Let's discuss...how we achieve strength, confidence, youthful thinking, inspiration and head-turning personal style!

Jan 2, 2013

Hot Dogs and Blogs...Need Your Help!


Recently, Mr. B and I decided to try a new restaurant in town which was located in a trendy, artsy development.  We were impressed from the beginning...the atmosphere was cozy with a San Francisco-pier type of feeling.  The manager met us at the door and was so friendly.  He escorted us to a prime seat and made sure we had a view of the evening's entertainment...beautiful Spanish guitar and female vocalist. He recommended a wine and ceviche appetizer which were perfect.  We sat during the first half hour wondering about the friends and family we could share this experience with...thinking we had discovered a treasure.  After the order was placed....everything went downhill.  It would be another hour before our food arrived...they got my order wrong...and all of the main courses were bland...I could have cooked better food.  At the expensive price, our high praises quickly went down the drain.  My husband said as we left, "they need to concentrate on the hot dog."
When I pressed him, he shared with me a book he was reading from the NY Times Best Seller List: REWork BY Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.  Here is the excerpt, Mr. B spoke of:

Start with the Epicenter

“When you start anything new, there are forces pulling you in a variety of directions. There’s the stuff you could do, the stuff you want to do, and the stuff you have to.  The stuff you have to do is where you want to begin.  Start at the epicenter.
For example, if you’re opening a hot dog stand, you could worry about the condiments, the cart, the name, the decoration.  But the first thing you should worry about is the hot dog.  The hot dogs are the epicenter.  Everything else is secondary.
The way to find the epicenter is to ask yourself this question: “ If I took this away, would what I’m selling still exist?”  A hot dog stand isn’t a hot dog stand without the hot dogs.  You can take away the onions, the relish, the mustard, etc. Some people may not like your topping-less dogs, but you’d still have a hot dog stand.  But you simply cannot have a hot dog stand without any hot dogs.
So figure out your epicenter. Which part of your equation can’t be removed?  If you can continue to get by without this thing or that thing, then those things aren’t the epicenter.  When you find it, you’ll know. Then focus all your energy on making it the best it can be.  Everything else you do depends on that foundation.



 How It Applies

This is a long way of telling you that this passage got me to thinking deeply about my own hot dog.  Time management as a blogger is a real trick for me...especially since I teach and freelance write.  Desiring total blog success, I have signed up for every opportunity...Face Book, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube Channel, Blog Radio!!  I have a presence on them all...fully intending to develop all of them, but, yet, never having the time to do so. They hang over my  head bringing stress and guilt along for the ride, and I always feel as though I am running behind the social media train attempting to catch up.  I am slowly developing Face Book and Twitter, but the rest just sit waiting for my attention.  So, after reading this book...I surmised that my hot dog is my blog....and that is where my attention should be for the time being.  I truly have a desire to improve it and make it a go- to site for middle aged women.  I love helping and working with women!  I have discovered a new passion and joy! 
But, I need your comments.  Please tell me
1. What do you like about my blog? (always helps to start positive)
2. What would you like to see on this site?
3. Would you like it better were it to be more of a magazine format with more options?
4. What would need to happen here to cause you to tell more of your friends about it?  Suggestions for improvements welcome!
5.  Would you like to see me initiate different topics on Face Book and Twitter?

This was my first profile picture...I did not have the courage for months
to show my face!!

Yep....I really hid behind my hands!!

From hiding to hats...we've come a long way baby!!
I have lots of plans for the blog this year...let's just say some fancy mustard and relish! However, I have had plans before and life sets in...so let's just concentrate on the bun and frank for now.  I really want to know what you think...how can I best serve you, the reader??

Please answer...and then on Thursday go visit the other wonderful bloggers from Katie's Favorite Thing Blog Hop

http://katherinescorner.com/2013/01/03/thursday-favorite-things-blog-hop-69/
And, check out the fashionable bloggers over at
Adrienne's The Rich Life on a Budget for a chic and fun black and white event.

Have a great one and thanks for your help!

27 comments:

  1. Pam, I'm with you. It's all I can do to try to maintain a quality blog, and don't have much time to tweet, update FB, etc. I still love the blog format, as it feels more personal and like I can get to know you. Some blogs work effectively with more of a magazine format, but I don't always remember to visit them to see what's new.

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  2. Thank you so much for the mention, Pam. So glad you decided to join us this month for How I Wear My: Black and White.

