Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Frosty Gets Caught

Filed under: General — by Glenda at 8:00 am on Friday, December 14, 2007

For my young-at-heart readers:

Frosty it Snowman picking up carrots
Right in the middle of the produce aisle, Frosty gets caught picking his nose.

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9 Ways to Use Social Media to Campaign for Votes

Filed under: Blogging — by Glenda at 6:30 pm on Thursday, December 13, 2007

(Election ballot)
(Photo credit: Steve Woods)

For the past several months I have been campaigning to win the opportunity to be paid to Blog for a Year (site is down at the time of writing this). During this time I have discovered new ways of using social media and related technology to spread the word. Some ways are more effective than others.

Here are the strategies that I have tried to date, with a few lessons learned:

  1. Use established networking groups to begin spreading the word. With one of my networking groups, I did a weekly mini newsletter with an accessibility tip along with current contest results and a reminder to vote. This way I was contributing something of value to a group where I was already known, liked and trusted. Several members then spread the word to their other networks or posted to their blogs.
  2. Start a fan club on Facebook. This may sound a wee egotistical, unless an enthusiastic supporter begins one on your behalf. This is an effective way to send out regular messages with updates and reminders to vote. The key is to not bombard fans with messages. Also, joining the group is the only action some members take, so the group needs to relatively large to have a measurable effect.
  3. Add a PS to email signature block. This is a no brainer! However, with some email messages, it is appropriate to delete the PS.
  4. Add a PS to blog broadcast. For four individuals who aren’t familiar with RSS feed readers, I use AWeber to email new posts to subscribers. With every new post notification, they are reminded to vote.
  5. Create a YouTube video. The video adds another medium to the campaign, enabling individuals to get a better feel for what they are supporting by seeing how I blog. It also gives other bloggers something interesting to post on their blogs.
  6. Ask supporters to change their homepage to the voting page or, if using Firefox, add a new tab. This is a brilliant strategy for reminding people to vote daily. The challenge is having people actually do it.
  7. Use Twitter. When I first began tweeting, I envisioned a tweet to vote being spread far and wide, and gaining several hundred, if not a few thousand, votes in a matter of hours. Obviously I was a naïve tweeter and, after several attempts, had my knuckles wrapped for being spammy. I then set up a separate Twitter account for the sole purpose of driving votes. People know that when they decide to follow @bfay. Building up a following mass takes time. Twitter isn’t the instant strategy that I thought it would be.
  8. Use Facebook’s FunWall to spread the message. Again, use this sparingly so not to annoy people.
  9. Use Facebook’s status line. Changing my status line regularly puts updates and reminders into my friends’ mini-feeds.

In addition to what I have tried, other enthusiastic supporters have offered a various suggestions, including befriending people on Facebook who have large number of friends and asking for their support. This strategy may work for some people, but, personally, I don’t have chutzpah to try this. Similarly, others have asked people to befriend me to support my efforts. Although I appreciate the gesture, I’m realizing this is diluting my friends’ list because these friendships are not based on a mutual interest or connection. It’d be better if these kind people offered their support by joining the fan club.

As with any campaign, the strategies used reflect upon your personal integrity and reputation. One misused strategy could mean more harm than good in the long run.

Running a successful campaign means trying various strategies and finding the right to balance to keep the campaign running smoothly…until the voting site crashes…then what do you do?

Dec. 17th update: The Blog for a Year site is back up! Please resume voting daily until New Year’s Eve. There’s a ways to go to reach first place!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Celebrating a Special Birthday at Readers’ Cafe

Filed under: I'll Do It Myself: The Book, Readers Cafe — by Glenda at 10:00 am on Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Glenda sitting by the buffet table at her Book Arrival Celebration

Hi and welcome to the Readers’ Café – a place to gather and to share. Today I invite you into my home for a special, extended Readers’ Café so that readers in far away lands may join us.

Today we celebrate a birthday of sorts: my baby, my book I’ll Do It Myself is one year old. Exactly one year ago today, my thirty years of dreaming, planning researching and writing became reality when seven boxes of books were delivered. Opening that first box and laying my eyes and hands upon what I had created, I can only imagine that is what giving birth is like.

