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CBWLA Presents: Blogging Workshop with Arlee Bird

30 Mar 2013 11:06 AM | Nutschell Anne Windsor (Administrator)

March 30, 2013 (42nd  CBW-LA meetup): Blogging Workshop with Arlee Bird

On the 30th of March, 2013, I had the immense pleasure of meeting in person awesome blogger and A-Z Blogfest founder Arlee Bird.

Arlee and I became bloggy buddies, thanks to his famous A-Z blogfest. I had no idea that Arlee lived in L.A.  Luckily, I found out about this fact, thanks to my fellow CBW-LA officer Alana (also a prolific blogger), who had interviewed Arlee for her local newspaper article.

I asked Alana to invite Arlee to do a workshop for CBW-LA, and Arlee kindly agreed.

Arlee’s workshop focused on how blogging builds author platform. Lee began the workshop by introducing himself, and talking about his origins both as a writer and a blogger.

arlee bird the writer


Blogger and A-Z Blogfest Founder Arlee Bird

His parents were professional jugglers, and soon he and sister became part of the act. His family spent their summer vacations touring and performing in front of crowds.  Lee developed his love for stories through the many intriguing folks he and his family met, thanks to juggling.

juggling jackson modified


The Juggling Jacksons, Arlee, his parents and his sister

When Lee decided he would try out blogging, he decided on the title Tossing It Out, as a reference not only to his roots as a professional juggler, but also as a reference to his love for juggling words.

During the workshop, Lee encouraged us to think about why we writeundefinedwhether it be for fun, for self-expression, or for publication. He said that our answers will also define why we blog.

Lee answered the following questions during the course of his workshop:

What Is A Blog?

Why Blog?

What Is Platform?

How Can Blogging Help Establish Platform?

Is Blogging Enough?

Are the “Internet Time Sucks” Enough?

How Do I Start My Blog?

So I’ve Got a Blog--Now What?

arlee bird and cbwla

Blogger and A-Z Blogfest Founder Arlee Bird speaking to CBW-LA members

Lee defined author platform as:

Ÿ  Who you are

Ÿ  What you can do

Ÿ  Where you can be found

Ÿ  Who your audience or customer base is

Ÿ  What you have done


Through blogging, we are able to establish our author platform by:           

Ÿ  Building relationships

Ÿ  Displaying our abilities

Ÿ  Sharing our news

Ÿ  Creating a community via our interaction with other bloggers

Ÿ  Establishing credibility

Ÿ  And building our SEO skills


Lee discussed other social media venues where we can expand our following/author platform such as Twitter, Facebook, Triberr and Google Plus.

Lee also spoke about What Not to Do when blogging, such as tell people too much about our lives, get into fights, or leave comments on other people’s blogs that we might later regret.

In the second part of the workshop, Lee talked about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. He explained what the challenge was, and how he had come up with the idea.

arlee bird why i began tossing it out


Lee explained the benefits of joining the A-Z Blogging challenge. Not only was the challenge fun, it would also encourage discipline and creativity, since we would have to write up posts matching a specific letter for each day. The A-Z challenge would also help us network and get noticed, which would help our author platform.

Lee cited several of our bloggy friends as prime examples of the A-Z’s success:

Damyanti used the A-Z as a spring board for her works of fiction and later published her entries in an ebook entitled A-Z Stories of Life and Death.

damyanti book modified

Blogger Doris Plaster, inspired by her A-Z posts also published Home Sweet Nursing Home: An A-Z Collection of 50 Word Stories on Aging and Healthcare.

home sweet nursing home by doris plaster

We mentioned how Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh’s army of thousands of bloggers help him promote his Cassastar Series, and support him on his many challenges. (We also discussed theories on how Alex is able to balance blogging, writing, performing in a band, working and attending to his family, citing being an alien or a wizard as possibilities. :) )


Mini Alex and CassaStorm modified


Lee patiently answered a lot of questions on blogging and social media. He ended the workshop by encouraging the attendees to go home and start a blog tonight.

Thanks to his workshop, many of our members were inspired to begin their own blogs and join the A-Z:

Lucy Ravitch
Chontali Kirk
Michael Cahill
Kate Conrad
Christina Romero


And of course, our members who already had blogs, discovered ways to gain more followers and make more connections online.

Samantha Combs
Alana Garrigues
Jennifer Carson


Our big thanks to Arlee Bird for coming out and speaking to CBW-LA

If you'd like to know more about Arlee, check out his many blogs:        Tossing It Out         Wrote By Rote       A Faraway View         A Few Words         The Blogging from A to Z Challenge Blog



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