Book Review – Everything But the Posts: Tips, Advice, and Templates from a Blogger Who Has Been in Your Shoes

I’ve had this blog for a few years now, and I keep debating what I want to do with it.

Does it need more photos?
Does it need more focus?
Should I try to pare down my topics to one or two?
Do I want to monetize?

The problem with trying to answer these is that the second I think about making changes, I become overwhelmed and then do absolutely nothing.  One of my main concerns is the focus of my blog.  Other blogs have a main theme or a few main topics. My topics are all over the place.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I’d won a copy of Becca Ludlum’s Everything But the Posts: Tips, Advice, and Templates from a Blogger Who Has Been in Your Shoes. It arrived a few days ago, and I finished my first read-through last night. However, this isn’t the kind of book you can read, then set aside and never think about again. It’s a reference book for anyone who wants to blog or is currently blogging and wants to take it further.


Everything But the Posts is easy-to-follow and engaging. Ludlum starts with information on popular blog sites and how to choose/find a name and layout. From there, she discusses making connections with other bloggers, social media marketing, and monetizing. There are even tips about what to do when you attend a blog convention. I didn’t even know there were blog conventions.

There were aspects of blogging I didn’t even know existed, including rules regarding compensation and how to build a media kit. Though there are several things I’m not yet doing with my blog, this knowledge is good to have. I particularly liked her information regarding contests and giveaways. It seems like every blogger out there is doing them, so it’s good to know that there is some small print to pay attention to if I ever get to that point.

One of my favorite aspects of this guide is that the author doesn’t talk down to the you. Being a blogger herself (you can find her at My Crazy Good Life), Ludlum uses language that’s clear and conversational. She emphasizes keeping a blog because you enjoy it, and she shares templates she uses for reaching out for partnerships and sponsorships.

Did the book answer my focus problem? No, but that’s not its purpose. It gave me the tools I need to make my blog bigger, if I so choose, and it highlighted some things I can do with my blog, regardless of content. It also made me feel okay to keep doing what I’ve been doing (re: blog for enjoyment!).  Everything But the Posts gave me some technical savvy while leaving the creative process all up to me.

You can order Becca’s book through her blog. My copy is going into into my reference library, and I highly recommend this book to any blogger. Even if you’re not looking to advance now, this book will be perfect for when you are.

All opinions are my own. I won the book via Becca Ludlum and FitFluential but received no monetary compensation for this review.


Return to the Cube

As far as first days back to work go, today wasn’t bad at all. My team did an awesome job in keeping things caught up and done through the week, so I didn’t have any emergencies or fires to put out right away.  They also decided to do some interior decoration on my cubicle while I was gone to welcome me back.

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They made me another sign with my initials and a bunch of words that may or may not describe me. Not only are they sweet, but I think I may have them fooled into thinking I’m a nice person.  Either way, it was a pretty cool way to return to work.

We made it to the gym after work where I started watching a movie called Mutants. I’m not entirely sure if I like it. It’s slow and gory. I can handle the gory, but I need something to engage me during a workout. I’ll finish it, but I hope it picks up soon.

Today marks a rare day of actual grocery shopping instead of procrastinating. We’re now set for meals and snacks for the next several days. The next shopping trip will involve buying stuff for Juice Fast 2013.

At home, I finished scheduling Gen Con posts and watched an episode of Clean House with Jon. At blog time, I still haven’t put away laundry, and I still need a shower. Overall, a pretty uneventful day, but I’m okay with some down time for a week or so.

Now to finish the night with laundry, shower, a frozen yogurt, and some sleep.



Blogspiration and Summer Heat 2013

I haven’t been feeling bloggy lately, but I started reading “Just a Geek” by Wil Wheaton tonight and it stoked my need to kick out a post. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not comparing myself to Wheaton. Dude has a huge following with thousands of people who read his blog. I’m not interesting and only have about five readers. However, that doesn’t really matter, as sometimes it’s just nice to get some words down. Even if they are boring to most everyone in the blogosphere (yay, buzzwords).

