Dec 252010
 

Your Blogging Success: Review and Critique, Then Celebrate!

We dance because it’s the fastest, most direct route to the truth—not some big truth that belongs to everybody, but the get-down-and-personal kind; the what’s-happening-in-me-right-now kind of truth.



Blogging Success, Review and Critique, Then Celebrate - Dancing People In Silhouette - Build Your Own Unscientific Blogging Scorecard for 2010


Feeling Good About What Was Accomplished

At the end of the year, there are a lot of “The Year In Review” type articles that look back upon the performance of this and that. Measurements, evaluations, revised plans, review of targets, and lots of questions in the same vein. Did we reach our projections? What were our outcomes? How about results?

Taking stock of where we are and where we’re going is a good thing. But it doesn’t have to be quite so heavy-handed or disheartening. The bloggers and business owners I’ve met this year are an upbeat, lively, and giving bunch of folk. I’ve had a wonderful time meeting and engaging them, responding to their ideas, hearing their wisdom, and sharing a good laugh.

Having lots of tools is much more important than a crystal ball . . . keeping your tool belt full of great ideas and lots of options will always make sure you can get the job done.

Can you agree that gazing into a crystal ball1 is one of the most unscientific ways to determine the future of your blog’s success? Yet, there is some magic that happens between you and your readers, and, according to Jakes, there is even some math2 at work.

We are our own best and worst critics!

Like you, I love results (I’m one of those XXXX on that oh-so-scientific M-B personality thing!). Just for today, I’d like to celebrate.

For a moment, let’s lay aside the pure methodologies, scientific processes, and the pixie dust, and get down to this: building your own unscientific, somewhat-subjective, personal blogging scorecard.

When winning means everything

Let’s celebrate what we did, whether it was done “right” or not. Let’s be happy with what we improved upon — according to our own estimation.

Unlike Mark Stelzner3, we’ll skip the “lumps.” I’d rather take Amit’s suggestion: We’ll dance “. . .the get-down-and-personal kind; the what’s-happening-in-me-right-now kind of truth.” 4

I’ll highlight some of the blogs I visited that used techniques I like. And you check off whether or not you used that particular technique in your blog.

Hey, no right or wrong answers! No worries, I won’t be keeping score. (I just like checkboxes.) Your answers will disappear as soon as you close this page. :)

Then what? Share a little about which, if any, of these you liked, used, improved upon. Or just share others that worked for you.

Deal? Let’s go . . .

1Did you . . . Spend a little time on aesthetics and lookin’ good?


Well, I did *think* about aesthetics
Hmm, hadn’t really considered that!
Yep, did a little something-something to make it look better around here!



Looking in the mirror? Looking good! Aesthetics, web design, new theme, icons, and graphics....On the backend of your blog is all that un-sexy stuff . . . Updates, optimizations, caches, security fixes. Yuk! Yeah, I know, we all had to do some of that or engage somebody to do it for us.

But what about the sexy stuff? Hmmm. Remember, you’re supposed to be checking off all the fun stuff you did to enhance your web presence.

So, let’s see. Ileane Smith over at BasicBlogTips got that magazine theme and Andy Bailey revamped the ComLuv site and travelling John did some great stuff with the BloggerLuv community.

Grantly Lynch was busy reviewing old techniques and showcasing new techniques on his photography blog. Me? I changed the theme again (problems with nested comments) and finally decided to kick IE 6 and 7 off the cliff (’cause IE messes up my design)! Hope you’ll forgive me. (But you can get yourself a real browser, Firefox or Chrome.)

Earlier this year I was laser-focused on figuring out how to make bits of text stand out, create side bars, make pull-quotes. I didn’t want to use plugins and graphics for what was purely typographical. Finally got some answers and put it in writing so I could refer back to it.

Here’s a 5-part series on how you can use CSS to add interesting quotes, sidebars, text boxes, callouts: CSS Text-Box Styles For Serious Writers.

And if pretty text ain’t enough, IconShock dropped a whole slew of pretty graphics down the chimney for you to scoop up, like the Heartquake Prevention Pak. (Whoa, creative force Sneh Roy of Little Box of Ideas came right behind them and tipped over that Free Fonts Bucket that had 48 brilliant fonts inside! Take as much as you want!)

It’s the little things that make us happy. What little thing (or big thing) did you do?


2Did you . . . Read any good books lately?


Yes, and something I read influenced something I wrote.
Yep, just for the pleasure of reading words written on PAPER!
No but I’ve got that stack waiting on me!



