Monday, December 20, 2010

To do and to Be

Today's post is a guest post from a fellow blogger over at twenty-something bloggers as part of their Blog Carnival. I hope you enjoy this small experiment.

Listen. There is a Guide in each of us, the Voice of Intuition. Listen to it. How many of us end up living the life we want, the life we dream about? Most of us are probably living or pursuing the dream. Hopefully it is your Dream that you are pursuing. Are we all happy when we do reach the desired destination? Sometimes it feels like there is something missing.

I study Hospitality in a school that I wanted to study at. Life couldn’t get any better. Yet there were times when I felt strangely bereft; oddly there was a slight twinge of disappointment. At what!!?? I asked myself this over and over and told myself to just be grateful for the gifts of life. I did thankfulness meditations, wrote lists and thanked the heavens, and even compelled myself to be thankful for the miserable snow! It just wouldn’t go away. It took me awhile to realize that this twinge of disappointment was just ME at MYSELF. Why? I was pursuing my dreams alright finally I seem to have it together doing what I want! The catch was- I wasn’t living it. I was so busy pursuing it that I wasn’t living my dream. I wasn’t creatively active I wasn’t doing any of the things that I want to do because my friends didn’t want to or somehow with all the social and educational obligations I just didn’t have time.

Every time you step away from your true self or purpose your intuition will let you know. Just listen to it. It will unfailingly steer you back on the right path! It’s not only about the destination but also the journey. Make the time to get know yourself and your needs better. Make the time to live it.

Indu Sukumar is a blogger at and also at

Friday, December 3, 2010

Guest Blogging

Everything I've read about blogging says that guest posting and hosting guest bloggers helps gain readership. Since readers are a big part of my blog, I've decided to give it a shot. I have signed up for, so we'll see how it goes from there. Does anyone have experience with this site? How about stories guest posting? If you have an interest in guest blogging for either this blog, or my other blog,, send me an e-mail at
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Anonymous Blogging

I discussed in another post the negative effects that blogging can have on your personal life and career and the importance of boundaries. One way that some bloggers prevent these dangers and others (such as stalkers, threats, or identity theft) is to remain completely anonymous.

It's certainly easy enough to do. Don't mention your real name, where you live, or too many details about yourself. Create an e-mail that you only use for blogging and uses a nickname. Make sure the anonymous blog is not linked to your other social media that may reveal more about you.

Blogging without revealing who you are has a lot of benefits. You can say just about anything you want (within reason) without damaging your career or personal relationships. This allows you to express views you may have but don't normally share and take on controversial topics. It also means you do not have to share your blogging habit with anyone who might not approve.

On the other hand, people may take you less seriously if you take advantage of the anonymity that the Internet offers you. You will most likely be challenged for it. Also, it makes writing personal blogs more difficult because not only do you have to change names, you will have to omit a lot of information that might reveal your location or identity.

Either way, it is a judgement call of how much you are willing to reveal. Plenty of bloggers do use their full name, but these are mostly professional bloggers. The best thing to do might be a balance of the two. Use a fake name, but for everything else use general information.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where to Find Help

Readers, today I want to know what everyone's favorite sources for blogging information are. They come in all different forms, from websites to other blogs, to books. Please leave a title and/or URL in your comments to tell me where you go when you need advice on all things blogging.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Break

With the Christmas season coming up, holidays are on every one's minds. How does this affect bloggers? Do you take a day off of posting on special days or stick to your schedule? Maybe you use the time off to post or write extra posts.

How about reading blogs? Have you noticed whether most blogs still post even on the holidays? Do you read your favorite blogs even on days such as Fourth of July or Christmas?

Share your answers in the comments.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Goal for Followers

When I first startd blogging, I figured it would be a good idea to set some goals, so that I would know how I was doing. Of course, at the time I didn't really know what realistic goals would be, so I waited until my blogs had been up for some time before making them.

Well, one of my goals was to have a total of 50 followers for my two blogs by the new year. Right now I'm at 31, so I think I have a chance at making it.

Admittedly, I haven't been doing my fair share of gaining followers by neglecting this blog for over a month, but I'll make a deal with you: help me find more followers and I will update my blog regularly. To show my committment to this goal, look for another post tomorrow.

So, to your part of the deal: how can you help me get followers? It's pretty easy, actually. If you read my blog, but do not follow it, go ahead and click the folow button. If you already follow me, then just spread the word about my blog. like it on StumbleUpon, recomend it to others, or just keep coming back for new blog posts to get my stats up and encourage me.

