The Rantings of a Tortured Mind

Valerie Rayne Rants


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My 2013 Blogging-Type Goals


Blogging Goals 2013

Blogging Goals 2013

I’m not sure how much I’ve actually told you about this challenge that I’m doing – and at the moment, I’m the only one doing it but that’s okay, I’ll make it work. So tonight, not only am I going to tell you more about the challenge, but I’m also going to use TODAY’S INSPIRATION to write my own post. I’ve been semi-working on this list for month’s, but have been being an incredibly annoying perfectionist about it, so today, I’m throwing that out…

I’m not going to go into great detail about The Blog Everyday Challenge, because I’ve written about it pretty much everywhere you could imagine and because it’s title is pretty self-explanatory. You blog, every single day, for however long you want to set your goal to blog for is – could be days, weeks, months and even years. Our mission is to support you on that journey!

By joining our official group on Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, you’ll get support and encouragement to keep you blogging everyday and you’ll also get to meet up with some great adult bloggers. But even if you’re not an adult blogger and still want to join in, we’ve got you covered.

There are even brand new products in the Blog-A-Holic Designs shop so that you can motivate yourself to keep blogging when the going gets tough and even products that you can customize to promote your blog (and the fact that you’re doing this challenge). I’ve been posting about that everywhere too, so I’m not going to say anymore about that…

So, that brings me to my very first goal. I really want to blog every single day for an entire year. So, my plan is to blog daily right here on The Rantings, and while I can’t guarantee what the ratio of adult posts to non-adult posts will be, I’m hoping that it will generally stick around even.

Some of my many other blogging-related/online/technology-type goals this year include:

  • Finish and post the second installment of 100+ Sexual Bucket List Ideas
  • Finish and post piece on different ways to communicate about using your sexual bucket list with your partner
  • Begin commenting on my reader’s blogs more often (because I always mean to and then always cower shamelessly in the internet corner)
  • Post at least 3 times a week to the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous blog
  • Post to The Blog Everyday Challenge group(s) every single day, come rain or shine, sickness or health!
  • Post a video to Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous at least twice a week
  • Actually go through all my FetLife groups, ideally on a daily basis, but even once a week will be better than what I’m doing right now…
  • Post to Updates from the Head Blog-A-Holic at least twice a week
  • Add new products to Blog-A-Holic Designs at least once a week, which includes promoting said products on Tumblr blog
  • Actually start going through my drafts (on all the blogs…) and start finishing and publishing the pieces
  • Learn how to create an application for devices – just because I want to!
  • Step up my social networking game… This one requires quite a bit, but a couple of things that I vow to absolutely do this year:
    • Post every day to my personal Facebook page. It already streams my blog posts there and it shows stuff from the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous Tumblr blog twice a day, but I’d really like to start putting my own posts up there. Ideally, I’d use Facebook notes to kind of do a daily update about all the stuff I got done online that day… Here’s hoping!
    • Post every day to Twitter, at least once a day, because I’m really bad for forgetting all about Twitter
    • Start posting and using my YouTube accounts, both my personal and Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous one. One day, the LBA one will include uploaded videos, but at this point, I just don’t have time to focus on it. It’s something that is in the very early planning phases…
  • Figure out the one and only system that I’m going to use to curate content (ie. Digg, Delicious, Diigo, Bit.ly), because right now I seem to use a whole bunch of different things and it’s just not working out to my advantage at all…

I know that more will come to me the more I think about it, but I think this is looking like a pretty hefty list already. I guess another goal we can add to this, is to upgrade Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous. I had planned to do this before the New Year, but life kept getting in the way of that goal, so I don’t want to make any promises… But I really want to allow people video uploading and a video chat room (personally, I really want the chatroom, my members apparently want the video uploading).

So now, what are your blogging goals for 2013? Do you typically set goals for your blog, or is this your first time? 


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What I Did… It Feels Like Nothing…


I’ve been hard at work online these last couple of days and I’ve felt inspired and creative and today, I just feel boggled down and overwhelmed. I’m sitting here, as I have been for the last hour and a half, continually starting things, getting halfway into it and then giving up. Then, spending the next few minutes beating myself up for giving up and then jumping in to something else to half start it…

I decided, kind of last minute like (which shows you the problem in the first place), to start a new and in my opinion, very cool new group on Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous. I’ve done this before, in the form of NaBloPoMo, but didn’t feel like trying that again – so I started The Blog Everyday Challenge. Starting January 1, 2013, it is my mission to blog everyday for as long as I can. Ideally, I’d like to do it for an entire year!

