How a Blog Workshop Can Kick You Into Action


I don’t know how I found the Brighton Blog Workshop, but I’m glad I did. It was relatively local to me, a bizarre twist of luck, plus it was so nice to talk to actual people instead of chatting only as an online friend.

Taking the workshop was a bit of a lark for me, but it was inexpensive and nearby. I was quietly relieved that it wasn’t a big group. I tend to get lost in big groups. I’m more of a listener than a talker so big groups tend to swallow me whole. The smaller size made it feel intimate and I could ask a question without being drowned out by a hundred other voices.

The workshop was given by Jemma Jones and Carole West, each sharing their insight and experience as seasoned bloggers, authors, and entrepreneurs.

Jemma talked about finding your authentic voice and working with brands. The voice, I think, I have covered. Those of you who have followed me for years know that what you see is what you get. I’m the wysiwyg of my blog. Ha!

Her presentation about brands was too short though. I could’ve listened for hours. I’m still not sure the best way to incorporate brands (companies) into my blog or how to decide whether a brand is right for me. Come on, Jemma. How about another workshop specific to brands?

I can talk about Amazon because I use them a lot, but that’s been the extent of my networking.

Carole West’s presentation was about freelance writing, something many of you following me already do. Carole gave me a eureka moment. I loved how she used her freelance writing to bring exposure to her blog, her books, and herself as a brand. It all made sense! It was circular and brilliant, one facet feeding the other.

It made me see too, that many of us, who also happen to be writers, are limiting ourselves writing only books when we should be incorporating other means of exposure and income with things like magazine articles, Pinterest, blogging, Facebook, or Instagram.

That’s not to say we should jump on every bandwagon. We should lead with our strengths. Only you know what works best for you.

I’m really beginning to enjoy Pinterest, but truth be told, I barely know enough about Pinterest to make a dent. After going through the workshop though, I feel I should give it more effort.

The other bloggers in attendance made me feel a tiny bit intimidated. They have these beautiful blogs and talked about beautiful things, decorating, crafting, and food. My blog always seems to be about work, saving money, homesteading, and the trials of a woman with two neurotic dogs. Those bloggers are Salmon Almondine, and I’m jam and bread. 🙂

We each have our niche. I’m not glamorous at all, but hopefully enough readers find my articles useful for their own lives.

I’m glad I attended this workshop. It was short but inspiring. It made me feel I could make this blog not only more useful, but more beautiful too. I’ll never be the elegant decorators that my new friends are, but I can show you the little things I do to make our home efficient and cost effective.

About Pinterest: My Pinterest activity is woefully under utilized. Bear with me while I try to learn my way around. If you follow me though, I will gladly follow you back. That’s a promise. Here’s the link to my Pinterest.

Just don’t be surprised if I do things wrong at first. As an example, I totally screwed up my first ‘board’. I didn’t realize until just recently that my blog should be its own board. I was creating boards for each facet of my blog. I’m totally clueless.

How do you feel about your blog and your presence on social media? Do you feed one facet into another or are your social marketing assets independent of each other?

I’m still struggling to feed Facebook, my blog, Pinterest, and my freelance writing with various, yet unique updates. It’s a matter of scheduling, that and locating things that are interesting both to me and my readers. I’m slowly reaching an understanding though. If that eureka moment hadn’t caught me right at the busiest time of my year, I might’ve made greater strides by now, but that’s how it goes. I’m hoping by summer you’ll see some improvements to the blog.

How many social media outlets do you use? Is there any one venue you like best?





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  1. The decorating blogs bore me to death, so do some craft ones too. I do like food blogs because sometimes I do get a recipe or two from them, and we all know we like a few new recipes here and there otherwise eating can be a bit mundane. Sounded like an interesting workshop. I’m on Pinterest, but haven’t done anything in ages there. Sometimes I get inspired to be there, but between working 40 hours a week, household responsibilities, taking care of the wee one several days a week, Facebook, etc., there just isn’t too much time left. My main social media is Facebook and blogs. I like blogs over Facebook. I do Facebook for family and whatnot, but blogs is where I make more connections it seems.


  2. Betty: I socialize mostly on blogs too. What leads me to Pinterest most often is when I Google something. The best links inevitably lead me to somebody’s Pinterest board–then I get stuck browsing. 🙂

    I generally browse when I’m done for the day and decompressing. At that point I’m too tired to do anything more than read.

  3. I love jam and bread!!! We should get together sometime – I’m a little swamped now with getting this new property ready for us but thinking the end of May or June would work great. Love your sign and I’m so thankful you enjoyed that workshop. As for social media I really dislike it however Pinterest has been a blessing for my blog. I recently joined Instagram and I really like that because it allows me to share in the moments of my life with followers who are interested. Facebook is another one I use but not like I use to because it’s so censored. Hope that helps and if you have any specific questions please feel welcome to email me. I’d be happy to help..

    • Hi Carole! Absolutely, let’s get together once you’ve settled in again. Moving, let alone building requires Herculean strength and patience.

      re: Facebook
      It used to be so much better. i started out late with them, but even I can tell it’s less about touching base with people and more about forcing its agenda on us.

      PS I loved the workshop! It was not at all what I was expecting. You guys are the real deal. 🙂

  4. I like Tumblr, although after a year on it I’ve yet to figure out 90% of its options. I’ve been meeting a lot of creative youngsters there, but some old gals like me, too. Blogger I know best, but it’s probably too limited for pro bloggers. That’s the extent of my social media saturation.

    I may be the minority, but I like your blog the way it is. You’re authentic, thrifty and practical, which makes you stand out. Anyone can do pretty. Real is a lot harder. It’s what brings readers back, though — they get spoon-fed beautiful almost everywhere else, and it’s like always eating dessert. After a while you gag on it.

  5. Lynn: Tumblr is beyond my ability. As is Instagram. You’d think I’d be on Instagram a lot since I take so many pictures.

    re: Blogger
    I miss Blogger. I loved how easy it was to use. Limited in scope, but very user friendly.

    re: Anyone can do pretty.
    I’m not sure I can. LOL! I try, but the best I can do is ‘comfortable’, but I love what you said about eating dessert. I get it! Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed with beautiful things all I want to do is go back to the simple.

    Thank you for the compliment. 🙂

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