Blogging 101. Day Three: Say Hello to the Neighbors

meet ur neighbour

Blogging is a communal experience; if you didn’t want anyone to read your posts, you’d keep a private diary. Today, begin engaging with the blogging community, the first step in building an audience.

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.

Why spend time reading other blogs?

  • Publishing posts is only half of blogging — engaging with the community is the other.
  • Considering what other bloggers write will inspire you and sharpen your thoughts.

Part of what makes blogging such a rich experience are the relationships we develop with people from around the world. Those relationships only happen when we engage with one another — just look at The Commons. Plus, reaching out to other bloggers is the best way to have them return the favor.

The first step is finding the people you want to connect with. By following topics you care about in the Reader, you’ll discover a world of blogs. Some of them will become favorite reads, and some of their authors will become your fans.

I’m really bad at this. In the beginning, I was all about the readers and fellow bloggers. Now I’m choosy. My attention span has diminished greatly. Call me an old-bitty blogger I guess. After almost a decade of doing this, blog posts have to catch my attention. Nursing blog posts get recycled over and over again by the new and seasoned Nurse bloggers because we share the same joys and experience the same woes. It’s not a bad thing, not at all. It just makes it hard for me to follow and read other bloggers.

I know. I’m a bad blogger. Here I want you to read my stuff… yet I’m admitting to not reading your stuff. It’s probably why I don’t have many followers these days. It reminds me of the joke my friend Mike and I shared for a while. Anyone remember these guys?

I’m  going to try harder. I’ve started to dedicate a slot of time each AM to blogging. I’ll try and read more blogs while I’m at it. Time is not a luxury I have. But, then again I’m probably not the only one with a finite amount of time, yet you find the time to read my stuff. I’m going to make an effort to stop being such a bigot.

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*Update* – I posted this to my draft in the morning… and never got around to reading any blogs by the end of the day. I suck at this. Grr.


Blogging 101 Challenge. Day Two: Take Control of Your Title and Tagline

Tag 1997

You set your blog’s address when you registered at, but your blog’s title — what readers see on your site when they visit — can be changed at any time. Today, let’s make sure you love yours.

Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline.


  • The title is the first thing most readers will see.
  • Your title and tagline work with elements like your address and theme to give visitors context and help them decide to stick around.

Your title doesn’t need to be the same as your blog’s URL — just because your address is doesn’t mean you need to call your blog maryjanesmith922. Your title should reflect you.

A title is typically only a few words, so consider adding a tagline — a phrase that appears under your title and helps flesh it out. Think “Burger King: Have It Your Way,” or The Daily Post: The Art and Craft of Blogging.” Look at the post you wrote yesterday. Why are you here? What will we find on your blog? Let us know in your tagline.

Try listing adjectives that describe your personality, and play around with the words until you can tweak them into a name that’s catchy but uniquely “you.” Puns always work well. Start with certain common phrases, songs, and literary titles, and then mix the words up. Or use your own name in a clever way.

We’ve also got some examples of great taglines, along with a few tips on creating one that stands out in the blogging crowd:

  • Avoid repeating your site title. Your tagline is a space to share some context on what your site is about. Take advantage of it.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Thirty and 40 word taglines leave us breathless. Be concise.
  • Be original. Don’t let your blog’s tagline become another in the sea of “musings about thoughts” — make sure it tells us something about you.

My Strong Medicine

The adventures of a novice Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. My life’s Mixtape. I’m a USAW weightlifter. I coach. A mobility maven. And I CrossFit.

Ironically I just changed my tag line last week when I gave it a face-lift here. I re-worded my tag line to add the Hodge-podge nature of my blog. Ergo the term ‘Mixtape’. An awesome idea that I ‘borrowed from one of the Fitness/Inspiration Company’s that I frequent called ‘Compete Everyday‘. They put out a Sunday ‘Mixtape’ blog post that is just bits & pieces of links of interest that is related to their overall mission.

The former 80’s wild-child loved the idea of the term Mixtape, so… yeah. I borrowed the term as part of my tag line. So not going to change my tag line.

Would I change my blog title? Change it from My Strong Medicine.


