Name: Ann Odle
Blog Name: Ann About Town
Blog Address: http://annodle.com or http://annabouttown.com
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Share your brief bio:
As a divorced and happy Southern California blogger, I also keep busy with a full-time day job and a direct sales career with BeautiControl. I’ve been blogging a little over 3 years—talking about my life, my family, pets, friends and more; I share trips I’ve taken and recipes I’ve tried, as well as some product reviews and recommendations.
Tell us a little about your family:
Although I’m single, my home life consists of a (half) crazy roommate, 3 cats and a dog. My “real” family lives in south Texas, where I go to visit them regularly.
How do you prioritize time between your family and your blog?
This is an age-old question; which comes first—sometimes I have to let important things slide, because something more important comes up. I try not to feel guilty about the choices I make—where I go, what I do, and what doesn’t get done. Usually, I’m the one who loses when push comes to shove; family comes first.
How do you relax?
What’s that? Seriously, I keep myself so busy that it’s difficult for me to relax. I think my most favorite relaxing thing to do is to sit on the back of my boyfriend’s boat at the lake or the river, with a book and either a beer or a glass of wine.
When did you start your blog?
I started the blog in December of 2009.
Why did you start blogging?
Originally it was going to showcase my direct sales business; but I found it more fun to just write about everything.
How did you choose your blog name?
On the forum, where I took my 30-day blogging class (http://partyplandivas.com/forums/); I asked all of the participants on the forum site to give me suggestions—and just fell in love with this name from one of my good friends, Jan Hatchett (http://janhatchett.com/).
What keeps you motivated and inspired to blog?
I just love the idea of writing; I’ve done it all of my life—poetry, journaling, essays and even magazine articles. I feel a great deal of freedom in what I can write (and photograph) and post on my own space.
Where do you see your blog and yourself in 5 years?
Personally, I hope to be retired from my full-time job; which will leave me more time to blog! I want to have a large following, plus brand ambassorships and regular product reviews, as well as a huge community of friends that I socialize with regularly.
Biggest life lesson learned since blogging?
Don’t sweat the small stuff; everything will work itself out in its own way. Make things happen, don’t wait for them to happen.
What is your secret to success?
Keep moving & hope no one notices the holes in the wall.
What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started blogging?
To jump in and start; I tend to over-analyze every little thing before I start a project of any kind.
All bloggers encounter writer’s block. How do you get past this?
I walk away; maybe turn on the TV and just find something else to occupy my mind.
What has been your sweetest success story?
I wrote a post that I thought was something along the lines of “My summer vacation….” And got a very nice comment from someone who helps manage publicity for Texas’ National Historic Site!
What has been your most popular posts?
I’m not sure which would be my most popular to date.
Who are some of your favorite California bloggers that inspire you and that you enjoy reading?
My Reader File is miles-long; but among my favorite California bloggers are:
The SITS Girls (don’t know if that is strictly CA, but I love their site) http://www.thesitsgirls.com/
Confessions of a Fat Girl—hilarious, touching and always engaging
MizMeliz—my friend and a hell of a writer
How long have you lived in California?
I’m a true California girl; lived here all of my life!
Where is your favorite relaxation location in California?
It used to be the beach; but lately, I have really enjoyed anywhere that I can just sit back with a drink/cup of coffee and people-watch.
Do you belong to any other social media networks to promote your blog?
I am in several groups on Triberr.com; belong to the Southern California Lady Bloggers; and work with a couple of coaches for both my blog and my direct sales business.
Have you attended any social media conferences? If so, which ones?
I attended my first Bloggy Boot Camp in Las Vegas last fall—and am even more in love with those SITS gals! I’m signed up for the Business Edition in Phoenix this spring and hope to attend at least one more Social Media conference before the end of the year
If yes to the above ~ what was the most helpful thing that you have learned from attending a conference?
I learned that connections to other people are the most important thing (in life AND in blogging!). Networking and listening to the experiences of other bloggers made me realize that we are all the same underneath it all—some of us are just a little better at putting words together.
Share your favorite quote or inspirational thought:
It would be something that my boyfriend says frequently—much to my annoyance. “Where ever you go, well, there you are.”
Tell us something that most people would be surprised to learn about you.
I’m pretty much of an open book—what you see is what you get.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am so loving this whole blog environment that I’ve found. The men & women I’ve met are real—even if we’ve only met in cyber-space. Dealing with people on the internet, makes it easy to hide certain aspects of ourselves; but we need to realize that people who are reading our posts want to know who we are—that we’re real people, with freckles and zits and anxieties. And the bloggers that I’ve been lucky enough to meet IRL are wonderful; and I’m so glad to have met each and every one of them!
Do you send out a monthly newsletter? How can we get on your mailing list if we are interested in more information?
Nothing official yet, that’s still on the to-do list. If you’re interested in helping out with fulfilling that list (its very long), please let me know!
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