So, of course, right then and there, I should’ve known I bit off more than I could chew, but… I guess, I never learn. So, a Facebook page was created for this group and a Google+ community and then… and then… I jumped over to my Zazzle shop and decided to start creating products for my store (which hasn’t undergone the big re-design that I have been planning forever and a day – which is why you’ve barely heard about it…), which resulted in the insanity that is about to ensue…

First, I decided I needed to create a new Tumblr account, because I was having such a hard time with the whole concept of having the two blogs under the same account. I was constantly posting stuff not intended for one on the other. But then I realized, I needed a new email address. I had stopped using so many of my old ones, to the point where I couldn’t even get into it anymore, so I’ve just been using the one. Mixing the personal life emails with the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous emails (mostly ones coming from stuff I’m doing and not anybody in the outside world…) and now the Blog-A-Holic Designs emails was becoming too much, so a new email was made.

It’s just been a slew of getting tons accomplished and getting absolutely nothing accomplished. Let’s take a look at what I’ve done in the last few days:

And doing all this stuff (which I’m sure I missed a few things, I just can’t think of them right now), has just made my to-do list even longer and even harder to accomplish. Thinking about all the things I still have left to do and all the plans that I still have in the works and I just feel like sitting back, kicking up my feet and saying, “Phew!”. Like, I just want to catch my breath for a second.

On one hand, I love this total and absolute addiction to this kind of stuff. I love this whole creating thing and I love when I get hit with these really inspired and motivated bursts online. When it seems like it’s all coming easily and it’s flowing from me with ease. But I also hate it, because I feel like I’m just setting myself up for failure.

Which I’ve been feeling like a lot lately. Like every single move I make is a move towards absolute and epic failure and I feel it weighing heavily on me. I’m sick of not completing things, of starting things without ever finishing them, of giving up entirely. I’m sick of being that person.

So tonight, I’m sitting here trying to get started on something I hope to finish and I feel like I’m stumped and hitting a brick wall. I feel frustrated and overwhelmed and just generally harumphed…


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New Year’s Resolutions… Already?!?!?


I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions this year. Every year since I started having kids, I’ve always said that I’m going to make New Year’s Resolutions and every year, I end up not doing it until after the new year. The end of this year, although very tumultuous and crazy for me, has really been a great one. There’s been a lot of positives to this year end, the top of my list right now is that The Boyfriend got the promotion he was hoping for at work, I haven’t missed a rent payment in a few months, we have credits on all our bills, and both The Boyfriend and I finally got cellphones – which has been on our list of things to get for a really long time!

I figure if this year end is being so good to us, then there’s a very good chance that it will continue into the new year. I’m not counting any chickens before they hatch, but I just get this feeling that it’s going to be a wicked year. Albeit, I said 2011 was going to be a really great year, and that’s only been right over the last few months. I didn’t do anything that I had set out to do in 2011. But I plan for this year to be different. WAY different!

Now I do plan on posting a resolutions list, but that’s going to be happening closer to the new year. My biggest resolution this year is to begin blogging more often. I’ve been missing it more than you can imagine lately. I’m not sure where I lost that spark, or where it went to for that while there. I am determined to get it back. My goal is to blog everyday for January and if that works out, I really want to continue it. It’ll be made even easier by the fact that I can now blog from my phone while I’m at work (bored out of my skull!).

I’ve got tons of blogging-related goals and only a few real-time goals… Kind of odd 😉

In other news…

The kids have been major pains in the butts lately. Between Kaeidyn and Kenzie’s outrageous attitudes and Keirnan and Carter’s never-ending energy, there have been many days where I am just about ready to throw in the towel. Kaeidyn’s biggest issue right now is believing that the whole world is against her and everything is unfair. It’s unfair that she only gets to spend one night a week at Grandma’s, while the boys get to go there everyday to be babysat. It’s unfair that she doesn’t get her hair curled or make-up put on before school. It’s unfair that she has to wear pants when it’s cold outside because she would really rather wear a skirt. Every day it seems like we have an argument about whether or not the world is being fair to her.

Kenzie’s been talking back in the worst way possible. I have tried just about every disciplinary technique that I know of, and nothing seems to be quelching that fire. Today was probably one of the worst days in his talking back history. The boys had made a mess of the couch and I said, “Look what you’re doing?!?” and he got right up in my face and in this snobby voice replied, “Look, look!”, like some cocky teenager. I was taken aback by it, to say the least. I need to figure something out there, but most of the time, I’m just so shocked that my response time is a little weak.

I’ve been working really hard on getting certain areas of the house clean, but it seems like no matter how much work I do, by the next day it’s right back to where it was. The housework is just getting out of my hands now and most of the day I spend very frustrated by the overwhelming stress of this mess. I want to start from scratch so bad!