It completely encapsulates what me, my life, and my blogging has been about. I mean when I first started this journey I chose ‘To Be A Strong One’ as my blog title. Whew, that was horrid.. vague.. and good ole’ fashion tacky. It really didn’t explain anything about my blog, my blogging goal or my life.

So I’m pretty happy with my Title and Tag Line. Mostly because I blog about more than one thing. But I do stick to the topics that I’ve mentioned before. I used to blog about anything under the sun. Nowadays I stick to personal growth, CrossFit, Weightlifting, Health with a sliver of Nursing thrown in there.

Yep. I’m good. My Strong Medicine stays.

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Blogging 101 Challenge. Day One: Introduce Yourself to the World

Blogging Research Wordle

I’ve decided to try and re-charge my blog by undertaking a month-long blog challenge. This one is driven by called the Blogging 101 Challenge as part of the ‘Blogging University’ program.

Here is the first day’s topic:

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post on your blog.


  • It gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • It helps you focus your ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto or a simple outline.

If you’ve already been blogging for a while, we still encourage you to do a version of this assignment: use it to revisit what you said when you first started blogging, to take stock of what you’ve accomplished and what more you’d like to do, or to lay out some goals for your next six months.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?

  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

Without further adieu:

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I’ve always blogged publicly. But for those of you who don’t know, I blogged anonymously in the beginning. My pseudonym was ‘Strong One’. This was back when I started the blog named ‘To Be A Strong One‘. Whew… talk about memory lane. I first started blogging back them with the idea to do fitness or health related topics.. but it morphed slowly into all things Nursing somehow. I did that for about a year.. then continued to blog anonymously for another year before the ‘big reveal‘. And back then… I still didn’t know which direction my blogging would take. Geesh.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

I’m random. I’ll always be random. If I’ve learned anything over the past 8+ years is that I can’t stay on topic. If anything I  stick to a handful of topics. Nursing will always show up, but most of my blogging about all-things Nursing shows up over at Scrub Magazine. The other mainstays are Weightlifting, CrossFit and anything about personal growth.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

Anyone and everyone. I still believe some of the greatest connections have been made through my blogging. My only caveat being that I don’t have the kind of time I used to have online. My life outside of the keyboard is quite busy.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

Consistency. I want to blog more, more often. I still have a lot to share, I still have a lot to say.

Blogging 101 Day One = done.

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A Lil’ Blog Facelift…

I was tinkering around with some pictures and thought I’d update my header image on my blog. It really isn’t much different from the previous, but I think it ‘sticks’ out more. It’s a bit more vibrant.

You have my beautiful barbell and plates in the background, with a well-pronounced and neon-yellow ECG stamp in the foreground. I great contrast and true-to-life statement of me and my world.

The crazy thing… I did that whole picture editing (except for the cropping) on my iPhone. Craaazee what that damn device can do?

Here’s the old header image:

cropped-kb-and-ecg-morph_edited-1.jpgLike I said, a minor change. But I thought it was an improvement.

Whatcha think? Yay? Nay?




No words today


This was my Christmas.


I am a procrastinating shopper

I always wait until the last minute to shop for gifts. This year was no exception. I did all my shopping in one single day.

I’ve refined my procrastination technique over the years. At least now a days I have a plan before I actually leave the house. Before I would wander around the Mall aimlessly for an entire day. (Yes I was one of THOSE guys)

#photooftheday #flower 7 days til Xmas!

A photo posted by Sean (@sean_dent) on


7 more days until Christmas!!


Why are we never satisfied?

#photooftheday #sunset during our trip to River Valley Gorge this past summer. #365daysaphotoaday

A photo posted by Sean (@sean_dent) on


I was reflecting on how beautiful the weather was this past summer. How I wish this darn cold weather and rain would go away. That this Winter just plain ole’ stinks.

Then I remembered that a year ago we were buried under the #snowmageddon. We had 3+ straight days of constant snow. It was during this time last year that we earned the ‘snowiest city’ badge of honor.

I should be simply content that it’s cold and rainy… and I’m not traipsing through mountain-sized snow drifts to get in and out of my car.

If mother nature was listening… I’m sorry for not appreciating the cold rain. Seriously. I’m sorry.