It’s been quiet

quiet

You know that feeling you get when nothing’s wrong per se, but something’s not quite right, either? Like when you try on your old favorite pair of pants and they still fit fine, but they’re just not your style anymore?

That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. About my blogging mentality, in particular. Witty Title Here is my home on the Internet. It’s a respite, a labor of love, a curated version of my identity (as blogs tend to be) and so much more. There’s a lot here of which I’m incredibly proud. But to be honest, I’ve struggled with something I can’t quite put my finger on.

Which is why in 2014, I plan on changing things up—just a little bit—to rejuvenate my enthusiasm and hopefully get you excited, too. I haven’t quite yet figured out the details, but the big picture is becoming clearer. And I think it’s gonna be a good change.

Here’s what I do know.

I want WTH to be more helpful. I want it to be a place where you can find interesting people doing awesome things on the Internet. I want it to be less about me and more about you. Because you, dear reader/listener/lurker/friend, are why I’m here, writing and sharing, week after week.

Am I taking myself out of it—becoming less personal? Definitely not. It’s my voice, my story, my perspective I’ve shared all along, and that will never go away. In a sea of millions of blogs, personality, I’ve learned, is very important. But as a writer, I’d like to grow beyond talking about me, me, me. This is not an autobiography. Because really, aside from moving across the country, my life isn’t nearly interesting enough for all that. But the people I meet and the place I live? They’re fascinating.

Here’s what I’d like to know.

I’d like to know more about you. What you’re working on. Who or what you’d like to share with the world. The things that piss you off and the things that get you excited. (So we can commiserate about and celebrate them respectively.) I think we could get some fantastic discussions going on in this space.

What does all of this mean?

It means that I’m feeling pumped about my blog again. That I’ll be trying out some new things—and will be eager to hear your feedback. That I’ll hopefully stick to a more regular posting schedule. (I have every intention to do so but reserve the right to cut back when I’m feeling the heat at school. My education does, after all, take priority.) And when I find out you’re doing something awesome that should be shared with the world, I’ll shine the spotlight on you.

My sincere hope is that WTH  becomes a more valuable place for you.

Sound good? I can’t wait. Stay tuned, friends.

Wanted: YOU!

writers wanted!

After a year-and-a-half at my company, my job is finally going full-time in January. (Shout-out to all those baby makers going on maternity leave!) I’m pretty psyched for the perks of such a promotion (mo’ money, mo’ money), but I must admit I’ve been anxious about how this will affect my blog. As it stands, my current schedule allows for a lot of free time. Free time means blogging time, and as you know, I like to post with some frequency. What will happen when I work till 5 and have to decide between going to the gym, blogging, or running straight home and stuffing my face before promptly passing out? I have a feeling I already know—I’m probably going to opt for face-stuffing and food coma-ing more often than I’ll ever admit. It’s a trade-off, this “full-time” thing.

Of course, I love my blog too much to let it become neglected. I will obviously continue to write. But I could use some help keeping it up while I’m getting adjusted to a new schedule and taking on unfamiliar projects at work. That’s where you come in!

I’m on the lookout for guest writers for January. And I want you to pitch me your ideas.

That’s right! I want ya. And your ideas. I’m open to a number of topics, but here are a few suggestions:

Are you a freelance writer? Write about writing. Effective writing habits, ways to get inspired, pushing past a lack of motivation. Or write a personal essay! I’d like something that’s inspiring, yes, but also real.
Are you a photographer? Do a photo post. It could be themed (wanderlust, faces, nature), or it could be a photo walk of your town or favorite spot. High quality images, please!
Are you obsessed with the Internet? You could be my guest Interweb Finds blogger. Gather a collection of awesome and timely reads, cool videos, or whatever you deem worthy of sharing. Descriptions that make people want to click through are a must.
Have you already written a great post on your own blog? I welcome you to re-share it here. It’s a chance to give exposure to a post that might be buried in your archives but still deserves to be read. (You can always spruce it up with edits if need be.) A link to your original post is most definitely encouraged.
Have another idea? Pitch it! I like funny, poignant, serious, visually pleasing, and relatable styles of writing.