I can’t wait for Christmas this year! We actually got the kids some really amazing gifts and for the first time in years, we’re having a family Christmas dinner at my Mom’s. My sister and her kids and my brother will all be there. It’ll be just like the old days, in a way and I think it’ll be very nice. *crosses fingers*

Well, I think I’m done for the night. It was really great writing again. Have a great night to you all and Happy Holidays from my family to yours!


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Trying Not to Feel At All Defeated…


Sometimes, all my online work seems to be such a waste of time. I hate to be kind of a party pooper here, but I feel like I’m working so hard on all this stuff sometimes for nobody’s benefit but mine. And while that would be fine if my blogging goals were the same as they were a year ago or four years ago, times and goals have changed. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be whining right now.

I’d still be going on about, “I’m writing for me!”, instead of creating social networks in the hopes of making some sort of epic connection with another great adult blogger… Yes, you guessed it, this is 100% about Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, which I’ve been working so hard at, that I have two little perfect circles on my lap from where my laptop gets really hot when I leave it on for 12 hours straight!!

There are 17 members on the site right now, and only 1 of those members actually participated on the site and that’s because she’s my sister (not an adult blogger) and because I practically begged her! To try to keep member participation up, I decided to create Community Guidelines that made where after 3 months of inactivity, members could have their sites deactivated…

Scary statistic: 65% of members have NOT been active in the last 3 months. So, I sent out notices to those members saying that their accounts were at risk of being terminated. This was mostly for practicality purposes, being that currently I’m using the free version of Spruz, which only allows me to have 50 members.

But then I sort of chickened out. I don’t want to be mean to these potential members, even if they’re not participating. It feels good to be able to say that, including myself, there are 17 members on a social network I maintain. I’m happy that something lured 16 people into joining Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous… Needless to say, I’m reconsidering…

I’ve just been working so much harder than I had ever intended for a website. I’ve been stepping out of my networking comfort levels like crazy, because I really want this site to be something to someone other than me. I’m normally the type of person who won’t go out of my way to talk to people in real life, let alone get up the nerve to speak out online.

I’ve been doing so much of what some of my blogging idols tell you to do (ie., Problogger and Mashable), and it all seems to fall short. I’ve been commenting on people’s blogs (though I’m peeved that I can’t figure out how to comment on Ask Dan and Jennifer, because some of their stuff just grinds on my nerves), I’ve been posting other people’s links on Twitter and even mentioning people more and more (on the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous Twitter). I’ve been seeking out new blogs like a mad man and mostly, I’ve been crazy hard at work on content for Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous.

And no one seems to be participating. I got one mention on Twitter from the blogger of a blog that I tweeted out, and that was really exciting and I went off about it for awhile. But I wouldn’t say it’s participation… Here’s the tweet:

http://twitter.com/#!/LearningDD/status/98984709773733888

I’ve been adding stuff to the Facebook Fan page at least once a day, and none of the 4 fans have commented, I’ve had a couple of votes on questions after I posted them on my personal wall, but no new “likes” in months and not very much commenting or sharing, outside of me.

While I have had 3 members join Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous in the last month, I was disappointed today when I discovered that the bounce rate on the site is at about 85%, which isn’t good and definitely doesn’t meet my goals. Oh, now you want to know what my goals are? Well, that’s a little bit harder to explain, because I’m still trying to define what’s realistic…

I read a few blogs about blogging. Mostly from bloggers who do not need to work outside of the home, because they make enough money just blogging. Normally bloggers who have views on their blogs that are 10 times what I have on any of my blogs. A lot of them who promote their stuff and people eat it up like it’s steak, potatoes and gravy! I’m unsure if those types of things are even possible for adult bloggers, unless they do porn on the side…

So far I know that:

  • I want to have an average of 10 visitors each day, 2 of those being returning visitors
  • I want the average time on the site to be at least 10 minutes
  • I’d like a bounce rate under 50%
  • I’d like people to visit an average of 3 pages when they visit
  • I’d like 3 members, outside of my sister, to be truly active on the site
  • I’d like all the members to change their profile photos
  • I’d like to get some interaction going on both Facebook and Twitter
  • I’d like to make at least one connection with one other blogger that I find to be meaningful in some way…
Now, I need to figure out what it is exactly that I’m not doing right to be able to achieve these goals and that’s being so hard for me. When I’m getting no real response to all the hard work that I’m doing, it’s very hard to get motivated enough to go and add discussions to a speechless forum, or create a group that nobody will join, or write a blog post that no one cares enough about to share or comment on or visit more than once..
Don’t worry though, this is just a rant and I’m still working. I’ve come to realize that this kind of thing is a struggle for every blogger, just more so for some than others. It’s a hump and I’ll get over it eventually. It’s not like I’ve been doing all these things for a SUPER long time, so I’ll give it some more time. Just cross your fingers for me that it gets better…
Love,
Just another struggling blogger