Reading To Learn - Already Underwater? Learn How To Swim, Fast!
Can you echo the sentiment expressed by Tristan Higbee:

“But I LOVE books and I LOVE reading. … And finally, for me, reading is very relaxing.” 5

I can!

On my recent reading list? Three books dealing with the fragility of life. Stolen Lives (Oufkir and Fitoussi), An Innocent Man (Grisham), and Morning (Wetherell).

Which of the books (or blogs) you read lately has had an impact on an article or blog post you wrote?

Aaron Pogue, of Unstressed Syllables, commands bloggers to use a bit of their precious time to “read, read, read!”6 — which is a surefire way to:

Get to know the voices in your niche. Those are the voices your readers are already familiar with, so you should be, too. Get to know some voices outside your niche, too. See what they’re doing right, that your competitors aren’t, and bring it to your readers.


3Did you . . . Use any reference books?


Use an online, electronic, or paper Dictionary or Thesaurus?
Nope. Don’t need ‘em! Didn’t use ‘em!
Ahem! I get the Word of The Day sent to me via email, SMS, or RSS!



Reference Book Stack Dictionary Thesaurus Literature Vocabulary EnhancerSpeaking of voices, did you stretch your’s to its fullest? One way of ensuring your audience is still listening is to grab our trusty friend, Mr. Thesaurus.

One of my favorite online dictionaries is found in the Free Dictionary reference suite. (I used it for any definitions found in this article, too.)

The Free Dictionary features dictionary, thesaurus, words in context of literature classics, audio pronunciations, and translations. And, yes, I do play Hangman and some of the other word games about every 5th trip over there, okay? :) :)

G.I. Joh offers us 10 Simple Yet Effective Tips on Writing that Everyone Should Know 7. Her #8 is exactly what I have in mind when I’m playing Hangman . . . “expand your vocabulary”. :)

[C]hoose different words that have the same meaning in order to reduce word redundancy in your post. – GI Joh

Just before this article went to press, a little gem dropped in my lap: Amr Boghdady of Learn German Online8 features WOTD (Word of the Day) and Jokes — both in German — to help build the vocabulary and colloquial skills of persons studying the language. Apropos, eh?

4Did you . . . Incorporate video or audio into your articles?


Used a video to enhance a blog post.
Created an audio blurb or podcast and inserted it into an article.



Benjamin Zander Classical Pianist Hands - YouTube Video

Head-shaking, lectern-banging, master public speaker Keith Davis easily captures (and holds) your attention. His blog posts are a lot like attending a live performance. You might say the comments he gets on his blog are like never-ending applause and shouts of “Encore, Encore!”

How’d he do that, you ask? You might say he knows when to hush and let somebody else do the talking . . . For example, in Look For The Shining Eyes, Keith used a video (a 20-minute video!) featuring classical pianist Benjamin Zander to make the point he was writing about. I’ll bet everyone who reads his article listens to that video — in its entirety!

Audio works well, too.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of interviewing a local business owner who runs two brick-and-mortar businesses. We did the interview over BlogTalkRadio. When I wrote up highlights from the interview, I included a couple of audio excerpts from the interview in the blog post. And the business owner added some audio snippets to his website, too. (He said his customers were REAL impressed!)

Video and audio really mix it up!

5Did you . . . Publish an online ezine or offline newsletter?


Yep, I published an online or email newsletter!
Thinking about publishing one.



Erudition Newsletter by Ryah via SlideRocket - Build An Unscientific Blogger Scorecard 2010Ryah Albatros, owner of Information Junkies Anonymous, publishes her new newsletter, Erudition, using SlideRocket, an online presentation platform.9

SlideRocket is new to me. When I took a quick look at it, using it to create a newsletter was not the first thing that came to mind. Ryah’s newsletter is not overwhelmingly long and it is beautifully presented! (Ryah is on Twitter at @InfoJunkiesAnon.)

Kimberly Castleberry (@AskKim) of Just-Ask-Kim does her’s somewhat differently: She publishes her ezine via email and also provides an online version on her website, giving her readers a choice in how they view it.

I received her email version, that’s how I found out it was also published on her site. I’m a fan of plain text email newsletters simply because too often they don’t display properly. But Kim did a great job with her email newsletter — it’s graphical, hyperlinked, and well presented.

Many of my own clients use Aweber, but like Kim, I use AutoresponsePlus to manage my subscriptions. Can’t remember why you should have an online (or offline) newsletter even though you blog? Get inspiration from 10 Excellent Reasons to Create A Newsletter (Ezine) For Your Business This Year.