With your help readers, I can acheive my goal.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


If I could, I would probably change the layout to my blogs every time I log on. I love playing with them, and wish I had the skill to design my own rather than rely on editing the ones blogger offers. Instead, I update them once every few months. Of course, when each of the blogs first started out, I changed them more frequently since I was still trying to find out what worked best.

Like I said, I get my layouts and backgrounds from blogger, with a few changes. I don't change much about very often because I think consistency works best when trying to create a brand. However, I did let myself get a little out of hand with the widgets.

Do you agree? How often do you change your layout and for what reasons? Where do you get the templates and such? Anyone skilled at designing them themselves? And while we're on the topic, what are your favorite widgets?
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Why Subscribe?

Many of us, being bloggers, read a large number of blogs each day besides our own. Some of these are blogs that we subscribe to, others are blogs that we read once and never think about again. What is the difference?

What makes you willing to go back to a blog more than once, or even every day or whenever there is a new update? Frequency of posting is one factor since there is no point in returning to a blog if there is no new content, but there is more to it than that. So what makes you want to return ?

Finally, do you have a prefence for subscribing? My personal favorite is the "Follower" method on Blogger. It is simple and quick, although does not work with non-blogger blogs. I have not really figured out RSS. Other options include saving the page as a favorite and signing up to get updates e-mailed to you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blog fest

I participated in my first blog fest today and would like to invite everyone here to check it out over at Cerebrall Lunchbox. You can read my entry here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why You Blog

I explained the history behind my "career" in blogging here and invited all who read this blog to do the same,  but now I'm curious: what are your reasons for blogging? Did you intend to make money from it or was it a way to vent? Perhaps it was just the easiest way to keep up with your family. Either way, please share your inspirations in the comments section.
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Monday, October 4, 2010


Are there any topics that you would never, ever blog about? Anything that is completely out of bounds for you? If  so, what are your reasons? It could be as simple as it does not interest you. Please share in the comments section.
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Friday, October 1, 2010

Favorite Topics

What are your favorite things to blog about? Please include links to some of your personal favorite posts.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Favorite Blogs

What is your favorite blog that you like to read? (It cannot be one that you write yourself, with the exception of occaisonal guest posts.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Flogging (Fake Blogging)

I have always wanted to start a fake blog. You know, one where you blog under a fake identity about fake occurences in your fake life. Sounds just like writing a novel, but more personal and in real time. Of course, I would include a disclaimer on every post to make sure there are no legal issues.

People get very upset when they find out they've been fooled. And if it involves asking for money or false advertising, then that's no surprise. However, people get upset about fake blogs that are just meant to be a joke as well.

Does anyone here write a fake blog or have one that they like to read? Please include a link as well as your thoughts on "flogging."
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Please Advertise

I want to make sure that I've read as many of my readers' blogs as possible, so please post a link to your blog if you have one.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Daily or Weekly Themes

Do you like doing themes for certain days of the week? For example, every Wednesday posting a picture. The only one I do is my comment of the week. I always feel like having a theme will box me in, even if I don't do one for every day. However, I know lot's of bloggers who have a theme for almost every day. The idea is that it gives you a starting point, and from there it is easier to come up with ideas. What does everyone here think?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Regular Posting?

On both of my blogs, I post pretty regularly, 3 days a week. I feel that this works best since it keeps me motivated and my readers know when to expect updates. Because my blogs are informative, I think keeping them professional in some way works best.

Other blogs and bloggers may be different. For example, if you have a personal blog, you'll want to post when you have something important to mention. If it is a news blog, you will of course blog when something newsworthy occurs which could be at any time, multiple times a day. Finally, if you blog purely as a hobby or blogging is not the number one priority in your life, it makes perfect sense to blog whenever you have time or simply whenever you feel like it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What You Risk by Blogging

Everyone has heard stories about bloggers losing their full-time jobs over something they posted in their blog. Sometimes it happens to bloggers who are too personal or discuss their political or religious views that conflict with those of their employer. To top it off, many states have "at-will employment" laws stating that the employer can fire the employee at any time and for any reason. Likewise, the employee can quit at any time and for any reason.

According to you can even get in trouble for what you write in comments on other blogs. It seems as though nothing is sacred.

Its a fine line. Yeah, you want to be able to say and write what you want, and we deserve some privacy, but the Web is a public place. When we write something, we're saying that we want whoever wants to to read it. That includes bosses, parents, and friends.

