"Optimist: Day-dreamer more elegantly spelled." -- Mark Twain

Sure, it's already Time-Flies-Tuesday  . . .

and the piece that was supposed to be finished over the weekend is still slogging along.  Some pieces seem to keep growing as you work on them, and each time you near the finish line it's magically moved back 5 feet.

That's okay, because I feel this one is going to be worth it.  
And the next post should contain the big reveal.

Meanwhile, I was just reading a great article chock full o' tips for creative online marketers, kindly provided by Rachel (thanks, Rachel!) over at Rayela Art.  And of course the first thing I realized is that I consistently break almost every rule.

Using Blogger immediately exposes me as a rank amateur,  
for starters . . . 
but that's okay because my Amateur-Blogger-Blog then proceeds to break every other rule in the book 
(and I quote . . .)

"It's not about you.  So, unless you habitually fight dragons or have a gift for making the mundane hilariously funny or poignantly engaging, be careful how much you talk about yourself, your personal life and opinions.  (Save that for family and friends, who love you just for who you are.)"

Ouch.  Have I ever written about anything that wasn't about ME, with my hilariously funny and poignantly engaging personal life and opinions?  I guess that means that after I move to Wordpress, I also need to completely remake my content if I want to grow my brand.

That sounds like a lot of work for January, doesn't it? 
I mean, a complete personality overhaul on top of all the snow and cold and lack of sunlight and tight jeans and looming deadlines and piles of laundry and EVERYTHING ELSE GOING ON IN THE WORLD?

I'm going to have to think on it, of course.  
And in the meantime, quit writing uninteresting drivel about myself.

And I signed up for their free newsletter, 
because this is gonna' require some help.

So . . . what are you doing to survive January?  

Yesterday was actually (scientifically speaking) Blue Monday, the statistically most depressing day of the year.

And I didn't think it was so bad.    In fact, I find it quite hopeful to think that 2011 could actually bottom out by January 24 and we'd spend the rest of the year with things looking up.

J. Robert Oppenheimer said:

"The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds.  The pessimist fears it is true." 

So how would he finish this sentence? 

"The optimist thinks January 24 
was the worst day of the year . . ."

He'd probably finish it with something like this line from Peter Ustinov:

"The point of living and being an optimist 
is to be foolish enough to believe 
the best is yet to come."


Here's to being a fool.  Cheers!




luanne said...

Must say, I LOVE your blog design just the way it is! You have taken a Blogger template and made it entirely your own, and to me it is far more visually appealing than most blogs I've seen on Typepad or Wordpress or other websites. So whatever you do next, be true to your own style and instincts.

(And ironically, to my eyes, the guy with the 10 tips article has a completely unappealing site design... go figure.)

This concept of using blogs as a marketing tool is something I've been stewing over lately. Some of my former favorite artist blogs have evolved to feature mostly self-promotional content, so much that they no longer hold any charm or interest for me. I'm sad for the loss of the inspiration they once offered.

Anyway, you happened to hit on a topic I've been brooding about, as I fear the blog world isn't heading in a direction I'll enjoy... but maybe I'm just getting old & jaded.

susan m hinckley said...

Interesting because as I've been chewing on this particular topic all day, I'm not sure what I think. My blog exists mostly as a vehicle for me to do a little something creative that's outside my regular work. On the other hand, I started it before I had a website and therefore it functioned in that capacity for sometime. So it's a hybrid, and I'm not sure what the experts would think about that.

I thought the idea that writing a business blog on Blogger is like operating a business with a hotmail account (from the article) was probably a very good point. And I'm well aware that I should do it, but I'd have a problem trying to drive all the traffic from susanmhinckley.com because most people know Small Works as Small Works. Merging the two might be difficult after so long, and I'd lose readers (although I might get new ones.)

Bottom line is I don't want to use my blog to market anything . . . on the other hand, it's probably my main web presence so it's an accidental marketer and I need to remember that.

Wouldn't it be easier to just have lunch with my friends now and then? And save the selling for shows?

All good questions.

Leenie said...

I selfishly hope you continue blogging so uniquely. You promote your work very nicely by giving it personality and background. There are SO many places on the internet that yell, "Buy My Stuff!" But only one looks and reads like yours.

I like all your optimistic quotes, but especially like the Georgia O' Keefe one at the top. Went scuba diving 45 feet below the Caribbean yesterday. Has been years since I strapped on an oxygen tank. May never have the guts to do it again. I was close to terrified although it was beyond amazing. Being scared and being and optimist can provide over the edge experiences or near death experiences.

Sorry about the long comment. Just keep up the good work---for me.

Allie said...

DON'T YOU DARE change anything about your blog. It was your writing and personality shining through, as much as your fabulous work, that got me hooked. I'm not fond of business blogs - they lack the personal appeal. I plan on someday marketing my own designs, but it sure won't change my blog. Experts? I'm not so sure.
BTW - I really do not like Wordpress or Typepad - I'm quite fond of Blogger!

Karen M said...

I love your blog. It's charming, and friendly. Not too personal, not too business, its just right (said Goldilocks). It's not like any other blog around, which keeps me coming back, and I imagine other's feel the same way. Some sights that are too businessy, I visit once, and don't return. For the sake of busuness, one small change might be to make the link to your website a little more prominent? It can be a little easy to overlook.

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks for your comments! I really appreciate your kind support, as well as the helpful hints.

Karen, I think it's a good idea and I'm about ready for a visual update anyway to shake things up.

Leenie, I also LOVE that quote by O'Keefe. But it has yet to inspire me to do things like scuba diving. Dive on, girl!

Mark McGuinness said...

Thanks for such a great response to my piece.

Actually, it looks like your writing makes you the exception to the rule - you're good enough to make the quirky personal viewpoint really work.

And I love what you've done with the theme. (Although I think Wordpress would give you a better canvas to work with.)

To the other commenters who say they don't like pushy, self-promotional blog posts - me neither. That's NOT the best way to market yourself on a blog.

Susan has hit the nail on the head when she says her blog is a 'hybrid' - all the best ones are.

I wrote in another post that the less your content looks like marketing, the better it functions as marketing - because people will want to read it, share it with their friends and come back for more. And once they get to know and like you via your blog, then they're more likely to consider buying from you.

Anyway, judging from the passion in your comments, you're doing a great job of that already. :-)

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