It’s hard for me to believe that I first started blogging on SheilaCallaham.com in April 2011. Even harder to believe that what began as a chore has become a much-anticipated element of each week.
Another year of blogging — forty-six new pieces — and now I come to my favorite part. Reviewing reader analytics and sharing the top five posts for 2015!
#5: Three Huge Benefits of Frequent Blogging, posted January 29.
I attended a social media workshop for writers several months ago, where the speaker told us that blogging was dead.
What the heck?!!
To be specific, he suggested that the benefit authors previously received from regular blogging had gone by the wayside. I respectfully disagree.
Blogging remains for me an incredible tool for driving traffic to my website. Once there, readers can’t help but see my books on the right-hand side of the page and my coaching tab above. More importantly, blogging gives me incredible access to super cool people in social media. Connections in the virtual world are no less important than they are in the physical world. The more people you know, the more venues you have for meeting new people. As an author and coach, people are my bread and butter.
Bottom line? If you’re an author or author wanna-be, and you’re pondering the benefit of blogging, take it from me, blog away!
#4 Blue Hair More Than a Fashion Statement, posted September 3.
This post was a tribute to my late mother, who passed away September 6, 2013, and our respective appreciation for independence and self-expression. I’ve learned through my mother’s death that grief is elastic. It stretches out for a long time, contracts unexpectedly, and then stretches out again. While the underlying theme of this post was how much I miss my mom, the article uses a humorous approach to express the thought. I know my mom would be proud!
#3 Middle School Science Teacher Encourages Students to Eat Dissected Projects, posted February 26.
I’m so happy this post made it to the top five because it gives me the opportunity (once again) to applaud innovative teaching. For the record, the headline is absolutely true. Don’t believe me? You’ll just have to read the post!
#2 Meet Tigmonk: A Modern Day Mystic, posted September 24.
Don’t tell my hubby, but I think I’m crushing on Tigmonk just a bit. Tigmonk is funny, direct, gentle, deep, inspiring, and has an amazing way with words. And since we both aim to help others find more happiness within themselves, I resonate with his words.
Here’s the cool thing — I connected with Tigmonk after a couple of my friends liked a video he posted on Facebook. When I finally watched the vid, I knew that I just had to “meet” him. (A perfect example of how blogging and social media open us up to the world.) I reached out, asked for an interview and boom! Not only did I get the interview, but I also got a new friend.
While most of my posts this year were written to inspire and motivate the reader, I write about lots of different topics including humor, social media, and a couple of my favorite hobbies: dancing and gardening. At my core, however, I’m a writer and writers love to read. So it seems rather appropriate that the #1 post of 2015 was my comparison of two books written eighty-five years apart!
#1 Hermann Hesse & Timothy Ferriss: Common Spiritual Theme May Surprise You, posted April 30.
It’s not uncommon for me to read more than one book at a time, often books I consider very different from each other. So you can imagine my surprise when I found a parallel between Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, a book about spiritual pursuit written in 1922, and Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek, a book meant to teach and encourage people to cut loose the 9 – 5 jobs that bind them and live life to the fullest!
Have I piqued your curiosity? Yep, you and hundreds of others as well. Go on, click the link like everyone else. You won’t be disappointed!
What’s coming in 2016?
Like last year, I’ll continue leveraging social media to connect with amazing people and share their stories. Not only was my Tigmonk interview a top read, but the runner-up to the Top Five list was another interview I snagged through a Twitter connection. The runner-up article, Legal Thriller Highlights Social, Political Debate Over Heroin Addiction, allowed me to share the story of Dr. Steven Kassels, whose background as a physician and educator laid the groundwork for his first book, “Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in Downeast Maine,” a murder mystery, legal thriller. What Dr. Kassels and I share is that we both have written fiction with a message suggesting cultural change.
In 2016, you’ll see more posts about writing and publishing, as well as a continuation of posts to inspire the heck out of you.
And, because our family is relocating from North Carolina to Texas, you can expect a few pieces about our big move. Which brings me to the topic of humor (think cross-country move with five dogs). I love to laugh, so I’m hoping that a least of a couple of my articles in the year to come will make you snort your coffee. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Thank you for another great year, I’m so grateful for your company. I love your comments and emails, so keep ‘em coming!
Sheila Callaham is a best-selling author, motivational speaker, and success coach. Connect with her in your favorite social media community.