6Did you . . . Find a new tool to satisfy a pressing need?


Still looking for it
No need for any new tools
Yes! I found and used the perfect tool for …



TeamLab Collaborative Project Management SaaS Tool Online

Trying to satisfy my dire need for a web-based project management tool with collaborative features, my hunt led me to TeamLab. Similar to a desktop application (but it’s “software-as-a-service” aka “SaaS”), what makes it really attractive is it’s free, open source, and easy to use.

A collaborative project management application might seem like overkill for blogging, but bloggers generally have lots of things going on, like client work! As this was seriously important for my workload, I’ve made sure to jump in the conversations to let the creators know what I need. (As a backup, I’m also giving Mavenlink a trial run, since it’s free, even though it’s not open source.)

Don’t need a project management tool?

Maybe you’ve longed for a set of checklists that help you stay on top of the ever-increasing mountain of tasks you undertake. Cameron Chapman compiled bunches of Useful Web Design Checklists and Questionnaires for Smashing Magazine10 just to make your life (and mine) easier.

For You

These three are some of my favorites. They are available as free, downloadable PDFs (no registration required):

Now, what was that pressing need you had?

This brings me to my final question, namely . . .


7Did you . . . Sponsor a contest, enter a contest, win a prize?


Yes, I ran a contest and had great fun!
Yes, I entered one or more contests in hopes I’d win something cool!

Hey, I participated in one of Justin’s Random Twitter Poems!



This year, the concept of bloggers getting in on game mechanics was highlighted in a variety of venues. Squidoo’s Megan Casey gave a talk on it at BizTech San Francisco11 and Jamie Beckland alluded to it in his 10 Cures for Your Social Media Pains (it was #8)12


Love of the Game - Kissie's Football Twitter Campaign 2010Justin Germino (aka DragonBlogger) certainly understands game mechanics. Isn’t it neat how he writes such an eclectic series of poems based on words tweeted by his followers? The poems get people involved, who then wait in anticipation for his tweet that announces, “It’s ready”!!

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of having my word included. To my pleasant surprise, the poem’s feature photo that day even reflected my word! The poem? Presentation Matters. Get your own word in there next time . . . (Follow him @DragonBlogger to get in the game!)

For love of the game is why Kissie ran her Twitter campaign. The game is football and the campaign is all about getting a favorite player from a beloved team to dive into her Twitter stream. Now that’s different! The campaign is still pressing forward. Clicking on that football will let you get in on the action. Target date? Christmas Day!

Tally It Up (And Forget Crystal Balls)

Last December I was bold enough to gaze into my foggy crystal ball and prognosticate on the future of our HR industry. Well it’s time to assess my performance and take my lumps where appropriate. I don’t consider myself dim, but this bulb did not shine as brightly as I would have hoped. — Mark Stelzner

Sometimes . . . Just finishing the race is enough.

I mean, not having given up. Not becoming so overwhelmed you became paralyzed. Not letting what you didn’t (yet) know stifle and overshadow what you did know. Time to simply feel good about what you did accomplish.

Dance Your Jig!

Give yourself a big pat on the back! Time to celebrate. Since it’s your turn to share, I left some space in the comments area below. :) I’d love to hear about them and celebrate with you!


Dance A Jig with That Dancing Girl


Your Turn: Tell the world about your BIGGEST success this year!

Share it in the comments section below.

