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.


Gifts and Prizes

Today was rainy and cold and it made me sleepy. I’d like to propose an employee nap time at the day job, but I’m pretty sure that’ll get tossed out the window. Still, I can dream, right?


I was feeling well enough to go to work today. Things weren’t too crazy, so I kept a handle on the to-do list. One of my friends, a field bee, knows of my geekiness and brought me a gift from a con she was recently at.


Admittedly, this reminds me that I really need to catch up on Doctor Who. Now that we have ChromeCast, I don’t think I have an excuse not to. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Matt Smith, so maybe that’s why I’m procrastinating. As long as I don’t see his regeneration, he’s still my Doctor, right?!

Remember that post where I talked about the Twitter chat that lit a blogging fire under my butt (last night)? What I failed to mention was that these chats often come with giveaways, and the giveaway for last night was the book Everything But the Posts by Becca Ludlum, who also took part in the chat.


I won! I was one of 5 winners, and I sent FitFluential my mailing address. Whenever I win something, I pretty much tell the whole world. I’ll be doing a review on the book as soon as I read it, so stay tuned.

It was Jon’s turn to feel under the weather, so it was an early night at home. We ended up watching Zack and Miri again, and I caught up on some internet things. It’ll be another early night and then…

…tomorrow’s Friday!

Until then…


Inspired to Lay Down a Few Words

One of the accounts I follow on Twitter is FitFluential. They’re a health positive fitness platform, and they doTwitter chats, which I find fun and motivating. Tonight’s chat was about better blogging, and it was a reminder that I’ve been slacking lately on posts.

I think part of this has been due to a lack of confidence. For whatever reason, I’ve felt like nothing I have to write about is really shareworthy. Of course when I pull back and think about my reasons for blogging, most of them are personal. I like having an account of things. I like the therapy of writing. Sure, I like it when people comment or Like the posts, but that’s never been my main motivation for doing it.

I suppose now is as good a time as any to jump back on the bandwagon, especially with a bunch of upcoming events: a 5k this month (a bit sooner than planned), the Smoky Hill River Festival, moving in July, a Tori Amos concert, Gen Con, TengaiCon, Become an Outdoors Woman, and probably twenty or so things I’m forgetting.

Today was a sick day from work. My throat has been bothering me. I figured I should rest up and quarantine instead of spreading the germs and making things worse. Being at home meant I was able to check off a few things from my to-do list. I finished up my last correspondence course (insert sigh of relief here) and I made headway on some knitting projects. I also finished the book I was reading (review to come soon) and watched a few movies. Maybe movies aren’t considered productive, but I feel like I accomplish something every time I remove one for my Netflix list.

That’s it for the quick update, but I’ll try to have more for you in the next few days. I have a lot of things I want to write about. Will any of it be exciting? Probably not, but it’ll be nice to get my groove back.

In honor of finding said groove, I leave you with this picture of a Long Island Iced Tea. This was an Applebee’s special last night. The drink, the friends, and the appetizers were awesome. I can see myself doing this more often when I’m within walking distance of the place. Which could be dangerous for many reasons.

2014-04-01 17.32.34Until next time…