Not only will you be helping me out—and making me eternally grateful—but you’ll also get a little attention for your own blog, if you have one. Which brings up another point: This call for guest writers is also open to non-bloggers who’d like to dabble! Imagine yourself at parties: “Oh, I do a little bit of this. A little bit of that. Been dabbling in some blogging here and there. NBD.”

Remember, this is for January. That means post-holiday season, for those of you feeling frazzled at the moment. Even if you don’t have an idea right now but think you would be interested, drop me a line so we can work together on possible topics. While I reserve the right to turn down anything that doesn’t seem like a good fit for my blog, I’d really rather say “yes” than “no.”

Send all pitches, inquiries, or love letters to wittycassiehere [at] gmail [dot] com. (Proper spelling and grammar will undoubtedly win me over.) Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

In case you missed the memo: The blogosphere is full of introverts. Join us, won’t you?

Spreading the love: A giveaway with a twist

Out of the many joys of being a part of the blogging world, giveaways are one popular way of promoting your blog and/or winning free stuff. (And, as I’ve mentioned, I like winning free stuff.) But while I’ve participated in many giveaways with the hopes of profiting in some small way, I’ve never been too interested in hosting one of my own. This is partly due to my lack of self-made products to offer (unless you count my stellar copyediting services enticing!), but also because I feel a bit silly using giveaways as a form of self-promotion. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just that I feel a little self-conscious at the prospect. For that reason, it will be very interesting the first time I hand out my new, sexy little business cards to someone other than family members.

Stranger: So, what’s the name of your blog?

Me: Oh! “Witty Title Here.” Let me give you a business card. Kind of weird to have business cards for a personal blog, I realize. Especially one that boasts poop jokes. Not that it reeks of poop jokes or anything. Ha, see what I did there!? Reeks of poop jokes? Anyway, that’s my face on the back of the card.

What can I say? I keeps it classy.

But back to the point, I changed my mind when I happened upon a nifty little giveaway on Lisa’s blog, joycreation, that has a nice pay-it-forward thing going on. Here’s the gist:

The first three people to comment on this post will receive a little gift – something personal from me to you.

However, there are some rules:

  • Within a year (I’ll do it this month) I’ll create something unique to share with the first three people to comment on this post.
  • But, in order to receive your present you have to play along.  Spread the love on your own blog (this means it’s only open to bloggers) promising to send a little special something to the first three people who comment on your post.
  • You get 72 hours to re-post, or I’ll have to move on to the next person.
  • Please only comment if you’re willing to pay it forward!

Isn’t that fun?! I was one of Lisa’s first three commenters, and I can’t wait to get a surprise from her in the mail. I also can’t wait to send something to three of you. (And I promise it will have nothing to do with copyediting.) So, you know the drill—if you’re a blogger with the desire to receive something non-creepy from me in the mail and the willingness to do the same for others, leave a comment below! Be sure you enter your email and blog URL in the appropriate fields so I can get in touch with you. Happy winning!

Life is a series of questions and, hopefully, answers

I’ll warn you: I’m rambling here. Thinking out loud, if you will. So I understand if anyone gets bored in the middle of reading this thing. But there’s some important info at the bottom regarding YOU (yes, you), and I could really use some feedback. So if you want to skip ahead and at least do me that favor, I’d be quite grateful.

Hi, I'm awkward.

In recent months, I’ve discovered countless blogs that have in one way or another inspired me. Many are photography blogs. Some are style or decor blogs. Others are personal accounts similar to mine– sometimes more humorous, sometimes downright heart-wrenching. A select few manage to combine all of these things into one beautifully packaged website with thousands of devoted readers and sponsors to boot.

While I don’t necessarily expect to reach the status of the latter sort– not that I’m crossing out that lovely possibility– I would like to be diverse. And I think I am to an extent. But it can be tricky to maintain a site that not only gains new and diverse readers, but one that also doesn’t alienate the established readers, as well. Not that I have tons, but I have a few regulars, and they are the ones who keep me motivated to write.

