Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Sinking Ship

Oh wait. I meant INTERNSHIP. Same difference, eh?

It’s hard to find an internship. I’m on the young-ish side of applicants, still have a couple of years before I graduate, etc. Most companies look for students entering their senior year, and use the internship as a ten week tryout for full time hires. I found one position, had an interview that went well — and then actually learned about what it entailed, from other students and through some negative reviews online.

Selling insurance and financial products on commission? No thanks.

That just felt wrong to me. I don’t want my income to depend on pressuring someone’s grandma to buy mediocre products. While I like making money telling others what to do (why hello, consulting!) I felt like taking such a position could even look a bit “shady” on my resume down the road.

So I’m debating a crazy idea in my head. What if I worked for myself this summer? I think I could make a sizable sum through tutoring local students, selling things on eBay, setting up an etsy shop (!!), picking stocks, freelancing, and other creative activities. Oh, and I’d blog about it, so that it would be a well-documented project for curious future employers. I would be able to stay at home, and volunteer for either a senate or a governor political races, living in a “hot” 2010 state. (Campaigns are not what I want to do in the long run, but I’m genuinely interested in politics and have clear choices for both elections.)

Money’s not a huge deal for me.  My parents will feed me even if my income is on the teeny side. (I have enough shoes to last a good decade, too.) I have been working on setting long-term financial goals; I think that I could make a sizeable income with crazy-plan above, and probably come a lot closer to creating diversified and passive streams of income.

[Summer school is not covered under my current scholarship money; with 80+ credit hours under my belt, that’s not a very necessary or appealing proposition.]

This could be interesting. One great thing is that I have two 40-hr/week summer jobs from high school, in addition to tutoring and newest photography gig, so my work experience is there.  So far, my resume is fairly plump with leadership positions, volunteering, — hopefully taking the summer “off” from traditional activities wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb.  I could probably also consider a school year position in marketing as a summer activity, too, tweeting and publishing away from the backyard patio.

Am I absolutely nuts… or might this hold some merit?!


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I read a lot, usually either liking, disliking, or wandering way bored when hopping from blog to blog. Blogging is like dating — you need to connect, be likeable and be interesting. Of course, I am by no means a professional writer, but this is more for my improvement anyway.

(My) Top Dos and Don’t of Blogging:

  • Sound knowledgeable if you want others to take your advice or hire you.  Keep an eye out for spelling and grammar mistakes, and use correct capitalization. Professionalism is always a good idea. I always go back and correct typing mistakes when I see them — my laptop’s keyboard frequently lags, which unfortunately increases how many errors I make.
  • Know the limits of your expertise. Just like in an interview, be honest if you don’t know an answer. Be approachable and conversant, encouraging others to join the community of your blog’s followers.
  • Avoid monster paragraphs. That being said, avoid posts that stretch waaaaay down the page because there are only three words per line. Both are hard to read. Make an idea span several posts instead of going on for pages (I’m so guilty of this one!).
  • Be a formatting perfectionist. I’m a fan of the occasional bolded text to make headings clear within posts. Correct formatting errors for images and tables — if you can’t get something to appear correctly, try another method. That being said, don’t waste all of your time on making the blog visually pleasing — content is what ultimately matters most.
  • Personal anecdotes are great — this isn’t a college microbiology lecture, after all. It’s nice to understand more about the author of the blog while learning from their posts. That being said, less is often more.
  • Keep the content flowing. Don’t publish something subpar because you feel like you need to make a post, but do regularly update your blog. If a blog stagnates unchanged for weeks, readers may stop checking for updates and focus on other sites instead. Eek!

Bloggers, do these sound good?

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New Year and new beginnings, right?

I’m very excited to unveil my new blog header, my latest DIY project. Completely free, as long as I don’t count my time (hey, this was fun!), electricity for my laptop which would have been on anyway, or my camera which I already own. All of the software programs used are free downloads, too.

First, make sure that you can upload a custom header. For my WordPress blog, I found the option to change the header under the Appearance tab.

The picture in my header is of a dollar-store pink piggy bank. Unless you must have a sea-turtle or picture of intergalactic space, there’s no need to buy stock photography. I used a fancy-schmancy spot-light diffusing contraption that I built earlier this week, but the basic same result can be obtained from taping up a piece of poster board to use as a backdrop in a well-lighted area, then firing away with a point-and-shoot camera. Take a lot of pictures to make sure that at least a few turn out well. Using a tripod wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Upload the pictures to your computer, then edit to improve the color, lighting, etc. (I kind of cheated and just used auto-fix while previewing the pictures on Vista. I usually use Picasa, a free and easy-to-use editor from Google, or PhotoScape if I’m working on something more detailed.)

After your images have been prettied, open  your chosen image in Paint.Net. Paint.Net a little confusing (to me, at least) and photo editing is harder than in Picasa or PhotoScape, but it’s a wonderful program for creating graphics.  Make a copy of your favorite image right now in case you need to restart the header.

For my WordPress blog  theme, I needed a header that was 190×760 pixels. I resized the picture of my piggy bank to a height of 190 pixels — it was roughly square, so the length was way under 760 pixels.

I opened a new project, and specified that I wanted my canvas to be 760×190 pixels. This comes up in a new tab. Go back to the image and copy it, then past on the blank header.  At this point, you’re good to go and finish the header using whatever suits your fancy– the hardest part is getting the images to the size of the header, and making the header the correct size so that you don’t have to crop in WordPress after uploading.

Below:  Version 1. I decided that I wanted the bank facing into the light, so I replaced the picture with the image on the current header.

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