KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
When it comes to blogging, there are as many ways to design a presentation and communicate to an audience as there is for having a purpose for a blog. The first and most important element when blogging is to define the purpose of the blog. For businesses, blogs are used to assist customers when it comes to new product development, launches, or support. In a personal setting, many people use his or her blog as an electronic diary to share with family and friends. Since we are focusing on the professional blogs, you must know your purpose for maintaining a blog, what online capabilities are you providing, and if you expect this to be an avenue or revenue or simply an electronic catalog of product or services.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE, THEN YOUR DESIGN
By defining your blog’s purpose, it becomes easier to hone in on who is the target audience. Are you writing for young adults, seniors, moms, or business executives? Once this purpose and the audience have been defined, the actual design/presentation of the blog can be considered and created. Once your blog’s design has been established, it is a good exercise to compare and contrast other blogs on the Internet that have a similar design theme as yours. This way you can see what seems to be working and what does not work for you from a visual standpoint. Blogging can require a great deal of work and if you cannot hold your audience’s attention, then the blog loses momentum.
KNOW YOUR CONTENT
It is not enough to have purpose, a target audience, or a great design; the meat of a blog is the content. “Content is king”, as they say. As a blogger, you must get in the mindset of your audience and find out what they like and/or what they desire to see or know. Again, visiting other blogs with a similar theme can assist with coming up with ideas, but the most important thing you can bring to the blog is your point of view, your experience, and your creativity. What can you do to keep your readers interested and coming back is a question you should ask when creating each post.
The site I’m using in this course is a site I created for the launch of a book that I had published a few years ago. The purpose for my blog was to explore writing and creativity with other artists. My general audience was young adults, bloggers, and authors. The design of my website was created to mimic the cover and to reach out to a young, hip, and creative audience.
After the birth of my first son, 22 months ago, returning back to school full-time, working full time, writing another book, I took a break from blogging. Some of my author friends have replaced their blogs with social media outlets like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. Other people I know use social media as an extension of their blogs. However, it depends on what your purpose is, your audience and how much time you can devote to each of these outlets.
After this class, I have one more before I graduate and I’m going to have my second son at the end of March. My goal after this, is to write my 3rd book and makeover my blog, and change its purpose slightly. My new blog will be about creativity and writing with an emphasis on helping children reach their potential in both these areas as I will be now concentrating my work and focus in the educational field.
My blog is www.kimflores.com
I just started my 3rd novel. It normally does not take me long to get started on a project but this time it did. What happened was that I started over-thinking it too much. Did I research enough? What kind of outline should I use? Can I ever find a highlighter that smells like lemon? After a while, I noticed I would put “start novel” on my “To Do” list everyday and the funny thing was it NEVER got done.
What I had to do was deal with my Inner Baby. When Inner Baby would give me excuses why I couldn’t start on my novel, I had to put that baby in time out.
Yes, Inner Baby threw a big fat tantrum but after he calmed down, I asked, “What do you need to get started on writing that book?”
Inner Baby said, “I don’t know.” (Inner Baby is a brat.)
I pressed further, “What if you DID know.”
The baby sighed taking his precious time since he knew he was in the power high chair, “I guess I just need a nice smelly candle. Oh, and some nice ambient music, you know the guy that writes the songs for Peanuts?”
“Vince Guaraldi?” I asked.
“Yeah, that guy. Inner Baby started to smack his gums. “Oh, and while you’re at it how about hooking me up with fancy water and a ton of gum.”
“Got it. Then we’re good to go, right?” I said.
“Not quite yet. Oooh! How about a few magazines and a margarita and some Gummy Bears?”
“Look Baby, you’re pushing your luck! Get that book started and then we’ll talk about all things gummy.”
Inner Baby grimaced. He wanted to stomp his foot but couldn’t since he was strapped to his bouncy chair. “Alright. Let’s do this,” he said while rolling his itty-bitty baby eyes.
Together me and my Inner Baby lit a candle, played Vince Guaraldi and cranked out ten pages in one day. Thanks a bunch, Inner Baby. You’re the poop!
What are you being a baby about and are putting off? What can you do to change it now?
Tags: CREATIVITY · NOVELS · WRITING
For me, summer has always been a time for friends. Recently, I had two friends Kristie and Jill come over to my casa. I hadn’t seen them in a while and had missed both their birthday parties. So, I wanted to make something special for them. I created “Amigo Art” for them. You can make it too, it’s easy. First, I selected a photo of each of them.
Since I don’t have Photoshop or Illustrator skills yet, I did a bootleg version of photo manipulation of this picture in Microsoft Word.
I dragged the photo into a word document and then I clicked on the photo twice. A menu popped up that said “picture”. I clicked on that section and a menu scrolled down. From that menu, I chose the “black and white” application. It transformed the original color photo in to a black and white photo that looked more like a drawing than a photo. The levels of black and white could also be adjusted with a slider tool.
Next, I either pulled text from my friend’s myspace page or I simple typed text on a new word document over and over again. Or really, I just did it once and then copied the text until I filled the sheet! The next part was the fun part. I printed my picture on photo paper and let it dry and then used that same sheet and ran it through the printer again but this time printed the text image for a cool effect.
