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Purpose, Ego and OpenID ~ My journey in the blogosphere

Humble Beginnings

The purpose behind my creating my blog 3 years ago was to share my life lessons with women possibly going through the same things. As I dealt with life’s ups and downs, I often wished that someone would have shared their knowledge with me along the way.  I thought, if it could have benefited me, it could benefit someone else.

After doing some research on blogging platforms, I decided to go with WordPress and began the task of choosing a theme. Never fully satisfied with any theme “out of the box”, I joined Website Babble for help. After that, there was no turning back.

Web Designing

I dabbled in HTML only to find that I need to learn CSS only to find that I needed to learn XHTML.  I installed plugins only to learn that they can wreck havoc on page loading, scaled back on plugins and downloaded theme updates only to find that my plugins would no longer work. I took classes to learn, added ads to monetize and joined affiliate marketing programs.

What no visitors?

Once partially satisfied with the look and feel of my site, I set out to drive traffic. I joined Twitter, strategically sprinkled keywords throughout my post hoping Google would notice me and became a  member of several networking sites gear towards women, moms or businesses. I downloaded badges, tried to learn how to create badges and checked my site stats every 15 minutes hoping to see results.

With still no substantial increase in views, I signed up for HootSuite so that I could have my Tweets sent when I was away from home. I searched for new content, commented on other blogs, schedule the posts I found, waited for other bloggers to show me love and stared at my stats again.

Willy Nilly Commenting

Then I read that I need to be strategic when commenting on other blogs.  That I needed to only comment on blogs that were related to my topic. The quality of the linking was important I read. Oh no, I thought, my first affiliation with blogging was through the internet gurus of Website Babble. Most of my comments were on/from techie sites.

So, in need of content to share and an increase in views, I turned to my blogging networks in search of bloggers like me. I’d read a post, leave a comment and then…notice something very different. Before publishing, I had to make a choice. “Comment as: Google Account, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, AIM or OpenID.” Oh, I was on a Blogger site.

Of course, my first choice would be WordPress but my site is self hosted (oops, forgot to mention that whole ordeal) so I don’t have a User ID. As a matter of fact, I have this dandy self hosted email address that I’m paying for…another something I was told I had to have. With WordPress not being an option, I’d try Google Account but, again, I don’t want to use my personal email address, I’m building a brand and, besides, my picture is associated with the other one.

Totally off track

With all my doing what everyone else was doing, I forgot why I created my blog.  I’d posted a little here and there but there was no consistency. My initial goal was to offer shelter from the storm but I was more concerned with the shingles than the Welcome mat. Before I started learning, installing or affiliating, I knew the importance of writing good content. Exhausted with it all I quit.

After being trained as a life coach, a year ago, I started giving more thought to my blog. Not willing to get sucked into all the dos and don’ts of blogging, however, I held back.

Remember me

Today, while penning an awesome comment on Jewel Crow’s post, I ran into the OpenID issue again. After failing much like I had  years prior, I decided that I would figure out how to create this mystery id. And so the bunny trail began…

Relentlessly, I searched through several techie blog posts to find a simple way to create an OpenID that mimics my Gravatar and, while what I found isn’t perfect, it was easy and I can live with the results. Now, why was I able to figure it out today but I couldn’t figure it out before?

Advice or Answers

I’m sure the information for how to create an OpenID hasn’t changed much since I started blogging several years ago. So we can safely assume that the information was there all the while. I mean, it had to be, the site address is www.MyOpenID.com.

My initial choice to blog came from a place of mourning.  I wanted to offer others what I felt wasn’t offered to me. Answers. Initially, I thought the purpose of my blogging was to offer women advice on how to get through life’s ups and downs but what I really want  is to provide answers.

Exactly like my experience with OpenID years ago, my unwillingness to seek answers to my problems in life didn’t change the fact that the answers were there.

Back in the Saddle with No Barriers

Over the last few months, I’ve participated in several writing challenges that have reignited my interest in blogging. With everything I’ve learn about blogging, an OpenID userid and a commitment to post answers every day for the month of January (NaBloPoMo), I’m putting greater emphasis in the Welcome mat than the shingles.  Hopefully, you can tell.

Please share…

When have you dove head first into a project and got so caught up in it’s success that you forgot why you started?

A Valentine’s Day without the drama

Thinking back on Valentine’s days past, I honestly can’t remember a time when either I or the women in my midst were ever 100% satisfied.