My advice would be to not use your real name while blogging or commenting if you have a full-time job other than blogging. And even if you do this, know that it is not all that difficult to find the person behind the screen name. So just blog as though everyone, including your boss and grandmother, might be reading it.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

5 Ways to Get Readers to Link to Your Blog

1. Link to other blogs and ask if they will return the favor
2. Post about current events
3. Start a contest that requires competitors to include a link to your site
4. Submit your original articles to article directories
5. Offer to guest blog for other blogs
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Attracting Viewers

As blog writers, I assume many of us are also active blog readers. This is very beneficial as we can look at our blog posts from two perspectives, one of which is more objective than the other. If you are not following a considerable number of blogs right now, go do it! Starting with this one!

While getting your name out there is relatively easy (see my post on advertising for some ideas) getting people to read, and continue to read is different. I do not read every blog that show up in my news feed. Some just don't appeal to me.

The best way to get regular readers in my opinion is to first have a way for your readers to get to your blog, or even better, for them to see when it has been updated without going to your blog first. Since only the title and the first few sentences will probably be shown, it needs to be eye-catching. Include a photo as well. Finally, update regularlarly so that your readers will not forget you, reply to comments, and make sure your writing is worth reading. Also, consider a statistics meter. I recomend Google Analytics. This gives you a count of who is coming to your site, how they are getting there, even how much time they spend there and how many pages they view.

What makes you want to keep reading a blog?
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Friday, August 27, 2010


Where does inspiration for your blogs come from? StumbleUpon, as well as online news sites tend to be helpful. So is reading other blogs. It seems that as soon as I start writing, I can't stop the inpiration. But its getting started that's the real problem. That's been my concern the last couple of weeks, which is why my blogs are fewer. I read somewhere that the best thing to do is set a goal for the day and not stop until that goal has been reacehed rather than give yourself a time limit.

So where do you get your inspiration to write?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blogging for Dummies

The Dummies Guides are known for being good, basic guides for beginning a new hobby. Blogging for Dummies goes beyond that and has a lot of tips helpful for more advanced bloggers.

It has instructions for setting up a new blog on some basic hosting sites as well as if you want to host the blog yourself. It also has ideas for types of blogs that you could write if you need inspiration.

The book also has lot's of tips for some of the more elaborate aspects of blogging, such as editing your photos and making money off of your blog. There are also plenty of examples of good blogs that you can use for ideas.

This edition was published in 2006 so some of the information is slightly out of date, but not so much so that it can't be used. At least one of the blogs featured in Blogging for Dummies is no longer updated.

Full Disclosure: I receive part of the profit from any sales made as a direct result from this blog, soI am paid to post this.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Amazon Associates

I've decided to try out Amazon Associates on this blog, because lately I've been lacking ideas. This is why my updates are no longer regular. Who here has tried an associates program? What kind of success did you have?

Monday, August 16, 2010

How I got started in blogging

While looking for scholarship opportunities on the site, I came across a blogging scholarship. This would have been around 2006. I didn't get into blogging on the website,, until my freshman year of college in 2007. The goal of the site was to encourage people, especially young people and college students to blog about topics that were important to them. Blogging frequently enough could earn you a scholarship. I continued to blog on this site until a few months ago when I got out of the habit because of problems that the site had.

The site is up and running again, but the layout is different and many of my favorite bloggers appear to be gone so I haven't felt like getting back into it. I still missed sharing my opinions and I felt I had enough knowledge to begin blogging about college. That blog was started in June. After a few months I realized that I needed advice as well as people to vent to about my blog which is how this blog started.

How did everyone here first start blogging?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


On almost every blogging site I look at, they all tell me that pictures are the best way to attract people to your blog. Most of my blogs do not have pictures, just because they are hard to find and I've been having trouble with my camera. If I do have pictures they all come from Zemanta. Soon though I am going to test this theory and share with you my results.

Do some pictures work better than others? Are some posts better off without a picture? What are your favorite sources to find pictures?

Friday, August 6, 2010


Today's post is just a simple question. What do you find is the most effective way to make your blog known? Blog directories, forums, commenting on other blogs, or something else? Please share your answer in the comment section. Feel free to elaborate on your answer.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Market Analysis

I've decided to try doing a market and competitiveness analysis of my blogging niche and my other blog, Don't Let Higher Ed Eat Your Soul. Soon I will do another one for this blog. The idea is that I will analyze my own blog, as well as three others that are in a similar market to mine:

College Lifestyles: This blog advertises itself as a guide for "Nutrition, Lifestyle, and Ettiquette for Savy Coeds." Not only is it focused on female college students, it is particularly focused on Sorority girls. The average reader probably is not overly concerned with money (either her parents help her, or she gets enough scholarships) because many of the ideas involve shopping. A college lifestyle reader is likely concerned with her future career.