In order to make it more “shamwow”, I framed their pictures in cool and chic frames. I really loved my final “Amigo Art” and I think they did too! Here’s Jill holding up her new art. In her black and white picture, she’s NOT flipping the bird-she’s not that tacky! She’s giving the peace sign. It’s just hard to see!
For more fun and awesome ideas, visit my friend Jill’s site at www.anawesomeaday.blogspot.com/
Tags: ART · CREATIVITY · DIY ART · DIY GIFTS · RELATIONSHIPS · SUPER FRIENDS
If you’re like me, you like to create art. It’s not just a hobby but a lifestyle. And sometimes you want to be creative but you don’t know where to start.
Here’s an idea. Just use what you have in your house.
You may be thinking, “Say what?”. For example, my brother recycled wire he found to create one of a kind art pieces. What’s amazing is he used only one long piece of wire for each sculpture. Don’t you love it?
Artwork by Mingo Flores
The other day, I accidentally cut my finger. While waiting for my friend to find a bandage, my finger kept dripping blood so I used a piece of paper to keep it from dripping on the floor. The drops started to make a shape on the construction paper and after a while, I saw a face and I went with it and completed what I saw in my mind.
Since my friend took forever to come back, I just used more construction paper. When he returned, he saw my instant art show. Okay, it’s not Picasso but when he saw it, he screamed so loud and couldn’t stop laughing. So, I framed my art pieces. My “recycled” art or Trash Treasure makes me laugh every time I see it and people are strangely attracted to it. Even after I tell them the gory story.
Now, hear me. I’m NOT advocating that you hurt yourself to create art! But look around your room, garage, trash, or yard and see what you can transform into a masterpiece. Be careful, you might just amaze yourself.
Artwork by Mingo Flores
What things can you recycle into art?
Tags: ART · CREATIVITY · DIY ART
Life happens so fast. It doesn’t seem like it when we are in the thick of it like when we’re worried, frustrated, texting or in LOVE! It’s great to make a journal to remember all the exciting and sometimes scary times in our lives that we experience day to day.
In addition, to my dad passing. I just added my own addition, literally. I had a BAY-BAY! He’s great and his name is MAGNUS.
Artwork by Kim Flores (c) 2009
I started a journal for him about things he does each day like fart like a grown man! I also take pictures of the things he likes to look at so when he gets older he can check out what he was doing back then.
Artwork by Mingo Flores
You may think that you don’t have time to journal but you can keep it as simple as possible. For example, you can one photo each day and put them in a book without words as a visual log of your life.
Blogging is great or do it the old fashion way and use a diary or journal. I dig journals that you make yourself with whatever markers, pencils, photos, artifacts find. Don’t stress, you don’t have to be a Pulitzer prize winner to write when you journal. But if you write it now, years from now it WILL be the best story you’ve ever written or read!
What would be the first thing you would journal about?
Tags: CREATIVITY · SOUL+SPIRIT · WRITING
It has been quite the journey since I last posted. My dad, Juan Flores who was living with us suddenly passed away of a silent heart attack. It’s like a regular heart attack but it happens at the back of the heart. You feel like you are coming down with with the flu but you are really having a heart attack and don’t know it.
My dad had a very big life and helped raise six kids with my mom Amelia who passed 5 years go on May 15. I miss him very much. Mom always said my dad was “needy, needy, needy”. So, I created designer dolls called “Needy Babies” after my dad.
So now, I will start working on my “Needy” art more often as a symbol to remember my dad. I love you, Dr. J-Flo.
What could you create to commemrate someone you love?
Tags: ART · CREATIVITY · DIY ART · RELATIONSHIPS · SOUL+SPIRIT
I can’t tell you how many birthday parties I have been to in the last month. I’m surprised I can even type with these fingers that have been cutting so many ribbons and bows.
Last Wednesday I was asked to go to yet another birthday dinner that was going to be held on Thursday.
It had been a while since I had seen my friend Bob and I had no idea what to get him. I knew he wouldn’t expect anything, but I didn’t want to come to the party empty handed.
So, I made him what I call a “Basket of Fun.” First, I found Nerds, Milk Duds and Reese’s Pieces that comes in boxes just like they do at the movies at the grocery store. Next, I stumbled on a box of nuts that I had to buy because the packaging was so cute and it said “Nuts!” And my friend is nuts.
While at the grocery store, I bought a package of ready-made cookie dough that I could just tear a part and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. I loved that it was so easy. After baking my fresh chocolate chip cookies, I placed them in a small coffee bag purchased from a craft store. What’s great about these coffee bags is that they are coated in the inside and will help keep cookies fresh.
Because I wanted to personalize the basket, I used an old picture of my friend when he dressed up like the Terminator for Halloween and I glued it to the envelope of his birthday card. I also printed his name out really big so that no one would mistake who this basket was for. And since my friend’s name is “Bob”, I put some Sponge Bob stickers on his cookie bag.