    Here are my answers to your questions:
    1) I like that your blog focusses on positive things and that you allow your personality to show through - giving us tidbits about your personal life as well as fashion/style advice. I like that you celebrate your successes as well as the successes of other women. And I like that you gravitate toward second hand clothing and accessories.
    2) I like everything I see on your site. I can't think of anything I am missing.
    3) Maybe I just don't like change, but I prefer this format over a magazine style. I feel a little lost and overwhelmed in a magazine format.
    4) I will have to think about this one. Nothing is coming to mind immediately.
    5) I have FB and Twitter but I like FB much more. I would love to see you discuss topics on your FB page.

    I am excited to see what you've got in store for us this year!
    xo, A

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  3. 1. Generally you're at my price and style point(s), you post reliably and have a positive spin.
    2. Lifestyle postings are welcome, it doesn't always have to be about fashion.
    3. You might benefit from a blog re-design. Sometimes I find your blog is hinky, scripts that are runaways, the sometimes slow load. I wouldn't advise a magazine format, which I assume to mean tabs with multiple pages without some professional assistance.
    4. Take more risks? Don't be afraid to stake out your position of issues of concern to women. The book mentioned today is a nice change. Don't stick exclusively to motivational or relgious books.
    5. I often access blog posts from Facebook links. Posting your latest post to Facebook would be good (maybe you already do this and I just don't know about it?) I am not into Twitter.



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  4. One of the elements I enjoy the most about your blog is your consistent, relevant and truthful content. Yes, your hotdog as you call it.

    In answer to your questions...
    1. I like that your blog is always current, on the ball and articulately written. But in saying that, I also love how sometimes a picture says it all...
    2. I would like to see on the site whatever takes your interest, and follow you in that direction. It is your blog, and what you want..
    3. Not really - magazines type blogs seem to become all so-so, with no owner in control.
    4. I would gladly give a shout-out for you on my blog, for my small number of followers to head on over.
    5. Now, this is my 'learning-curve' section (or my 'age-showing' section). FB and Twitter haven't really grabbed me greatly at this stage. Back in 'the day' blogging was it, other social media sites hadn't made the big time. All you had to do was blog. But now it has all changed! I do think that being more strategic about how you promote your content on social media is the way forward, if this is what you are wanting. Then every post you publish would get a boost from your social sites.

    Just let your blog evolve at its own pace, with you in control, and it will be brilliant! Good luck with the hot dog stand...

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  5. Pam, I consider you a bloggy friend and wish you the best. I think you have to look inside yourself to figure where you want this to go. You are going to get both positive and negative comments when you put the questions out there. I personally love technology but don't want it to control my life. Twitter to me is a waste of time but Facebook I love.
    You have a few days before school is back in session so like any typical A type woman you'll have it all figured out by then.
    Happy New Year to you and your growing family!

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  6. I like a lot of things about your blog, but mostly your positive and friendly "voice" this post really gave me a chuckle because I'm reading business and marketing books too. Like you I feel that consistently posting quality content on my blog is the most important. I use Facebook to (I hope) connect more closely with my readers, twitter to reach out to potential readers, and Pinterest for fun. I've scrapped everything else.its just too time consuming. Happy new year!

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  7. I like your positivity and honesty. I also like that you don't dress in expensive clothes - I'm not interested in the name labels. I also like short-ish posts with lots of pictures because I basically skim a lot. It is hard to keep up with everything!!

    A good question is to ask what you want out of your blog, Facebook, etc. If you can get what you want out of a blog, why bother with the others?

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  8. Oh boy, you've got me thinking and that's dangerous. :D
    When I first found your blog, my first impression was how accepting and friendly you were to me!
    I knew right away that you were a genuine person.
    Anyway, I come for inspiration. You have a way of lifting my spirits. You are REAL!

    I think if you love what you do, it will be noticed by your readers.
    I love what you do, if that counts!
    Your smile is also contagious!

    Sorry if I didn't really answer your questions. I don't have a Facebook and I rarely Tweet. I also just started Pinterst which is just for fun. I don't really know how long I will be blogging but b/c of it, I have met so many wonderful women....and, you're one of them! <3

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  9. When I started blogging I was quickly discouraged because of two things. Many of the other fashion blogs concentrated on "way out" fashion. Fun to read but not helpful. Secondly I am terrible unphotogenic. Taking pictures of myself was too frustrating. Anyway, I kept up with a few of the fashion blogs, yours being one. You are a teacher, I was a teacher, and you have a down to earth fashion style. To address your questions:

