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BlogHer13: Desperately Seeking Clarity

 This is BlogHer Conference #4 for me:  Chicago, New York, San Diego, Chicago.  Each time, I’m blown away by the number of people, the sponsors, and most of all, the changing landscape of blogging.

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I focus on Monetization and “Blog to Book.”


I gotta get a platform before I write my book.  The book can’t be the blog.  Okay, I knew that.  I have two blogs, both promoting my writing in different ways.  I gotta get more active in Twitter, Instagram, get some buzz going, and keep it professionally personal.  Hmmm… I confess some overwhelmedness.

I met Gladys on Day 1 of BlogHer13.

“What do you like best?”  Gladys, a newbie asks.

I give Gladys a guilty grin:  “The SWAG.”

Gladys and I talked about blogging and life.  She’s a single mother of a 21 year-old daughter.  Gladys just finished a stint working on organic farms in Chicago.  Soon she will be moving to Boston to start college.  Gladys is here to figure out what she’s going to blog about, and how to do it.  She is quick as lightning and everything she hears gets translated into practical ideas for her next steps.  I am in awe.

Yes, I love the SWAG.  But the picture is here for symbolic reasons.  After three years of blogging, I can say I’m like this pile of swag.  There is some organization (look closer, there’s health, toys, tech, beauty, cleaning, coupons, and food; all in neat little sections of my dining room table. (There’s also a polar bear and a vitamin organizer, not from BlogHer13.  How’d that happen?)

But where’s the focus?

BlogHer13 Swag


I run into Denise  at the bag pick-up.  She recognizes me, and asks me how Duckie is doing, I ask her about her adventures in grand-mothering.  She’s off before I get a chance to tell her how much I like the new format of  Still finding my way around, but I see it’s beautiful.

I recite my practiced my elevator pitch.

“What do you blog about?”

“Well, I have two blogs.  One is “Once a Little Girl,” with a tag line Be Like a Child.  It’s a memoir blog.  The other is The Black Tortoise, with the tag line Wisdom Born with Age.  I blog about…blah-bla-bla,be-blah….”  Yeah, not good.  I hear polite responses and see glazed eyes.

I listen to ways to pitch my brand, increase my viewers, embed invitations to join my e-mail, add value, engage, interact.  Holy smokes!  What is my brand?  I’m not a Food Blogger, I’m not a Health Blogger, I’m not a Humor Blogger, I’m not a Lifestyle Blogger, I’m not a Mommy Blogger.

I miss-out the scholarship winners, one of the most inspirational session, while I’m focusing in.  I join the GenFab party and get a pin to show my solidarity.



I listen to the author of APE, Guy Kawasaki.  Yes, indeed, I can get my book published, Big Publisher or Indie, or as Guy puts it, Artisanal.  I already have some rejection letters that fill me with encouragement and make me smile.  I get a copy of APE.Guy Kawasaki, American venture capitalist and ...

I go to the Voices of the Year, and even get to personally talk to two of the winners:  Casey who writes “Life with Roozle,” and Shannon Bradley-Colleary from The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful.  Sooooo inspiring.

I meet two more newbies, Elaine and Anne at the Voices of the Year reception.  Denise set a good example for me.  I am going to remember people and names.  It feels so good  when someone recognizes me among the throngs.

I collect cards from an even 50 cards.

Like divine inspiration, it hits me:  I’m a Noun Blogger.  I try it out on the next person who asks me.

“A noun blogger?”

“Yes, I blog about People, Places, and Things.”

A smile spreads across my new blogger friend’s face.  “Clever.”

Noun Blogger resonates with my very core.  I know my brand. I’m a writer. A mildly amusing one.

I love the responses:  confusion, followed a-ha, and a grin.  No more glazed looks from the women I meet; no more “umma, errr, blah-blah-de-blah,” from me.

I’m not sure how that translates to monetizing, but maybe that’s not so important right now.  This morning I woke up at 4AM from a dream about my neice, Reaghan.  She has a fitness program, Revolve to Evolve. 

Ideas often come to me whole-cloth.

I have a plan.

Clarity strikes again.

Stay-tuned for more tomorrow or the next day.  Duckie has what I hope is her last surgery for osteomyelitis tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are a few questions for you:

  • If you have a blog, what is the url?
  • Do you have a plan of action after BlogHer13?
  • What was your most inspirational part?
  • What would you like to hear from me, the Noun Blogger?



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  1. Adela, we met at dinner after the VOTY and I remember you’re saying that you’re a noun blogger. I guess that means it was memorable. The inspiration I gathered from Blogher 13 was to meet so many women who were taking the idea of blogging and making it their own.Like you did. We share a few things- I’m midlife also and I am married to one and I have four children. Good to have met you. Virginia

    • Adela Adela

      Hey, Virginia. Sorry to take so long to reply. I’ve been at the hospital with my Dr. I thought I replied via my WORDPRESS app, but something must have gone awry. I enjoyed meeting you at the VOTY dinner. So many talented writer/bloggers. I hope to keep in touch.

  2. Amy Amy

    Ugh… What do you blog about? I hate that question… It was only this week that I found a niche I fit – midlife blogger. (I’m overwhelmed with 6 grandchildren and their holidays, dunno how you’re keeping up with 12) Everything in my life feels new to me, like a child walking through the Christmas section of a store – filled with wonder… perhaps something in that will help me figure out my elevator pitch. I love your Noun Blogger. You could even be a pronoun blogger – blog about you and me and him and her and them.

    Anyways… I didn’t make it to Blogher yet. I found you via a link on Generation Fabulous.

    • Adela Adela

      So glad you found me, Amy. I love the way GenFab connects us. My post BlogHer13 plan includes getting more connected to other bloggers.

      Just having married kids is a big transformation; add grandkids and Wheeee! Are you planning to write an empty nest piece for GenFab? I have one rolling around in my head. If I can only beat it on paper; oh, I mean, on ether, or whatever the non-paper substance is called now.

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