another blog, you should try to keep the focus on that blogger and their content.
I had no idea when I started a blog that it was a community, and a community that wants to TALK! I didn’t ask questions of my readers (not that I had many!), and I didn’t even realize I should respond to comments. Now I crave that dialogue, and try to answer every single comment I get. Often that’s far more rewarding than the writing itself.
2.) Generosity – Share those Tips Strips (of bacon)
One surefire way to increase readership is to read other blogs. Be generous with your time and support, and you’ll reap the rewards.
When I started blogging, I only read 2 or 3 other blogs. Now I follow almost 100. It’s not realistic to keep up with everyone, of course, but I genuinely enjoy all of the blogs I follow, and typically devote over an hour a day just to reading them. I also almost always comment. Leaving thoughtful comments is one of the only ways to get noticed in a world jam-packed with people vying for the same bacon.
If you’re intimidated by big name bloggers, like Kristen Lamb or The Bloggess, don’t be. Remember they feel the same as you do about getting comments. And probably bacon.
3.) Perserverance – Makin’ Bacon
We all experience writer’s block, have personal obligations that take our focus away from writing, or simply just don’t ‘feel like it.’ Even if you miss a week, or a month, don’t give up. Blogging can truly open doors.
When I started this blog, I had very few followers. My mom. My husband. I tried to post 2-4 times a week, but even after 6 months, I had posts that didn’t get a single comment. I kept at it, increased my engagement, and as of this year, I’ve had almost 100,000 hits on this blog. I’ve also gotten several paid writing jobs and opportunities to write for highly trafficked websites. I say this not to be a Braggy McBaconBoaster, but just to encourage you and let you know: You don’t have to be serious to take your blog seriously.
…Is anyone else hungry?
What are some lessons you’ve learned about blogging? Or a question to fellow bloggers? To non-bloggers: What keeps you coming back to your favorite blogs?
My guilty pleasure might surprise you. There’s nothing I like more than spending a quiet evening playing my favorite game: Go Guilty Pleasures, the home edition.
First I obsessively click on your blog. If I’ve left a comment, I see if you’ve responded to my comment. Then I go click on the Recommended Humor Blogs WordPress page to see if I’m still on there. Then back to your blog to see if anyone has responded either to my original comment or your response to my comment. Back to the Humor page to see if anybody else I know is cycling through the list more often than me. Back to your blog. I leave a follow-up comment if necessary. Then I rate all the other comments and compare their cleverness-quotient to my comment. If anyone else’s score even approaches mine, I spend some time worrying about that. Finish up with just one, teensy-weensy peek back at the Humor page (with my stopwatch to catalogue relative hang-times.)
Next comes the best part of the game. I BECOME you. I put on the Side Pony of Super Fun-ness. I put my custom-crafted Uncle Jesse mask on my cat, Beeby (this part isn’t as easy as it might sound). I line up some champagne (actually Asti – I’m on a budget) and break out the bacon candy bars and Reeses for snacking. I use mice instead of chipmunks as my life coaches because they’re a lot easier to catch around my house. That may be why they don’t really give me any advice, no matter how many times I ask. But I pretend they do while I make funny, fun faces. I get lots and lots of guilty pleasure from taking lots and lots of pictures of myself being blondly side-ponied and fun. A lot.
Yup, for my family, there’s no more relaxing way to spend the evening than playing Go Guilty Pleasures. As my hubby said to me just the other night, “Why do you keep calling me Peppermeister? Who the hell is that??”
I voted at that link you posted, posted to facebook (i’m not sure how i will prove this with my security settings) and my blog. I have twitter but don’t use it (that’s a story for another time if you get bored) and i got the tattoo and performed the ritual sacrifice.
I emailed you this pic but incase it comes down to bloggers voting in the contest, here is the link (see below for picture).
Now for the guilty pleasures:
I sing to my cat Alex every day when i come home. I even sing as alex sometimes. I am not a good singer so he’s probably embarrassed.
Speaking of bad singing i also am a big harry potter nerd and i used to be a part of an online Hogwarts website where you took classes and met other nerds. You would think that would be a guilty enough pleasure right there as it’s terribly embarrassing but i used to compete in a yearly singing contest there called HOL idol and i would actually record myself singing and enter the contest. 0________0 SO EMBARRASSING. I wrote bad fanfic too.
I’ll be honest. I sensed in my heart of hearts that chipmunks young and old, or in that strange in-between age where you know you should stop making PowerPoint presentations about a certain “Glee” cast member but you just can’t seem to help yourself, and you genuinely wonder if maybe you never really embraced your childhood and you’re a victim of this unstoppable regression and pretty soon you’re going to start sucking your thumb and eating cake while smearing icing all over your face because you think it’ll get a laugh…wait….what was I saying? Oh, right: I knew bringing back slap bracelets was a shoo-in.
So I wasn’t surprised to hear from many of you once I announced my slap bracelet giveaway. After shipping out several dozen, I waited patiently for you to hold up your end of the deal – to send me a picture of you/your loved ones/pets wearing the slap bracelet(s) so I could post it on this very blog.
I was not disappointed. The pictures I’ve gotten so far are…well, you’ll see. I’m going to share the photos in installments, to ensure that you, and your blogs (where applicable), receive the adoration they deserve. To be fair, I’m posting them in the order in which they were received.
After you see this picture, I don’t think I’ll have to say much else to convince you Renee is a true guinea pig chipmunk, but you should also know that Renee is co-author of “Saving the Best for Last” and “Invisible No More,” which you can learn more about here. Not only is she an accomplished writer, but she is funny as all get-out, and much like slap bracelets, her humor transcends age.
I first spotted Peg commenting on The Good Greatsby‘s blog; she was always coming up with captions for his caption contest that were better than mine, as evidenced by her constant ‘winner’ and ‘runner-up’ status. It took me a little while to shove my ego aside and drink the Peg-o-Leg Kool-Aid. After witnessing a lively, and hilarious, competition between Darla and Peg over said caption contest, I poured myself a nice, tall glass. Peg’s blog always makes me laugh out loud. She really understands the power of illustrating a joke, which you need to see for yourself.
Here’s the message that Peg sent along with these fab pictures. Bottoms up!:
The slap bracelets arrived, and were a GODsend over the New Year’s holiday. Here are just some of the things that happened because of them.
1) My normally feeble morning coffee was definitely more robust and richer tasting when I was wearing the bracelet.
2) Its secret powers inbued me with the strength of will needed to tackle the dreaded post-Christmas task of tree put-awaying.
3) When my GPS went out on the highway, the magnetized core of the slap bracelet drew my hand to true north, thereby allowing me to make it to my destination safely.
4) No less than 3 college-age hipsters fought for the privilege of wearing the uber-cool slap bracelets of style.
5) As for my cat, Beeby, well…I won’t lie. She didn’t like them. Her response was something like “get this torture device off me, you sadist!”
So except for Beeby, it was all good. Thank you for saving New Years for the entire Peg-o-leg family!
I am new to Thoughtsy’s blog, but I can tell you right now I am falling in love. For one thing, she currently has a picture of a kitten inside a box of Pop Tarts on her Facebook widget; for another, one of her recent posts was dedicated to dessert-flavored vodka. I am really excited to learn about what else we have in common, and to find out more about her relationship with Kiefer Sutherland.
Thank you SO much, Renee, Peg and Thoughtsy! You have officially been upgraded to Chief Chipmunk status.
And believe me when I say – you are NOT going to want to miss the next installment(s)!