March 30, 2013 (42nd CBW-LA meetup): Blogging Workshop with Arlee Bird
On the 30th of March, 2013, I had the immense pleasure of meeting in person awesome blogger and A-Z Blogfest founder Arlee Bird.
Arlee and I became bloggy buddies, thanks to his famous A-Z blogfest. I had no idea that Arlee lived in L.A. Luckily, I found out about this fact, thanks to my fellow CBW-LA officer Alana (also a prolific blogger), who had interviewed Arlee for her local newspaper article.
I asked Alana to invite Arlee to do a workshop for CBW-LA, and Arlee kindly agreed.
Arlee’s workshop focused on how blogging builds author platform. Lee began the workshop by introducing himself, and talking about his origins both as a writer and a blogger.
Blogger and A-Z Blogfest Founder Arlee Bird
His parents were professional jugglers, and soon he and sister became part of the act. His family spent their summer vacations touring and performing in front of crowds. Lee developed his love for stories through the many intriguing folks he and his family met, thanks to juggling.
The Juggling Jacksons, Arlee, his parents and his sister
When Lee decided he would try out blogging, he decided on the title Tossing It Out, as a reference not only to his roots as a professional juggler, but also as a reference to his love for juggling words.
During the workshop, Lee encouraged us to think about why we writeundefinedwhether it be for fun, for self-expression, or for publication. He said that our answers will also define why we blog.
Lee answered the following questions during the course of his workshop:
What Is A Blog?
What Is Platform?
How Can Blogging Help Establish Platform?
Is Blogging Enough?
Are the “Internet Time Sucks” Enough?
How Do I Start My Blog?
So I’ve Got a Blog--Now What?
Blogger and A-Z Blogfest Founder Arlee Bird speaking to CBW-LA members
Lee defined author platform as:
Who you are
What you can do
Where you can be found
Who your audience or customer base is
What you have done
Through blogging, we are able to establish our author platform by:
Displaying our abilities
Sharing our news
Creating a community via our interaction with other bloggers
And building our SEO skills
Lee discussed other social media venues where we can expand our following/author platform such as Twitter, Facebook, Triberr and Google Plus.
Lee also spoke about What Not to Do when blogging, such as tell people too much about our lives, get into fights, or leave comments on other people’s blogs that we might later regret.
In the second part of the workshop, Lee talked about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. He explained what the challenge was, and how he had come up with the idea.
Lee explained the benefits of joining the A-Z Blogging challenge. Not only was the challenge fun, it would also encourage discipline and creativity, since we would have to write up posts matching a specific letter for each day. The A-Z challenge would also help us network and get noticed, which would help our author platform.
Lee cited several of our bloggy friends as prime examples of the A-Z’s success:
Damyanti used the A-Z as a spring board for her works of fiction and later published her entries in an ebook entitled A-Z Stories of Life and Death.
Blogger Doris Plaster, inspired by her A-Z posts also published Home Sweet Nursing Home: An A-Z Collection of 50 Word Stories on Aging and Healthcare.
We mentioned how Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh’s army of thousands of bloggers help him promote his Cassastar Series, and support him on his many challenges. (We also discussed theories on how Alex is able to balance blogging, writing, performing in a band, working and attending to his family, citing being an alien or a wizard as possibilities. :) )
Lee patiently answered a lot of questions on blogging and social media. He ended the workshop by encouraging the attendees to go home and start a blog tonight.
Thanks to his workshop, many of our members were inspired to begin their own blogs and join the A-Z:
And of course, our members who already had blogs, discovered ways to gain more followers and make more connections online.
Our big thanks to Arlee Bird for coming out and speaking to CBW-LA!
If you'd like to know more about Arlee, check out his many blogs:
http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/ Tossing It Out
http://wrotebyrote.blogspot.com/ Wrote By Rote
http://afarawayview.blogspot.com/ A Faraway View
http://psalmsunday.blogspot.com/ A Few Words
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ The Blogging from A to Z Challenge Blog