This past year’s journey with the book has been awesome! Copies have been mailed to readers across Canada and the United States, and to Britain, New Zealand, Australia and even Chile! Copies are also available from Celebration Christian Store and Black Bond Books, another childhood dream come true. Meeting people along the way on two successful virtual book tours, plus two book signings in Las Vegas – I am truly amazed and am sincerely grateful. Thank you.

Please help yourself to food and a beverage of your choice and make yourself comfortable. Then sit back, relax and join in the conversation by posting comments below. Feel free to ask questions about I’ll Do It Myself, share your favourite passage or to mingle with fellow readers. Don’t be shy. Hit your internet browser’s REFRESH button to see new comments as others join in the conversation.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

Hope: Essential for the Human Spirit, But What Exactly Is It?

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 10:19 pm on Sunday, December 2, 2007

Two candles brightly burning
(Photo credit: Daniel Boros)

In Christy Brown’s My Left Foot, he shares traveling to Lourdes, France, in hopes of his cerebral palsy being cured. Nowadays, parents are making similar pilgrimages with their children afflicted with cerebral palsy to China for stem cell treatments. I admit I do not know enough about this latest treatment to know whether it is a bona fide treatment for cp or another empty promise, but I am certain about one thing: these parents are searching for hope. Just like the cancer patient who travels to a foreign land for an alternative treatment, the low income earner who buys into a money-making scheme, or the mourning father who lobbies for changes to the justice system so no more children are harmed needlessly. They are searching for hope.

I have often pondered: What exactly is hope? How do you truly define it? What are people actually searching for when frantically searching for hope? While watching the Hour of Power this morning, a thought struck: maybe HOPE is an anagram for something like:

  • Help with their individual struggle.
  • Optimism that there is something better out there, that something more exists.
  • Possibilities for an improvement, a solution, a cure.
  • Empathy from others, to feel others understand and that they aren’t alone in their struggle.

This may not be the complete answer to my question, but it is an answer that works for now, for today.

What do you think? How do you explain what hope is, other than essential?

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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5 Lessons I’ve Learned about Blogging This Year

Filed under: Blogging — by Glenda at 1:32 pm on Friday, November 30, 2007

With the year’s end fast approaching, I find myself reflecting upon the amazing year I have had and how blogging has played a major role in 2008. Highlights include:

From all of this and much more, I have learned:

  1. Blogging is as much about fostering relationships as it is about writing. Yes, you can focus solely on pumping out content, but, by not engaging with your readers or other bloggers, you are missing out on the magic that the blogosphere offers.
  2. Steadily increasing traffic over the year, except for a decrease in AprilConsistently posting content is crucial. Being the Left Thumb Blogger, I can write only two or three posts per week, which I try to do consistently to keep readers engaged. Having bronchitis for a month after my “40 Blogs in 40 (Business) Days” virtual book tour, and, hence, wrote few posts in April, my traffic dipped drastically, which was frustrating after building momentum while on tour. (Note to self: eight weeks is way too long for a virtual book tour, particularly for your first one and without an assistant!)
  3. Blogging is instant publishing, the results are not. A traffic spike is not immediate once the “Publish” button is pressed. Patience is the key here!
  4. Anything can happen in the blogosphere. For example, last week’s post on tracking your contribution to the blogosphere was the result of a suggestion I had received on Andy’s blog. I created the spreadsheet for tracking comments and then decided to share with my readers, resulting in a flurry of comments from new readers and, at last peek, 50 diggs!
  5. I can make a living from blogging! This is the most exciting and affirming realization I gained from BlogWorld. All my life I have dreamt of having my own syndicated newspaper column in which to share my thoughts, ideas and perspective with the world. With blogging I no longer need to find that one newspaper willing to give me a break to get started. Blogs are my medium! And, at BlogWorld, I listened to bloggers who are making a full-time income from blogs and blogging, so I now know it is possible. In fact, this week I landed my first paid blog article, a direct result from BlogWorld. I know this is only the beginning!
  6. And my bonus lesson:

  7. The more I learn about blogging, the more I realize I still have to learn!

What you have learned about blogging this year? Feel free to share by leaving a comment below.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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