Image Credits:13 -14 -15 -16 -17 -18



Footnotes

  1. Jamie Beckland in A Big Tool Belt Is More Important than a Crystal Ball, 9 November 2010.  [↩ go back]
  2. Anoop Jacob, known as Jakes writes about the relationship between blogging and math in his article Blogging and Mathematics  [↩ go back]
  3. End of year article, My 2008 Scorecard – A Look Back by Mark Stelzner, December 18, 2008, Inflexion Advisors.  [↩ go back]
  4. Why do we dance? by Amit Jathar, July 30, 2010.  [↩ go back]
  5. Tristan Higbee lists reading as one of several must-do tasks in the blogging cycle in his article How to Run a Successful Blog on 1–3 Hours of Work a Day.  [↩ go back]
  6. Aaron Pogue, of Unstressed Syllables, commands bloggers to “read, read, read!” in order to find their voices in Read, Read, Read to Write Better, a guest post he wrote for Website In A Weekend.   [↩ go back]
  7. 10 Simple Yet Effective Tips on Writing that Everyone Should Know (Part II), G.I. Joh, Johanna, December 10, 2010  [↩ go back]
  8. Amr Boghdady teaches the formal and finer points of the German language online for free at Deautsched: Learn German Online.  [↩ go back]
  9. Erudition Newsletter by Ryah Albatros of Infomation Junkies Anonymous is presented via the online presentation platform, SlideRocket.com  [↩ go back]
  10. Blogger Cameron Chapman owns Cameron on Writing. Her guest post 45 Incredibly Useful Web Design Checklists and Questionnaires appeared in Smashing Magazine on June 29, 2009.  [↩ go back]
  11. DownTheAvenue.com captured the fine points of Megan Casey’s talk at the BizTech conference in San Franciso Squidoo’s Megan Casey: Game Mechanics Will Change Your Business.  [↩ go back]
  12. Jamie Beckland points up game mechanics as part of social media strategy in his article 10 Cures for Your Social Media Pains over at Social Media Examiner, November 28, 2010. He delves deeper into the concept in an earlier article, Game Mechanics: The Most Important Online Tactic You’re Not Using, May 5, 2010, on JamieBeckland.com.  [↩ go back]
  13. Silhouette of Dancing People via Aviary, derived from silhouette20dancing20people.jpg by Rashavon, re-licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.  [↩ go back]
  14. Patterned Football With Twitter Tweet via Aviary, derived from football_graphic.jpg by michaelmusic, re-licensed as Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.  [↩ go back]
  15. When Winning Means Everything, How To Swim, People Climbing Reference Bookstack all courtesy of Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig/HikingArtist.com via Flickr, licensed Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.  [↩ go back]
  16. Lovely Mirror on a Stand from the free Women’s Day Icon Set by http://www.cutelittlefactory.com” target=”_new” rel=”nofollow”>Andrea Austoni, Cute Little Factory.  [↩ go back]
  17. Animated Dancing Girl via Photobucket. License unknown.  [↩ go back]
  18. Screenshots by Vernessa: The Hands of Pianist Benjamin Zander from YouTube video Benjamin Zander: Classical music with shining eyes, Front Cover of Erudition Online Newsletter from Sliderocket presentation, TeamLab Collage from TeamLab website and Dashboard.  [↩ go back]

About Vernessa Taylor

Hi, I'm Vernessa Taylor. I write most of the articles, tutorials and reviews around here. Join in the discussions, share your thoughts, ask questions and lend a hand when you can. Need something? Ask! Check out my About page to learn more about me and my work as a technology consultant and internet coach. Don't forget to connect with me on Google+ and Twitter @CoachNotesBlog.

How Would You Like To Comment Today?

  60 Responses to “Dance A Jig: Build Your Own Unscientific Blogging Scorecard”

Comments (58) Pingbacks (2)
  1. Hi Vernessa,
    Thank you very much for including a part of my article here in your post! I’d consider this as a holiday gift from you! I have just been starting out in my blog adventures (and I think being mentioned at another blog could only happen after maybe a year or more), but seeing you’ve mentioned my blog (which is barely 1 month old), I am really overwhelmed and happy. I’m glad I could share stuff to others through my blog. For me, it’s the little things in life which are the best. I can’t thank you enough!
    Happy Holidays!

    • Welcome to CoachNotes, Johanna! For a new blogger, you started out with a punch, and on a topic that is dear to my heart. :)

      Yes, we do have to celebrate “the little things in life,” which certainly ensure that bigger things will follow. You write well and I hope to see more great posts on GI Joh.

      Thanks for skipping over and sharing your insights with us. Happy 2011!

      • Hi Vernessa,
        Thank you for your kind words. I am not sure if I write well, but I’m glad you think so. I’ll be stopping by here every now and then.
        Great site you have! :)

  2. hey Vernessa:)

    First of all- your blog looks great, clear and the elements are in harmony.
    Thank you for your list of tools that can make life simpler. I will definitely try the TeamLab, it reminds me of BaseCamp, perhaps it is created by the same team? 37 signal I suppose…:)

    Hey and have a really Creative New Year!
    Martyna

    • Hallo Martyna! Love it when you come by, you always have such nice things to say. Glad you like the design; it’s one of my “celebrations” for the year.

      Actually, TeamLab is created by a talented group in Latvia. I used BaseCamp for a while and TeamLab has some similarities. Do give it a try as it’s free and open source (which means you can install it on your own servers, if so inclined, and dig down into the code to your heart’s content).

      Let me know if you decide to put it to use. I plan to feature it in a head-to-head with some other project management software in the near future. I’ll be happy to help if you need any.