The men were always blamed for our Valentine’s day let down but, without them being aware of our non-verbal high expectations, they simply served as sacrificial scapegoats.

Well, this year, I’m asking that we change our post Valentine’s day conversations by simply choosing to be happy whether single, in a relationship but not happy or blissfully in love. Read more

Too Few Women at the Top

(Read or Listen)

In “Why we have too few women leaders,” Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, gives a compelling speech about the lack of upward mobile women in the workforce. Her speech begins with a flurry of sobering statistics which back her claim that the low number of women in C-suite positions span all sectors.  In non-profit, where one would expect we’d dominate, we only hold 20% of the top positions. While not blaming women entirely, she does say our not speaking up, having premature thoughts about family and simply “dropping out” will continue to have an adverse effect on the women following us.

My start in corporate America was very different from Sheryl Sandberg and Rachael Emma Silverman, blogger for The Wall Street Journal’s The Juggle.  I started my corporate journey as an 18 year old single mom and, out of a constant fear of losing my job, I didn’t raise my hand, I didn’t “believe I got the A” and I didn’t negotiate salaries.

Going out on a limb here, I’ll say Sheryl and I share the same generation that will likely not accomplish a 50/50 split at the top and that might not seem like a big deal to some.  However, if we don’t support the women bold enough to aim for corner offices, there will be less support for others setting their sites on the same. We owe ourselves and the ladies following us more than that.

Why have you “leaned back”?

Was it due to a relationship?
As mentioned in the video, the divorce rate is less for those that earn the same salary. So, to increase your chances of staying married, keep climbing and meet your husband at the top. The view is always better at the top.

Was it in hopes of starting a family?
One thing is for sure, years and opportunities pass. Give thought to how you’d like your life to look in the future but “keep your foot on the pedal” in the meantime.

Was it out of fear of being perceived as being “out for yourself”?
Change is seldom comfortable.  Many times those surrounding you want to move forward as well, they just don’t know how.  Your boldness will be an inspiration to others. Besides, if you’re not out for you, who is?

Sheryl’s video is about 15 minutes long but I can’t think of a better way to inspire you to greatness the 1st week of 2011. So, grab your headsets, paper and pen then click here to listen.

Sabrina

Who’s following you?

Are there women in your midst that would benefit from this information? Maybe a woman that’s sure of where she’d like to go but unclear on the best route to take? Or, maybe someone that just needs encouragement?  Show your support for women following you by taking this opportunity to share this information with a friend.

5 Areas to Concentrate on for 2011

Now that you have survived Thanksgiving and Christmas, you are probably giving more thought to your list of New Year’s Resolutions.  Well, before you go any further, allow me to provide you with the following categories to focus on and some examples:

  • Spiritual
    • Are you happy with your prayer life?
    • Do you regularly journal about your thoughts and feelings?
    • Do you meditate?
  • Health
    • Even if you don’t join a gym, is it possible to walk 20 minutes a day?
    • Are you drinking enough water?
    • Would you like to improve your outlook on life?
  • Relationships
    • Replace negative relationships w/positive relationships
    • Have you given any thought to partnering with a life coach or a mentor concerning your goals for 2011?
  • Work
    • Are you currently working in your strengths?
    • Are you happy in your current job?
    • Would you like to pursue other interests in 2011?
  • Finances
    • Do you think making more money will make you happier?
    • Are you satisfied with your current debt to income ratio?
    • How can you reduce debt so that you have more money to do the things that make you enjoy?

How did I know that your resolutions would fit in one or more of these categories?  These are the 5 key areas for everyone.  We feel most successful when we are balanced in these areas. If any one area is ignored, it’s difficult to maintain balance in the other areas.

Here’s an example:

I recall not always being grateful for the things God blessed me with (Spiritual) so I would buy things that I wanted but could not afford (Financial).  Later, the stress from having more bills than money would result in my having headaches (Health) and being irritable to those around me (Relationships).

I realize that was a very simplistic example; however, did it make it a little easier to see how not being balanced in one area can influence balance in the other areas?  What areas in your life currently lack balance? What other areas stand to be affected by this imbalance?

Congratulations on making it through another season of food, family, friends and festivities!  Now let’s roll up our sleeves for 2011!

Listen to internet radio with Sabrina Lovejoy on Blog Talk Radio

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