Thursday, November 17

A cure for the blogging blues

Remember the food pyramid? Did you know that it can help a person not only have a healthy body but also a healthy blog? Suitably tweaked, of course.

I'll let Ariel Hyatt tell you about it.
It happens to me all of the time when I teach artists social media.The face goes blank, the frustration begins to settle in and then the artist says it:

“I just don’t have anything interesting to say.”


I’m shocked by this every time. You are an artist; you do things we mere mortals are totally enamored by: you PLAY MUSIC, you write songs, you perform them in public!

So PHLEEASE, do not tell me you have nothing interesting to say. I ain’t buying it.

All you are missing is a System for Social Media Success.

Luckily, unlike sheer god-given musical talent, social media is a learnable skill.

As I was teaching my system to a client in my kitchen a few weeks ago over coffee and bagels and it HIT me… and so I created:

Remember that chart they brought out when we were in 2nd grade to show us how to eat well-rounded meals? I have re-tooled it for you so you can now participate on Social Media healthily! And you won’t even have to think about it – just follow along…

You wouldn’t eat only bagels all of the time. They are a treat once in awhile, but they are not healthy to eat every day – and a diet of only bagels would be boring!

Most artists are only serving their audiences bagels all of the time. Plain bagels. Over an over again.


We want a burger, or a giant green healthy salad, we want some candy, give us protein!

But you keep serving bagels, bagels, bagels!

These are five things that when used in concert with one another can help you ratchet up your social media effectively and manage it easily.
To read the rest of Ariel Hyatt's awesome post, click here: The Musician's Social Media Food Pyramid

For those of you who don't feel like clicking, here's the gist:

1. Network
It isn't all about blogging, it's about making a personal connection.
Frequency: 3 or 4 out of 10 posts.
- Facebook: Leave a comment (or comments!) and become involved.
- Twitter: Chat up your network! Send messages to people & use their twitternames.
- Blogs: Read other blogs and LEAVE COMMENTS!
- YouTube: Find videos you like, subscribe to the channel and make your own video comments.

2. Promote others
Treat others as you would like them to treat you.
Frequency: 3 out of every 10 posts
- Share profiles, photos and links to interesting articles on your Facebook page and your blog.
- Tweet others as you would have them tweet you (sorry, couldn't resist!) Participate in #FF (Follow Friday) and retweet others tweets. Review books or albums and talk about what effect they've had on you and your work.

3. Curate Content
Frequency: 2 or 3 out of every 10 posts
- RSS feeds: This is my favorite! Every day I prowl through my RSS feeds using Google Reader and select the articles I think are the most interesting and share them.
- Food: You don't have to blog about the same thing all the time. Share recipes or talk about your favorite restaurants. Are you a secret addict of any food reality shows? (me --> Diners, Drive-ins and Dives)
- Media: write a review, whether of a book, a movie or some music.
- Talk about something your audience is interested in. Parenting, sports, technology (the iPad!)

4. Pictures!
Take photos and share them.
Frequency: 2 out of every 10 posts
- Twitter: Use twitpic and yfrog.
- YouTube: Dive in! Instead of posting video replies (see above) post your own video. If you're shy, you can post videos others have made.
- Blog: It makes your blog more visually interesting if you add a photo or two and the best photo is one taken by you that has some personal connection to you. It doesn't have to be OF you -- although it can. People are naturally curious about others. What does the view out your window look like? What does your writing desk look like? Your readers want to know!

5. Promote yourself!
Frequency: 1 out of every 10 posts
Do you have a book coming out? A short story? An album? Tell people about it!

That's it! Oh, but before I end this post, two very important things.
1. Most important blogging tip ever: Whenever you post on your blog or on Facebook, tweet a link to your post!
2. My thanks to the marvelously talented Deborah ( who sent me the link to Ariel's article. Her voice is completely amazing, check out her YouTube channel and her Facebook page. You can also find her on iTunes.

I hope you found something that will help inspire your blog posts. Cheers!


  1. Karen- Thank you for this. It refines many of the concepts I have noticed working for me on my blog, all wrapped in a simple package, though the video piece is something I have yet to embrace. (Not sure about Viddy, but your cat seemed to enjoy being a star alongside the muppets)

  2. Ah yes, my cat Miko knows she's a star. ;)

    Thanks for the comment! When Deborah mentioned the blogging pyramid to me I thought it was too good to be true. It still seems that way, I've been wanting something like this for a LONG time.

    I haven't done anything on YouTube either, although I want to. I think that, for me, my shyness is holding me back. You know what they say, the camera doesn't lie and I'm not sure I'm ready for THAT much truth! ;)

  3. Love this, thank you Karen and Deborah!

  4. Hey Karen
    As a shy guy, who is also a video guy, there is a LOT you can do that doesn't involve your own face on the video :) With that said, though, I have forced myself to get into some of my videos, and it gets easier. I recommend just turn on a camera, talk, maybe have some talking points, or go all out and free ramble for a while, then you can always edit, or just start over. It really does get easier :) I'm glad I found your site, I'm getting some great info here!

  5. Thanks Carlin! I appreciate the encouragement and I'm sure you're right, that it would get easier with time and practice.

    I think perhaps what I should look around for is a video version of those short writing challenges/prompts that pop up on the internet. You know, write 500 words explaining the events in a photograph, or finish this a particular bit of prose, etc. Or perhaps I should start making video replies to my favorite vloggers. I like that idea! I'll set that as my goal for tonight.

    Thanks for your comment Carlin!

  6. Kim, thanks! By the way, when I was writing about point 4 (Pictures!) I thought of your blog. I love your photos. That goes for all of them, but the one of the window with chestnuts on guard, lining the sill ... I keep thinking about it, about the chestnuts as sentinels standing guard against the things that go bump in the night.

  7. I’ve nominated you for the Liebster award. Please check via this link:
    It's posts like this that made me continue with this award. Thanks, I look forward to reading more of your work!


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