Let’s start with the title of the blog: Witty Title Here. I love it, and I don’t plan on ever changing it. It was initially a placeholder that I thought was kind of funny, because I had no other prospects for a blog name. I decided it was catchy, and it stuck. For awhile (and I started this blog a long time ago), I was focused on producing mostly funny content. I think I’m rather hilarious, and there are a few old gems in my archives. But several posts did come across as forced in retrospect, and I decided I wanted to be more honest and not just anecdotal or snarky all the time.

As a result, I started putting more of myself out there, and the quality of my writing improved. Not to mention I had a lot more to write about by not limiting myself to one style of writing. My humor comes across more naturally now, though I’m not always “witty” as the title suggests. But even if I’m not making someone poop their pants with laughter, at least it still appeals to the writer side of me without compromising anything.

Which brings me to my next point. As a writer (and as an aspiring, one-day-maybe-sooner-maybe-later novelist), should I be focusing solely on producing top-quality content all the time? When I send out a query for freelancing, my blog link is right there in my email signature. If I want someone to hire me, they’re going to click that link, and the post that’s at the top of the page will be their first impression of me. If it’s a “fluff” post, will that reduce my chances of getting picked for the job?

Maybe, maybe not– but I don’t want to feel constantly pressured to produce original, stunning content for something that’s meant to be fun each week. Often, that just doesn’t happen. I yam who I yam, and in addition to being an excellent proofreader and avid grammar geek, I’m also a Karaoke Blog Ring of Death participant. Don’t judge me too harshly on my singing skills– or the fact that I’m willing to put videos of myself up on YouTube in the first place.

And what about photography? I am a complete amateur when it comes to taking photos, but I have a good eye and an even better vintage, manual camera. Film is expensive, though, and a nice DSLR is (sadly) way more expensive. So I won’t always have new content in that regard.

Style? I love it. You’ve seen my blue suede boots, and I have a jam-packed closet filled with perhaps too many things I love. I’d like to share that side of myself here, but I don’t know if I want to go down the route of, “Look at today’s outfit!”-type posts. I’m worried it would deter the three whole males who actually read my blog, and again, there’s the whole photography thing. I also suck at posing. (Did you SEE the above picture?) I think my uncomfortable expression is easy to read any time I pose for pictures. Like, I want to document how cute I am today, but I can’t wipe this goofy grin off my face, and how’s my posture?

**If you’ve skipped ahead to the bottom, this is where you should start reading again. Thanks much.

So my question is this: Is there anything you’d like to see more of from me in this corner of the interwebz? Do you want more humor? More insight? More fluff? Are there any recent posts that really resonated with you, or any posts that left you feeling “eh”?

And this might be self-indulgent (as if this post isn’t already), but is there anything you’d like to know more about me? Or are you interested in knowing my opinion on something? I can’t say I’d answer any question that’s thrown my way (in case there are weirdos lurking… y’know), but I’d love it if people would submit questions here in the comments. It doesn’t have to pertain to me personally– in fact, if anyone would like a second opinion on something going on in their lives, I’d be willing to write a post in response that could potentially be relevant to anyone who happens to read it.

It’d be helpful to know who’s writing, but you can identify yourself as “anonymous” with a fake email in the email field, for all I care. It’s your thoughts– if any come to mind– that I’m really interested in. So please, compliment, criticize, or question away! The more you say, the more I write and respond. I’ve had some good momentum here lately, and I really want to keep that up.

As easy as 1, Two, C

I’ve been approached a couple of times in the past few weeks for advice on how to start a blog. I must say it’s flattering to be asked for my expertise when there are few things at which I am an expert. Although if you ever need to know if the comma goes inside or outside the quotation marks, I’m your girl. (But if you don’t know the difference between “meet” and “meat,” don’t talk to me.)

Though by no means do I have a huge following, I have learned a thing or two about blogging since I started casually a couple of years ago, bought my own domain a year ago, and even branched out to other blogging ventures with a music blog very recently. So I figured I’d share a few tips.