      Happy Holidays!

  3. Hi Vernessa

    This is some post…. enough ideas and tips to keep we bloggers happy for the whole of 2011.
    Also liked the check boxes so that we can vote and get involved.

    Gratitude and thanks for giving me a mention.

    I’m off now to dance my jig and when I’ve had a couple of glasses of white wine… what a jig I dance.

    Until 2011…

    • Dance on brother! Nothing like the vino to help shake off the old and shake in the new! LOL

      It gave me great pleasure to share your mastery of the performing arts, artful speaking, and good humour with my friends here. Can hardly wait to see what’s behind the podium for next year.

      Carry on!

      • Hi Vernesa
        Just got back from watching a guy speak… completely blew me away.
        Got to be the subject of a future post.

        Back on topic – if you use a video in your post, think about bandwidth usage and keep it short.

        Thought that might be useful for those using videos.

        • Hey Keith!

          Welcome back – Excellent advice! While lots of folk use YouTube, DailyMotion, and the like to pull in videos, another way to save on bandwidth when self-hosting videos is to use something like Kaltura (Kaltura.org).

          I’ve got my ear tuned to hear your sharings from the talk. :)

  4. Vernessa, this post explains why you were so quiet the past few weeks. (If that’s not the reason, then you are one heck of a publisher!)

    I enjoyed the celebratory nature of your discussion and your own highlights made me smile as I recalled similar accomplishments.

    Laser focus is something I achieved by eliminating 90% of my email and three of my web browsers. ;) Also, I tried to keep opportunistic distractions at bay. That’s an ongoing battle, like weight-loss.

    Overall, I’m ecstatic with the results of 2010: I met dozens of bloggers, participated in many joyous conversations and had the pleasure of watching my blog’s bounce rate dip below 75% consistently.
    Visitors are finally spending at least two minutes on my blog. W00t!

    Here’s to a mind-blowing 2011.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Happy Holidays, Mitch! Thank you for sharing some of your results, no doubt the result of “laser focus.” Congrats on that bounce rate, it’s something we can all look forward to!

      Celebratory is exactly what I was after. I figured we all could use a little looking back that caused “a smile” rather than a deluge of thoughts about what didn’t happen, what needs to be done . . . Better for the spirit.

      I was sorta missing in action but the truth is, I was busy as heck! Several new clients, figuring out how to properly manage it all and keep them in the loop, reading up on stuff like web browser torture – LOL … I’m looking forward to celebrating some more in 2011.

      All the best to you and yours!

  5. Happy to have you join my Random Twitter Poetry game, thanks for including it in this long list of excellent resources you mentioned. I know just about everyone you pointed out and am an RSS subscriber on all their sites.

    • Welcome, Justin! I so enjoy those random poems. I should have told you, there are donkeys across from my house, and every now and then, they get to braying. What a racket! It’s hilarious — and the reason I chose that word for your poem earlier this month. :D

      Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year!

  6. Hi Vernessa,
    What a fun post! Great idea to add those checkboxes for greater interactivity. Don’t be surprised if I steal (I mean borrow) your idea. :D
    I’ve had an amazing year. I think my biggest success story was having my blog featured in one of Lisa Irby’s (2createawebsite) Youtube videos. So much good has come from that, I’m still beaming about it.
    All the best to you!

    • Hi Kiesha! How nice for you to drop by. “Amazing” and “beaming” are truly wonderful words to describe blogging activities for the year. Yes!

      Which video were you featured in? Leave the link here for us so we can check it out. :)

      You’re welcome to borrow (ahem!) any ideas you see around here. In fact, here’s the code for the checkboxes.

      Look out below

      Double-Click in the box below.
      Use CTRL+A to highlight everything.
      Use CTRL+C to copy it all.
      Use CTRL+V to paste into your own document.

      Change NAME to something unique for each checkbox in the series
      Examples: (“box1″ “box2″ “box3″) or (“name1″ “name2″ “name3″)

      Change VALUE to something that represents the option or selection you’ve created
      Examples: (“thisoption” “anotheroption” “lastoption”) or (“blue” “red” “green”)

      <input type="checkbox" name="box1" value="thisoption" class="styled" />Give an option here
      <input type="checkbox" name="box2" value="anotheroption" class="styled" />Try another option here
      <input type="checkbox" name="box3" value="lastoption" class="styled" />Something else to select goes here
      

      More than three options/selections? Just copy and paste more INPUT lines, remembering to add another unique NAME and VALUE.

