Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Has Your Blog Done for You Lately?

When it comes to writing magazine articles, I'm pretty motivated to get the job done - there are deadlines, editors' expectations, readers' expectations and, yes, a paycheck waiting in the wings.

When it comes to blogging, however, motivation is sometimes harder to come by. There are no deadlines (unless self-imposed), no expectations from editors and no paycheck.

But there are expectations from readers, and that's a huge incentive. When you receive comments, Facebook likes and interaction on a post you've written, doesn't it spur you on to blog more? And when you pick up a client or career opp from your blog, it's a nice confirmation that, hey, this blogging thing might be working out.    

Trouble is, it takes time to get on a roll. I've been posting to for years, but I've also launched a newer blog called, where I try out and blog about fitness equipment, gear, DVDs and apps.

Fitness Test Drive reminds me what it's like to be the new kid on the blogosphere block.

It's tough out there, folks - you've got to build up a readership, outright ask people to tweet your post and push for comments. I get why blogging newbies lose motivation quickly, and I won't deny that my interest has waned on occasion, too.

During one of those times, the strangest thing happened.

One day, I pondered about how to boost my blogging motivation. The next day, I got news that Fitness Test Drive was a finalist in the Best Health Magazine Blog Awards. (Want to vote? Fitness Test Drive is under the "Get Healthy" category.)

Bam! I was back in the game.

I realize that an award nomination is not the most typical way to muster motivation. But it does reinforce what I've always said about blogging: You've got to have a blog to benefit from it. And, most importantly, your readers will benefit from it.

Blogging does open the door to a myriad of opportunities and connections for you and your readers - do you agree? Has it happened to you?

In closing....I'm not going to beg or anything, but would you please, please, please vote in the Best Health Blog Awards (and preferably for my blog). You'll find my blog Fitness Test Drive in the "Get Healthy" category on the voting page.   

Monday, January 17, 2011

Have You Ever Hesitated to "Like" on Facebook?

I like that Facebook is all about "liking." 

And it's clearly on purpose that there's no "dislike" button, although sometimes I think a word other than "like" might be more appropriate. For example, someone posts bad news ("Wow, my fave trainer just got fired for indecent exposure"), and others respond with a "like" when what they really mean is, "Hey, man, I feel your pain." 

I like "liking" because it's a mini show of support or a virtual smile/laugh. It's Facebook's version of two thumbs up. 

But I always pause before tapping the "like" button - do you?

If you've ever Facebook-liked, you know that it means an inevitable onslaught of off-the-cuff comments and inside jokes from friends of friends about whatever you've liked. 

And I don't like it. I prefer to "like" and be done with it. 

Then again... 

I'll be the first to admit that I beam a little on the inside when I notice the "likes" and comments tallying up on a post I've dropped into Facebook. It's nice to be recognized, even if it's just a fleeting, virtual nod. 

And that's what Facebook is so good at: Shamelessly exposing that we all like to be liked. 

So when I'm at a party listening as non-Facebookers wave away the social network for being a waste of time, I nod with as much understanding as I can muster. You know what, it's not for everyone... 

But I log onto Facebook as part of my job. It gives me instant access to a network where I can cheer on a colleague or friend, encourage professional recognition and motivate fitness participants to exercise - all with that ubiquitous "like" link.

And if I can make someone feel appreciated with a little "like" here and there, my time has been well spent. (Even with the thread of Facebook messages that's sure to follow.)  

What's the motivating force behind why you "like" stuff on Facebook and around the web? Or do you dislike "liking"?