The last touches I put in his basket was a fancy bottle of water to drink after he ate all his sugary and salty snacks. Lastly, I found a cool key chain to give him as an extra bonus.
This whole project didn’t take a long time to do, it was inexpensive and most of all it was FUN TO DO. In the end, my friend was over joyed with his “Basket of Fun”.
What other goodies would you put in a Basket of Fun?
Tags: ART · CREATIVITY · DIY ART · DIY GIFTS · RELATIONSHIPS · SOUL+SPIRIT · SUPER BUDDHALICIOUS · SUPER FRIENDS
Supporting character Mase in your novel GAMMA GLAMMA rarely speaks. Was it difficult to express his intentions in details rather than dialogue?
No, because I knew a guy like that in high school. At first it was like trying to be a mind reader. But after a while it felf more like an easy game of charades or I should say Pictionary. But when you did get him to speak or laugh you felt like you just walked on water.
Luz has a watch/planner called Watchame, and it bears a drawing which corresponds with something you drew. Tell me how you came up with it.
First of all, I love stickers, and anything that looks Japanese. I wanted something fun to have that would work as a Luz’s mini-me and also works as a mascot for GAMMA GLAMMA. It was important that she looked hi-tech and fun. People really have taken a shine to her. We call her GG (like GiGi) for short. I love her and have her on all my folders, books etc.
(For entire interview go to …..http://slayground.livejournal.com/358123.html)
What do you love?
Tags: CREATIVITY · GAMMA GLAMMA · NOVELS · RELATIONSHIPS · WRITING
In life we always have things that we KNOW we need to do but PUT OFF until the very LAST minute. And this process normally causes a great amount of STRESS and makes us want to pull the cover over our heads.
We avoid activities like cleaning closets, dealing with paperwork or having an important conversation with a friend that has been on our minds for months.
What would you do if it could be dealt with quickly and easily? Would you do it? Bravo. Then here are four tips to help you jump over any hurdles of mess or stress.
1. GET YOUR BABY ON.
If you can’t get it all done in one day, just relax and take one TEENY TINY baby step.
Like opening up your closet door and pulling out all your shoes to sort through. Or like gathering all your paper work together and creating an area where you only work on this project. Or if you need to have a serious conversation with someone then schedule a day on your calendar that you will call them.
2. PROCRASTINATE PROCRASTINATION
We all have the ability or “gift” to be professional procrastinators. When it’s time to do something and your brain tries to sweet talk you into doing it later, TELL your brain that you’re going to DO IT NOW and will procrastinate on something else later. This way your crazy brain will be satisfied and you can actually get something done.
3. FUN AND DONE
Hate cleaning your closet? Then make it a more enjoyable experience by playing music. If you are going to do things with a lot of paperwork involved, use cool folders, highlighters and Post-It notes to help change your perspective. If you have to have an important but difficult conversation with a friend then plan on doing something for yourself afterwards to make yourself feel better, like going for a walk.
4. REWARD YOURSELF
After you do something difficult that you’ve been putting off, do something nice for yourself. Like instantly. After a while your brain will associate pleasure to doing challenging things and you will start doing all kinds of things that you normally would have procrastinated over!
And poof! Your stresses and messes will vanish into thin air. Now pat yourself on the back for doing such a fabulous job and being Super Buddhalicious.
What magic tricks can you do to get yourself to do something that you’ve been putting off?
Our guest model for today is Ally Fontenot! A Special thanks to her big sis Bridget!
Tags: BALANCED LIFE · HEALTH · SOUL+SPIRIT
In your novel GAMMA GLAMMA, Luz’s closest pals, Bridge and Adam, help her with her experiments. Who showed you support while you were writing this novel?
For starters it was my literary agent, Nicholas Lewis who was very supportive of me to turn my TV show into a book. If he hadn’t challenged me to do so, there wouldn’t be a GAMMA GLAMMA.
Writing a novel, I found out can be a lonely experience sometimes. But what kept me going is I had a friend of mine name Rodney Stringfellow who is a brilliant TV writer. Rodney writes for the Backyardigans, Little Einstein and the Wonder Pets.
Rodney wanted to write a novel at the same time. So every week or every so many pages, we had to turn in something to each other. Being accountable made a huge difference to getting both our novels finished. Along the way when were writing, we gave constructive criticism to help tell the best story we could at the time.
My brother John Flores (who is third of the six kids) was instrumental because he works at a college library and is a playwright. (In fact, he has a world premiere play that he wrote that’s going on in PRAGUE! It’s called THE HALLUCINOGENIC TOREADOR based on the life and painting of Salvador Dali. Check it out at www. praguefringe. com) John gave me great insight on GAMMA GLAMMA
And lastly my biggest support was my husband/crushable Mike Swenson. He encouraged me along the way to keep on going and would help with the edits. He has amazing patience and intelligence. I also helps that he’s “man-some”.
Who inspires you?
(For entire interview go to …..http://slayground.livejournal.com/358123.html)
Tags: CREATIVITY · GAMMA GLAMMA · NOVELS · RELATIONSHIPS · SUPER FRIENDS · WRITING