      If you happen to be on the techie side and want more ideas, I actually grabbed this goody from Ryan Fait.

  7. Yeah! This was an AWESOME post, Vernessa!

    This is exactly the kind of stuff I love reading on blogs: useful information that is presented in a way that doesn’t make me want to punch myself in the face!

    Post thoroughly enjoyed and retweeted!

    Oh, and thanks for the mention. Isn’t reading great? :D

  8. Hi Vernessa,

    I have to agree with everyone else, this is a superb post and the checkbox idea is great!

    Many thanks for the mention, it’s very kind of you. Hopefully Erudition will grow in 2011, but most of all I hope it’s useful to people.

    Best wishes!

    • Welcome to CoachNotes, Ryah! After reading your lovely newsletter, I signed up for a SlideRocket account so I could try it. Haven’t had much time to dig into it, but I’m inspired to give it a go.

      Love that name, Erudition. Says a lot!

      Here’s to gaining a handle on information overload . . . Happy New Year!

  9. I think I am one of the girls that just finished the race this year and I am not ashamed to say it. I hope it will get better next year for me :) Awesome article, I enjoyed the 5 minutes spent reading it

    • Hi Alexa – Thanks for sharing your 2010 success: “finishing your race.” That’s commendable. Of course, in the blogosphere, as in any other sphere, after one race is done, another begins. So hang in there!

      You have a “necessary” niche; hope you have fun in the coming year developing it.

      Don’t forget to stop by Gravatar.com to pick up your free avatar (which will replace the big G graphic with a lovely picture of you when you comment), and join the awesome ComLuv community (which will wonderfully increase participation on your blog). :D

      Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

      Happy New Year!

  10. What a creative post Vernessa! Great information and lots of graphics including the little interactive dancer. :) Really fun. There’s a little bit of everything here. Best wishes for 2010.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and for your help with my CommentLuv feed. I’ll be replying to your comment as soon as I get it working. I tried your suggestions and just waiting for the dust to settle now. :)

    • Sherryl, that dancing girl really tickled me when I saw her. I considered that folk might think I’d gone a bit over the top, but what the heck, right? :D

      No problem … Hoping those suggestions resolve the issue. If not, Andy Bailey wrote a post a while back that also offers a few other things to try when you need help with CommentLuv.

      Once again, congrats on one of your HUGE successes in 2010 — your participation in that wildly popular Collaborative eBook. :) Happy New Year!

  11. The way you embedd the images into the blog is really neat – it makes it easier to read especially with such a long post. Now back to the list Ahhhh I just realised I did not read one single book this year! Nevermind theres a few days left. Perhaps a childrens book for me this year. Happy new year folks – Sam

    • Hey Sam and welcome to CoachNotes! I’m glad you like the images.You’re certainly right — they help me too, to stay on track.

      Did you have one of those stacks of books nearby that you intended to get around to? Well, even if you didn’t read a book, I’ll bet you did your share of reading online, especially with running a business.

      If you get one in before the 31st, drop by and share the good news. Happy Holidays, Sam!

  12. “Let me know if you decide to put it to use. I plan to feature it in a head-to-head with some other project management software in the near future. I’ll be happy to help if you need any.”
    it’s very kind, would be interesting

    thanks:)*

  13. Thanks Vernessa
    You bet ! More reading on line than you could poke a stick at ! Going to grab a book before the years out. Happy new year all!

  14. Mrs. Vernessa Taylor,
    I can’t wait to start using some of your ideas in my blogs. I feel as though I just entered a pilot’s cockpit. I had never imagined all of the knobs, dials, and levers behind the blogging scene. I feel lucky to have some how (with your help) landed upon this site and I feel much more capable now of blogging with style! Thanks and have a wonderful new year full of insipring blogs like this.

    • Hi Kala! Welcome to CoachNotes Blog. Love your analogy about a “pilot’s cockpit.” I’ve found myself out of my depth on more that one occasion; I’m grateful for all the help I’ve had, too.

      Thanks for taking time to stop by, even with your busy schedule. Looking forward to seeing what you guys do with The Community Way (and happy to be involved in some small way).

      Best wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  15. I just followed your last post from my blog and boy am I glad. Love this!
    Let me see what caught my eye: the little dancing girl at the bottom, lol; search for managing tool (always looking for these, and at the moment searching for a software that probably doesn’t exist); reading book (always reading something, sometimes three books at the same time and loving it); have a list of ideas for posts from the stuff I read; redesigned my blog a few weeks back (still not completely satisfied, but pretty close)…oh, woo, writing too much.
    Just wanted to say that I loved this read, I like these long posts where you start with an A and end with a Z so I don’t have to jump from one place to another.
    Now I am off to check out this TeamLab thing.