First and foremost: blog more than I do. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. If you’re planning on starting your own blog, don’t do that. You know why? Perfect example: no one is reading this right now. Nah, just kidding. See, I’m allowed to blog so infrequently because I’m kind of a big deal. I also quote movies that came out seven years ago. Still, my posts are understandably infrequent because I’m out doing big deal things like having a grown-up job and taking out the trash which make each post that much more greatly anticipated. Still, if you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t do that. Try to keep it to a blog post a week on average if time is an issue, but more is good, too. That said…

Don’t blog too much. Some bloggers don’t know how much is too much and share every detail of their daily lives right down to the soggy Special K from that morning’s breakfast. While it is your blog and you should write about what you want, you should consider whether you also want anyone to read it. If so, I recommend keeping some things to yourself and not blogging every time you go to the bathroom.

You also need to write gewd. Seriously, if you don’t know the difference between “meet” and “meat,” I don’t even KNOW you. “Threw” and “through.” “Wait” and “weight.” “There” and “their” AND “they’re.” Capital letters at the beginning of each sentence and the personal pronoun “I.” “Lol” not allowed. And know that they made the enter/return button on the keyboard for a reason: paragraphs. No one wants to read anything that looks like this:

there have been some good things though. I went to an Oriole’s game with Rachel and others last night (the O’s won..omigah!) and we all had a really good time. I bought a cup of ice cream for $5, but it was the best damn ice cream I’ve had in a while, so it was worth it. I also got some things accomplished today in my room. I hung up several posters, and did a couple other little things. Rach, McKenzie, Sasha and this girl from New Orleans went rafting up at Harper’s Ferry today, and I couldn’t go. 🙁 But at least I got some stuff done, I guess. I also went to Taco Bell so that was nice. damn, I love them Chalupas. I also made the play, which is pretty exciting. I have a veerrry (very) small part, but it’ll be a part, and that’s good enough for me. Tomorrow night, there will be a live broadcast of BON JOVI in NYC at the United Artists theaters. I am so going. Be there, 9pm tomorrow night, if you want to see sexy men playing onstage…LIVE, no less. Then on Tuesday, their new cd HAVE A NICE DAY comes out.  I am so freaking EXCITED. these two things are really the only thing I have to look forward to for this week, so I’m thankful for that. They’re also supposed to be on Oprah Wednesday afternoon, but I won’t be able to watch, due to various things going on that day. anyone wanna tape it for me? 🙂

You are welcome for that lovely excerpt from the ramblings of a bored, boring, and shallow as a puddle 15-year-old me. Yeah. Painful, isn’t it? Almost as painful as it is creepy for a 15-year-old to call a bunch of 40-somethings sexy. Anyway…

To get a following, you must follow. If you’re seeking fame and fortune with your blog– HA! Wrong medium, buddy. (And as a sidenote to that, no, those ugly ass Google ads aren’t worth making your blog look like crap and the couple of pennies per week for it.) But you can build a following. Don’t expect it to happen simply because you’re putting words on the Internet. You have to connect with other bloggers not only by publicly following their blogs, but actually having a conversation with them. If you do this and follow the people that the people you follow follow (WTF) and leave comments on THEIR blogs, you’re more likely to generate interest. And get a Twitter thingy. Put it on the Facebook. It can be surprising when people you rarely speak to suddenly pop up saying they read your blog. Of course, if you’re going down the anonymous blogging route (a la the dating blogger), you’ll have to network wisely, you weirdo.

My final bit of insight is more of a statement than it is a suggestion, and that is that no one cares. Yup. And I say that in the nicest way possible along with humility because, hey, I blog– and I want people to read it. And yes, people sometimes read it. And like it, I think! But no one’s sending me fan mail asking, “WHYYYY haven’t you blogged in over a month? I want to know more about your daily LIIIIIIIFE.” And if anyone’s actually thinking that, they should keep on keepin’ it to themselves. You gotta blog for yourself, write about what you want, and never ever put automatically playing music on your blog because PEOPLE HATE THAT. Because while your taste in music is undoubtedly superior to others’, that Adele song has been played. To. Death.

While I could go on, I don’t want to further discourage anyone from following their life’s passion of blogging. So be sure to tune in next week when I give you helpful-but-not-really advice on how to post a bangin’ Missed Connections ad on Craigslist.