College Candy: Most the readers of this blog are also female. These readers are closer to what the average college student its: Don't have a lot of money and like to party. Sex is a major topic on this blog. Of course, these readers are also savy and concerned about their future as internships are also a big topic and there are several city guides.

Lovely Undergrad: Again, this blog is aimed at female college students. The main topic, however, seems to be decorating. There are frequently pictures of apartments and suggestions for decorations. Most readers probalbly live in an apartment  off campus rather than in a dorm. Books are also a big topic on this blog because the aothor frequently discusses the Kindle.

Finally, My Blog: My ideal audience is male and female college students, as well as high school seniors who are planning to go to college. While I like to include advice, I'm also trying to discuss current events that affect students so my readers can debate them. So my ideal college student reader is living in a dorm, on a four year track at a school, probably, but not necesarily, public or state school.

So, after reading my blog and the other ones I've analyzed, do you think I've done a good job? Do you think I cater to the audience I want?

Also, I'd like to invite my three readers to do something similar to what I just did and post it in the comments section if you are so inclined.
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Maintaining Multiple Blogs

Does anyone keep more than one blog? Currently, I have three, although one I do not do much with. There is this one, of course, and my other blog, Don't Let Higher Ed Eat Your Soul. Now, however, I feel like I'm getting all kinds of ideas for more blogs that I would like to start. The problem is, I do not think I would be able to keep up with more blogs than I already have. coming up with ideas is not an issue to me. My biggest problem seems to be advertising. I have found several sites that work well for advertising my first blog, and since in this blog I talk about blogging, that's pretty easy as well. Still, writing good comments takes time, and I don't want to be spending all of my time sitting at a computer, browsing the internet. Andd what about ideas that don't have a simple niche or other blogs in their niche?

I mentioned that coming up with ideas for blog posts is not a problem. Sitting down to write out a decently lengthed and well-researched blog is. Checking facts, finding links, and of course, finding a wide enough angle to blog from takes time and sometimes I just don't have the motivation.

Also, do all of my ideas for new blogs really need their own blogs? Couldn't some of them be combined?

What do you think, readers? How many blogs do you maintain? What are the biggest challenges that come from having more than one blog? How about the rewards?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Encouraging Comments

To me, having regular comments on my blog is the surest sign that I am doing well. It means that what I write is important enough that it warrants a response, and that people are sticking around the site long enough to to type something up.

So, in order to get more comments and, as a result, feel more successful, I'm doing a weekly post every friday where I feature one comment from the previous week. My first featured post can be seen here.

Do you think this is a good idea? How do you encourage comments? And how do you tell if you blog is a success? Is it solely personal?
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Personal Blogs

It seems that, despite criticism, personal blogs are the ones that do the best. They have the most subscribers, they are most likely to be on the Blogs of Note if they are a Blogger blog, and they get the most coverage. Why is that? Afterall, we're constantly told that no one wants to know what our day is like, we're not important enough. But I'm thinking, yes, we are important enough. And that's not being arrogant.

Look at it this way: as bloggers we are often told that the key to getting more readers and comments is to be personal. We should write our posts in first person and include an about me page saying who we  are, not just what the blog is about. I think this has to do with how blogs are seen. They have become a way for the average person to share his or her opinions. Readers also expect to be able to ask questions and have discussions with the author and get their questions answered. They have an easier time doing this if they can relate to the author and the author is seen as an actual person, not just a screenname.

So the moral of this story is, even if your blog is not a personal blog, find a way to connect with the readers. Offer assistance, come through with your promises, and share information about yourself while still keeping safety in mind.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Blogs of Note

Is it bad that I don't like to follow most of the Blogger's Blogs of Note? Here's my logic: as soon as those bloggers become a blogger of note, their views and followers increase exponentially. While I am sure they are excellent blogs, I would rather focus my attention on blogs that have not broken out yet; hidden gems if you will.

I'm this way about a lot of things. Their was another blogging site that I used to write on that would have featured blogs. I usually ignored those because I thought it wasn't fair that these blogs got so many views when others did not get as many. I also prefer to shop in local shops because I like how unique they are, and I think its better for there to be a wide range of stores for a healthy economy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What This Blog Is

A few months ago, I decided to begin blogging. My blog is a guide for current and future college students. In writing this blog, I've learned that there is a lot I don't know and a lot of problems that I've ran into. I started complaining about these things on a second blog I have, but I don't advertise it because it is mostly for random rants. I wanted to actually getting answers, so now, a third blog is born. Anyways, I'll be using this blog to ask questions and share tidbits about blogging that I've learned. I hope to grow this into a community.