    • Hey Brankica! Write as much as you want :) I admire you being able to read several books at once. I read a lot, too, but it’s more of a lateral deal. Getting ideas from reading is a real kick-starter, isn’t it?

      When you check out TeamLab, will you share your impressions with me? The developers over there are very responsive to input so it would be great for you to add your voice to their conversations with users. (And depending on what other softwares you’re searching for, I might have some ideas. Give a holler if I can help.)

      Your research on Blogging Tribes was top notch. I plan to pay attention to your future findings and your own experiment.

      Thanks so much for coming by and sharing your 2010 successes. Congrats . . . Did you dance your jig yet?

  16. Hi Vernessa,

    Incredible, detailed and good-looking article! I like the check boxes included like a to-do list :)

    I’ve pending the #4, #5 (working on that) and hope it’d be up and running in the next year.

    Vernessa – keep rocking :)

    I wish you a Marvellous 2011!

    Cheers,

    Gera

    • Greetings Gera – Would love to see some foodie videos and newsletter from you. Glad you liked the checkboxes, grab the code if you’d like to use them sometime.

      Any idea which platform you’ll use to create/deliver your ezine?

      Always good to see you in the house. :D
      Wishing you a wonderful 2011, too. Let’s celebrate!

      • Hi Vernessa,

        Hope you’ve started with a Great 2011!

        I’m working on my ezine on Mailchimp and like the multimedia, will be oriented more to blogging-social media than food. I’m orienting my blog more in that direction.

        Cheers,

        Gera

        • Hi Gera,

          Yes, 2011 is off with a bang! Thank you so much for coming back to follow up. I’ve heard great things about Mail Chimp as a platform to serve up your ezine. I wish you great success with both your new direction and newsletter.

          I’ve edited a few ezines for clients and written numerous autoresponder series. Let me know if I can be of any help to you.

          Gera, I so enjoy your “foodies.” Will you find a little spot in your newsletter to ocassionally share a sweet treat? :D

  17. Hi Vanessa, this is really useful stuff here and some resources I’ve not heard of before.

    You’ve given me a lot to think about this weekend.

    All the very best for 2011.

    Matthew

    • Welcome, Matthew! Love the name of your company, especially since my favorite chewing gum is (ahem!) Big Red. :D

      As you think about some of the resources, don’t forget to give yourself a BIG pat on the back for the things accomplished this year that bring a smile to your face.

      Come back anytime . . . Happy Prosperous New Year!

  18. Hi Vernessa

    What a unique and funky post :-) Love it. Have been looking forward to reading another of your posts and this one certainly lived up to expectations.

    Happy New Year Vernessa and all the best for 2011.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Hello Patricia, I’m pleased to see you today! Yep, I remember that tweet that inspired me to hurry up and lay aside some time to write up something juicy and “funky.” :D

      Best wishes to you, too, for a prosperous New Year.

  19. This was a great post, and I was able to check off a positive box on each point you made. I always think it’s fair if you set goals for a certain period of time to go back and look at them to see how you did. I don’t necessarily think if you didn’t hit your goal that it’s a negative; it’s just something you didn’t get to. For me, I showed progress on most of the goals that I didn’t actually hit, and in my mind that’s a pretty good thing.

    • Hi Mitch, welcome back!

      Your way of thinking about it definitely makes sense. … Progress means forward motion. It’s so important for us to celebrate every success, big or small, since we’re looking for cumulative effect.

      Congrats on every checkmark and thanks for sharing your 2011 goals (over on your blog). It inspires me to put mine out there and be “accountable,” as you say. :)

      Peace and Blessings in the New Year!

  20. Hi Vernessa! I loved your post today! I like that it was interactive, it keeps me interested, I am a busy body : ) And very helpful indeed. Thanks so much for all you advise here. I definately think it was different than all the other New Year trubute posts..thanks for that too

    • Welcome, Jasmine! Really appreciate those kind words – means a lot to know this one hit a spot where you could jump in and have a little fun. Hey, I hope you’ll come back from time to time and have your say. :)

      I see you’re using 3D Cart over on your gift basket site. I would love to hear your take on how well it works for you. If you get a chance, will you drop by this other article I wrote about e-commerce Carts and give us the benefit of your wisdom?

      Thanks Jasmine!