Side note: the book is really good. I may do a Goodreads review on it and post it here.

Summer 2013 is a hot one, made worse by the fact that our second story apartment has no air conditioning. I suppose that’s not entirely true. We have A/C. It’s in the form of one unit located in the back bedroom. Turning it on makes the back room and about half the hallway fairly cool. That chilled air barely reaches our living room and never touches our bedroom.

There was a moment of hope when the landlord cleaned the air filter, but it was short lived. The air just doesn’t move that far. We’ve tried fans to push the air further, but that doesn’t even work. There was one day where I sat back there with the AC on, but it still didn’t keep me cool, maybe due to the sun coming in all the windows? Or maybe I should have shut the door? I don’t know.

The upside is that by not running it, we’re saving forty to sixty dollars per month on our electric bill this summer, and that’s kind of nice for some extra spending/travel/bill money. Yes…yes I did put “bill” money last in that sequence. I’m a responsible adult, but I don’t want to go too far. The downside is that we sit in hot, sticky, sweaty grossness any time we’re home. We have two fans: one is a tower fan that’s semi-effective. The other is a small mini fan that usually sits on Jon’s desk to blow air in his face. Again, semi-effective. Half the time, they’re just blowing hot air.

Cold showers have become a daily occurrence. Ice packs have been useful, as well as chilled drinking water. You know what the best solution has been, though? Avoiding the apartment. Or at least trying to. Today, for example, we went and sat at the library for two hours, just reading in the super quiet reading room (one of my new favorite places). Then we took a walk in the park, because being outside in the heat is still better than being in the heated apartment. Bonus on that walk, we got to commune with nature and see baby birds and a frog. It was pretty awesome.

Moving isn’t currently an option since we don’t want to get into another lease until we know what we’re doing at the end of this year after Jon graduates. We could get a new AC unit for one of the other windows, but again with the higher electric bill. I don’t know. At this point, I think we’re destined to just “survive” the heat and make the most out of the situation. Someday we’ll remember this summer fondly….or we’ll be extra grateful of the ac/central air/igloo situation where in at that time.

On a good note, this coming weekend we’re doing some housesitting for some friends…friends who’s house has AC. I’m looking forward to two comfortable evenings on a ground floor.


Getting It Done

I should probably stop saying things like “I’m going to blog more” and “I’m finally back where I can blog again.” Because then it never actually happens. Sure, I may have some more time now and yeah, there are things I could blog about. But many times, what it comes down to is the fact that I just don’t want to do it.

This is kind of pervasive in my life. It’s why things don’t get done around the house and why I can’t keep up on any blogs and why I’m currently not finishing the books I should for various book clubs and reading programs.

When it comes to cleaning and organizing and paying bills, some things are non-negotiable.  While I’m not a completely clean freak, I do like having an organized living space and I like to know where things are. I also like having a roof over my head and money in the bank and electricity and internet. I’ve also recently realized the joy in having a credit score that will allow me a little bit of financial freedom.

I’m taking a more moderation approach to life in general, but there are many areas in which I still need to move from one extreme or the other. Cleaning, for instance. Before we moved, I started a daily 20 minute cleaning time with J. Felbs, but since moving we’ve gotten out of the habit. Now I can see where stuff is piling up and getting messy, but I never feel like taking care of it. Even the easy stuff.  I need to set a goal to get back into that routine.

As for blogging, I don’t necessarily have to have a twenty paragraph synopsis of my day. A short blurb or a picture would work just as well and help me stay on top of it. I’m not even sure if the blog has importance to anyone else, but for me personally, I like to have a record of things. And I like to write.

I recently found a cool blog that has been giving me the motivation to get back into cleaning and keeping my place clean. I will link to this blog, I promise, at a time when the link will open in the internet browser (my issue, not the blog page). 

Instead of saying I’m going to update, let’s just say I have some stuff to talk about and will certainly consider getting a few more blog posts up in the coming months. But it might just be a bunch of pictures too…and that’s okay.