    1) Well, I think I have already answered that one
    2) I prefer your thrifted fashion finds to the more expensive fashion boutiques and designers. Gorgeous outfits put together on a budget are so much more interesting and fun.
    3) A blog format is so much more friendly. I prefer it to what I think you mean by a magazine format. I do like lots of pictures though.
    4) More pictures
    5) You are doing fine

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  10. 1) I love your attitude - so positive - and you set an example in being determined to not hide / give up. Many of us have or did for a while.
    2) Being retired, I would like to see what you wear when you are not at work. Do you have a different wardrobe when you are on holiday?
    3) Not sure what a magazine format is, but more options doesn't sound good to me. Most blog pages have too much going on for me to check it all out, so I generally just read the post and move on.
    4) My friends don't do blogging like I do and they aren't in to clothes and stuff like I am, so sorry, it's unlikely anything you do would cause me to share with friends...maybe if you did something crafty? But that's not what this is about...
    5) By the time I write my blog, check out other blogs and keep up with personal emails, I don't really have much time for FB and I don't even try to Tweet - I'm still hoping to have a life in the real world!
    On the whole, it's the upbeat feel and your smile that keep this blog on my reading list. Happy 2013 !

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  11. This concept is so relevant to the everyday things we do in our lives. I love your blog Pam. I love to blog also but I realized a long time ago that I didn't have the time nor the stamina to spread myself too thin with other things like fb, twitter, etc. So I just stick with what I enjoy, try to perfect it best as I can, and don't over extend myself. I really think this is the best way to tackle many things in our lives. I enjoy your blog so much.

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  12. Love your blog...came here for ideas and inspiration for outfits. Especially any way that you have pulled it together on a budget or with thrifted items. I visit daily. I don't tweet or FB... really not interested nor do I have time. I don't care for a magazine format. Would love
    more on how to combine separates and use thrifted finds. Love your positive attitude. Thanks for putting yourself out there.

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  13. I like your blog as is. I think you need to work on the fixings more (facebook, traffic, followers). Your wonderful "Peek" posting style is unique and fresh, I would leave it alone.

    I personally think that more people need to know about you. THAT's it. Keep getting your content out there! Your Hotdog is fine, get better relish.

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  14. That book sounds as if it hit it right on the head and could be very useful to so many of us - most of us can relate it to our own life's to some degree. Even with parenting!

    Working social media is a 24/7 job. Keeping up with blogging is A LOT of work and most of us juggle that w/ a full time job and family. I think the people who manage it best are the full-time bloggers who can dedicate hours each day to other social media outlets.

    While social media such as Twitter, etc., can drive traffic to our blogs, we need to have good content to keep them coming back. My blog is always where I put my energy.

    I love your blog because you have a way of making me feel as if I'm visiting a friend. Love your outfit posts. Love when you take me around San Antonio. Also, I love that you give me something to think about when I visit. xoxo

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  15. Hi Pam, No Facebook, no Twitter or Linkedin for me. Too busy with work itself. I am not a blogger. When I do have a moment I want to look at relevant content for us 50+ somethings and to tell you the truth, there isn't much out there. I want to see and hear from "real" ladies like you. This age is tough....not knowing how to fit in. Am I youngish or oldish...who am I?? The self acceptance issues are large with all the changes going on with our lives (entering empty nest phase or welcoming the eaglets back) and our bodies, and our thoughts and our wisdom to be passed on to others our age and younger. Thank you for your blog. There is a need and a niche. Chris E

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  16. I like you and I like your content. You have a warm, friendly and approachable vibe that makes your blog enjoyable to read AND informative - there's always something I can take away from your photos and shopping tips.

    The only thing I would suggest, having just done it myself, is having your blog redesigned so that it's uniquely yours. Not only is it exciting to see your personality and theme created in a style that 's just for you, but it will add a touch of individuality that a blogger or wordpress template can't, since they are used by so many others.

    You and your blog are one of the first I started following when I started blogging in August of 2011. With your popularity and success, you deserve something really special for your design!