  21. Hi Vernessa,

    I must admit you are the first blogger I’ve come across that uses footnotes! Man I haven’t come across them since back in my college days ;)

    I reckon I must be one of the only bloggers who hasn’t written a post on my achievements in 2010. Probably because I’m not one to set goals and so I have nothing to really reflect on.

    I like to tackle things on a day to day basis. If I know something needs to be done I do it and then I wait for the next hurdle to jump. Probably not the most productive or efficient method but I’ve always managed to get by.

    • Hi Sire,

      You probably remember your professors yelling about cites, and depending on your discipline, some were easier to write than others. Yeah, me too. :) I still get a little thrill when I make a footnote!

      I certainly wouldn’t call your process “unproductive.” At the end of the day, getting things done is the name of the game. Congratulations on all you’ve done … including that MailChimp review, which was definitely helpful coming from a trusted voice.

      Glad to make your acquaintance, Sire. :D Hope to see you around here again.

  22. I sure do, they always used to tell us that unless we provided detailed footnotes it would affect our grades.

    Glad you liked that post, as a blogger you realize how important it is for us to provide content that is appreciated by our readers and so it’s always nice when we get confirmation of that. :)

  23. Vernessa, I just stumbled across this post now while browsing through your blog!
    I really couldn’t thank you enough for including a link to my website, even though it’s not a blog, and is not related to your niche! I really appreciate it Vernessa :)

    • Bitte, Amr! Gern geschehen:) (Is that correct?) Your site really epitomized the topic of finding “new words” to express an idea.

      It’s wonderful to see you here again!

  24. I have just bought a domain and is still in the process of setting up my blog, writing contents, and designing a logo so some of the questions still don’t apply to me. (I’m a freelance for now)
    Anyway, I’m really pleased with what I have accomplished so far and I’m so excited for the launch of my own blog site.
    NB This is a very scholarly article. I love it.

    • Hi Anne,

      Thanks for the “scholarly” compliment! :) Wishing you much success with your brand-spanking new site. As you move forward, most likely many of the questions will apply as you decide upon different ways to present your content and message.

      There are so many kind-hearted people blogging these days, I’m sure you’ll find help along the way as you need it. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

      See you next time!

  25. Thanks Verne, I just spent the whole day trying to install wordpress in my domain. There’s still a lot of work to be done. I’m sure I will benefit from your posts and if I get stuck I’ll let you know for sure. I got one question on the way. So get ready to be harassed. hahah! Just kidding.

    • Congratulations, Anne! No doubt you will enjoy the many benefits of having WordPress on your domain. I’ve visited your coupon site and see it’s on WP, too. Is this the first time you’ve installed WP by yourself?

  26. Thanks for the welcome Vernessa,

    Loved the “Dance A Jig” post as well. Really nice work.

    I’ve recently committed to keeping a daily scorecard of my progress. This one single thing that has been the reason for:

    -Feeling better about my progress
    -Knowing exactly where I am, and what’s next
    -Scheduling my time much more effectively

    Looking forward to more of your work.

    Check out Ayden’s Blog Post . . . . Olark Visual Website Optimizer Latest BigCommerce Integration

    • Hi Ayden,

      Keeping a daily scorecard is a great idea! Anything you do to celebrate your own productivity is a worthwhile effort. Thanks for sharing your progress. :)

      BTW, when you get a chance, take a look at your FeedBurner settings. Your CommentLuv link via FeedBurner is not giving you a true backlink. I had the same issue but fixed it using Brian Rogel’s tips in FeedBurner is Stealing Your CommentLuv Backlinks.

      See you soon.

  27. Hey Vernessa, what an awesome post.

    OK, let me see what I did, I did do some tiny changes in design and redesigned the sign up widget. Read an awesome book The Tao of Twitter. Found some useful tools and one of the got a post of mine RTed like crazy. I did send out some newsletters.

    No videos or audios lately but planning to do it. And totally gonna enter a contest next week.

    Oh and I have an ongoing contest on my blog I organized. Nothing hard to do, all I need is your e-mail and you are in :) Ends Monday.

    Would this be enough for now :)

    • Hey Brankica,

      You’ve really had the creative juices flowing! Great idea to transparently link up your contest to increasing your subscriber base. (I’m in there!) :) Would love to know the impact on the subscription numbers.

      Without a doubt, Live Your Love looks good, great flow and white space. Yummy!

      Thanks so much for skipping over to share your personal scorecard. Nothing like taking a look at what we’ve done — notwithstanding all we have left to do — and feeling a little smile spread across our face. :D

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