BlogHer13: Desperately Seeking Clarity

 This is BlogHer Conference #4 for me:  Chicago, New York, San Diego, Chicago.  Each time, I’m blown away by the number of people, the sponsors, and most of all, the changing landscape of blogging.

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I focus on Monetization and “Blog to Book.”


I gotta get a platform before I write my book.  The book can’t be the blog.  Okay, I knew that.  I have two blogs, both promoting my writing in different ways.  I gotta get more active in Twitter, Instagram, get some buzz going, and keep it professionally personal.  Hmmm… I confess some overwhelmedness.

I met Gladys on Day 1 of BlogHer13.

“What do you like best?”  Gladys, a newbie asks.

I give Gladys a guilty grin:  “The SWAG.”

Gladys and I talked about blogging and life.  She’s a single mother of a 21 year-old daughter.  Gladys just finished a stint working on organic farms in Chicago.  Soon she will be moving to Boston to start college.  Gladys is here to figure out what she’s going to blog about, and how to do it.  She is quick as lightning and everything she hears gets translated into practical ideas for her next steps.  I am in awe.

Yes, I love the SWAG.  But the picture is here for symbolic reasons.  After three years of blogging, I can say I’m like this pile of swag.  There is some organization (look closer, there’s health, toys, tech, beauty, cleaning, coupons, and food; all in neat little sections of my dining room table. (There’s also a polar bear and a vitamin organizer, not from BlogHer13.  How’d that happen?)

But where’s the focus?

BlogHer13 Swag


I run into Denise  at the bag pick-up.  She recognizes me, and asks me how Duckie is doing, I ask her about her adventures in grand-mothering.  She’s off before I get a chance to tell her how much I like the new format of  Still finding my way around, but I see it’s beautiful.

I recite my practiced my elevator pitch.

“What do you blog about?”

“Well, I have two blogs.  One is “Once a Little Girl,” with a tag line Be Like a Child.  It’s a memoir blog.  The other is The Black Tortoise, with the tag line Wisdom Born with Age.  I blog about…blah-bla-bla,be-blah….”  Yeah, not good.  I hear polite responses and see glazed eyes.

I listen to ways to pitch my brand, increase my viewers, embed invitations to join my e-mail, add value, engage, interact.  Holy smokes!  What is my brand?  I’m not a Food Blogger, I’m not a Health Blogger, I’m not a Humor Blogger, I’m not a Lifestyle Blogger, I’m not a Mommy Blogger.

I miss-out the scholarship winners, one of the most inspirational session, while I’m focusing in.  I join the GenFab party and get a pin to show my solidarity.



I listen to the author of APE, Guy Kawasaki.  Yes, indeed, I can get my book published, Big Publisher or Indie, or as Guy puts it, Artisanal.  I already have some rejection letters that fill me with encouragement and make me smile.  I get a copy of APE.Guy Kawasaki, American venture capitalist and ...

I go to the Voices of the Year, and even get to personally talk to two of the winners:  Casey who writes “Life with Roozle,” and Shannon Bradley-Colleary from The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful.  Sooooo inspiring.

I meet two more newbies, Elaine and Anne at the Voices of the Year reception.  Denise set a good example for me.  I am going to remember people and names.  It feels so good  when someone recognizes me among the throngs.

I collect cards from an even 50 cards.

Like divine inspiration, it hits me:  I’m a Noun Blogger.  I try it out on the next person who asks me.

“A noun blogger?”

“Yes, I blog about People, Places, and Things.”

A smile spreads across my new blogger friend’s face.  “Clever.”

Noun Blogger resonates with my very core.  I know my brand. I’m a writer. A mildly amusing one.

I love the responses:  confusion, followed a-ha, and a grin.  No more glazed looks from the women I meet; no more “umma, errr, blah-blah-de-blah,” from me.

I’m not sure how that translates to monetizing, but maybe that’s not so important right now.  This morning I woke up at 4AM from a dream about my neice, Reaghan.  She has a fitness program, Revolve to Evolve. 

Ideas often come to me whole-cloth.

I have a plan.

Clarity strikes again.

Stay-tuned for more tomorrow or the next day.  Duckie has what I hope is her last surgery for osteomyelitis tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are a few questions for you:

  • If you have a blog, what is the url?
  • Do you have a plan of action after BlogHer13?
  • What was your most inspirational part?
  • What would you like to hear from me, the Noun Blogger?



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