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  17. Please do NOT become like a magazine. I'm totally serious, I read a ton of magazines and I do not need another one in my life. The reason I read blogs is because they are so very personal. The minute there are a ton of sponsors on a blog, or it gets too advertorial, I feel my interest going down the tubes. You cannot (and should not) compete with Conde Nast and Hearst. Stores are getting in on the action too and online fashion retailers are becoming more like magazines, which also drives me crazy. I also think you do not need to be on every social media platform out there. Like all that Klout business a year ago or whenever, who cares what they thought about anybody's fake 'Klout' score? You should be YOU, covering subjects and events that mean something to YOU. Nothing against us readers, but the minute you start trying to please every one of us you are not being true to yourself and I guarantee your readers will know it and their interest will wane. Trust your instincts! XO, Jill

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  18. When I come to your blog I just want to see you, and all you want to share that is unique to you. There are already too many blogs doing editorials and latest trends.
    I personaly dislike the overbranding posts.
    Your husband is very wise.
    Much love, dear Pam.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  19. I am a new visitor & found you via Katherine's blog hop & loved the article. I don't know if you do this, but your posts you write can be published directly to FB & Twitter. Another thing to consider is sometimes having social media buttons by the bottom or top will help if someone likes your posts to share them on their favorite social media site so their friends or readers see. You have a clean, pretty blog & clearly stated in header what your blog is about. I look forward to visiting again. Keep writing about what you love. I hope you get a chance to visit when you can. Happy New Year.

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  20. Personally, I enjoy your blog the way it is and would not suggest going to a magazine format. I like the personal touches and can identify with you because you are honest and open about your insecurities and struggles. I love your focus on thrift store fashion but am less interested in posts about specific stores and brands as most of them are not available to me in Canada. I would suggest that you stay away from product reviews. For example, I was disappointed by This Just Might Be Your Miracle on Dec. 19. Linking your blog to Facebook is a good idea but I would focus on the blog itself rather than all the other social media options. In a nutshell, keep up the great job that you're already doing!

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  21. Bonjour Pam et Bonne et Heureuse Année. J’aime beaucoup votre blog, j’y viens tous les jours. Je l’aime, car vous avez les mêmes soucis que nous, les mêmes interrogations et les mêmes problèmes. Nous avons à peu prés le même âge et je vous comprends, Les questions que l’on se pose « Comment dois-je m’habiller ?, je ne suis plus jeune mais je ne suis pas vieille non plus !!!La silhouette, le poids…. »
    Je vous aime car vous savez y répondre. Continuer vous êtes formidable.. Vous êtes un exemple. Et puis félicitations aux jeunes mariés, ils sont si beaux…
    (Je suis française et ne parle pas l’anglais, j’espère que la traduction sera exacte et que vous comprendrez.)
    Jacqueline

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  22. Pam, after reading all the previous comments, I can only agree with what most have written. The drawing point of your blog is YOU! I enjoy reading about YOU. I love seeing the outfits that YOU put together and the suggestions that YOU make for us. I love your warmth and transparency, your sincerity and of course that you are a Christian and good southerner (southwesterner) means we have lots in common. I honestly can't think of one thing you need to change. Just keep giving us YOU!

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  23. This is my first time here, but everything looks perfect and I'd say you're doing everything right. :) It's a great analogy to focus on the hot dog. I feel a little like a stretched-out hot dog at times with all the social media and wanting to have the perfect blog. But, you're doing great! I found you on the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop and I'm glad I did! I'm over at picitmilitude - G+ doesn't make that obvious. In any case, wonderful story, too. I wish that restaurant had been better because it sounded great...at first. :P

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  24. Pam you are what makes your site so special. The confidence the smile, enjoying the thrill of the high and low finds! You are doing great!

    Going forward I will do more artists features; including architects, interior designers as well as painter, then some giveaways! The focus is on the arts !

    All the best in the New Year ahead!
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  25. Hi Pam~ I go through the same stuff with my blog; altho I am never satisfied. I am trying the magazine format now--but its my style of magazine--not very slick! I don't feel comfortable advertising myself on FB, Twitter, etc. I mean, how many times do I have to tell people to look at my blog?????
    We started blogging together--so I like your blog like an old friend! It's like having coffee with a friend.
    I have lots of ideas for the future too--but like you, I don't know if it's what others are looking for but thanks for asking!
    Best of luck~Paula

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  26. What an interesting post!! here are my thoughts.. I like the perspective of your blog, focusing on style in middle age. That's relevant to me.

    I would like to see suggestions about clothes that are chic and also age appropriate, yet are more adventurous than 'mainstream.'

    Not sure what the magazine format is, but if it means lots of links, then no. They are distracting.

    I always put blogs I like on my sidebar, and you are there!

    I'm not big on Facebook and I don't twitter...

    hope this helps!

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  27. Oh my darling friend I love everything about this post. Truth is I think you have a ball park dog here. Every time I visit I think you hit a home run. Like you I am making a conscious change this year to not spread myself so thin. The only thing I want thinner is my waistline. Happy New Year wishes and thank you for sharing at the hop. I hope you will stop by againsoon. I posted the new giveaway today! xo

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