It's a shame more novels haven't been written about Florida. I mean, there have been, some. But maybe not so much. Instead, the gun-shaped state gets relegated to FLORIDA MAN jokes, alligator attack tales, and horror stories about its systemic abuses and exploitations. It misses praise for its geographical diversity, its colorfulness on a blank slate, and the way the water looks when it's just straight up still and there are dolphins diving through it in the distance.
On yesterday's episode of "The Dennis Prager Show," Prager spent the entire show discussing my Forbes post on Wonder Woman's armpit hair.
It looks like you can only hear it now if you're a subscriber, but maybe you are.
"In an opinion piece in Forbes, a writer complains that Wonder Woman doesn’t shave her arm pits. Are women demeaning themselves by making themselves more attractive to men?"
I did some work on my LinkedIn profile lately, as I'm seeking new career opportunities, and it was an interesting experience. It's part rethinking oneself, part rethinking how others see you, and part rethinking how you put yourself out there. I did some research while doing it, as well.
Here's what I learned.
Make it you
In the past, my LinkedIn profile hasn't felt much like me. It was robotic, or overly business-like, or cursory. I learned a lot about writing a LinkedIn profile that sounds as if it belongs to a human by reading Jenny Foss at The Muse. She has all kinds of really smart ideas about career strategy, and how to think of yourself as you move forward in the interviewing process, and how to brand yourself in a way that's both interesting and authentic. That laid the groundwork.
Keep it simple, stupid
This is the important acronym: Keep It Simple, Stupid -- or KISS. I had a conversation the other day with a scripted reality TV producer I've worked with, and he reminded me that the bottom line thing we're all doing here is telling stories. I've done a lot of different things: journalism, blogging, editing, digital outreach, copywriting, and producing scripted reality TV. What do all those things have in common? I'm a storyteller. So I led with that.
Grab their attention
Of course, you've got to stand out from the pack. So I started my summary with an interesting anecdote from my personal history: I was a human lab rat. From the time I was a toddler until I was in my thirties, I was a participant in a famous longitudinal study of human development. Not that many people can say that, so I began with that, and I tied it into my career.
In any case, you can read my LinkedIn summary below, and you can connect with me on LinkedIn here. I'm actively looking for full-time or part-time work (particularly the former) in the word business, and if you have a lead, or if you know someone that I should talk to, I'd love to hear from you.
Award-winning journalist, blogger, and editor. | A "rare commodity online." | I tell stories.
University of California, Berkeley
I'm a human lab rat. When I was a toddler, I became a participant in a legendary 30-year longitudinal study of human development that set out to answer one simple question: How do we become who we are?
That experience played a part in why I've spent the last decade figuring out the answer to another question: Why do people do what they do online? I'm fascinated by what inspires people to click and engage digitally.
I help companies tell stories. I've done it as a journalist, a blogger, an editor, a copywriter, and a scripted reality television producer. It all comes down to storytelling -- and understanding what truly moves people.
I work with the world's biggest brands to grow their digital properties. I wrote an article on Forbes.com that has nearly 2M views. I was the voice of Pepto-Bismol on Facebook, increasing that brand's social engagement by 500% as market share rose 11%. I helped Time Warner build a digital vertical for millennial women, using my network of digital influencers to turn a startup into a destination site with 4M unique visitors and 22M page views a month.
What's your story? If your brand needs a hand, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
War Machine was convicted today in the trial of his assault of Christy Mack.
Maybe you're old enough to remember the "Twinkie defense"?
This guy offered up the "Raging Bull" defense:
"The defense attorney characterized Koppenhaver as a 'raging bull' with brain injuries from his fighting career and emotions inflamed by the use of steroids and non-prescription stimulant and antidepressant drugs that combined could have caused mood swings and violence that Leiderman termed 'roid rage.'"
"Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part."
-- Hermann Broch
Head on over to my Forbes blog, if you haven't been there lately. This month, I've got a few posts that may be of interest. I wrote about some very racy ads in Paris created by Yves Saint Laurent that caused a scandal: "Yves Saint Laurent 'Porno Chic' Ads Are Enraging Shocked Parisians." I also wrote about an NRA video that should piss off some women: "A Provocative New NRA Video Argues Owning a Gun Is a Feminist Act." And I had fun writing about two young black Vegas-based entrepreneurs who wound up getting star placement: "How Two Young Black Entrepreneurs Got a 'Retired Drug Dealer' Hat on Jay-Z's Head."
Some people love it. Some people hate it.
You're dumb if you wear this, people say.
You're going to go to jail if you wear this, people say.
You're going to get shot if you wear this, people say.
But here's the thing: They just don't get it.
Five years cancer-free today. Feels pretty awesome. Looking forward to living my life. Thanks for following!
Thanks very much for writing. I'm afraid we won't have room for this one, but I appreciate the chance to read and wish you the best finding it a good home.
Thank you for sending us "[Redacted]." This is an interesting topic, but the piece is missing the connection to a bigger picture idea, the reflection or takeaway that would make it a [redacted] story.
Best of luck with this, and I hope you’ll pitch us again in the future. To receive future calls for pitches, sign up here: [redacted].
The MacDowell Colony
We regret that we are not able to offer you a residency during this coming Summer 2017 period. Your work was appreciated by the admissions panel members, but the number of excellent applications has grown as has the competition for residencies.
We hope that this news will not discourage you from applying to the Colony again after two years’ time.
In the meantime, we send you our best wishes.
1) We can pay you $70 for writing 1000+ words content. We will do our part by promoting your work in our social network, but If you are ready to help us in promoting your published article we will pay you extra money, that is $30 for sharing of that article, but it should get on an average of 100+ likes from your Social Networks, so for writing and marketing of the same article we will pay you to total $100. You have to share an article on your social media networks as well as in groups, if it gets 100+ likes then only will pay you $30. Otherwise, you will get $70 for writing content. In addition to this, we will also feature you in our expert's panel: [redacted]. You can promote your courses, e-book, etc. through articles by adding links to the same at the end, in the author bio section. You can write on any topic of your choice ( should be related to health or you can see the categories we have covered on our website) or let me know if you want me to suggest a topic.
2) We will pay you $10 for sharing our three articles three times in a week. The article will be on health & fitness topics, that your audience will surely enjoy reading.
Let me know in which way you want to work with us.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
On average, you will land one story for every ten you pitch.
This is the fourth post in a series in which I explore my Forbes blog traffic. Since I've made a living for years by prompting people to click, I'm using this to document some of the ways in which this works. The answer, by the way, will always be as elusive as the human soul.
Regardless, simply put, I fucking killed it in February. Which was nice, because last month, I really shit the bed.
In January, I had 51,135 views.
In February, I had 193,011 views.
What went right? (I wrote another post about all this stuff on my Forbes blog yesterday, as well.) Basically, I'd been working the business of vice beat for years, and I never really felt like I could get a handle on it, so this last month, I was like, fuck it, I'm going to do it, and by doing it, I'll figure it out. So my commitment to myself was that I had to post once a day every weekday. Which I did. Thankfully, a short month. It's kind of like running, I suppose. You don't figure out how to run longer by thinking about it. You figure out how to run longer by running. Seems obvious, but do you practice it? Sometimes, thinking about shit is an excuse.
The most popular post was "Playboy Is Naked Again and It Is Awesome" with 85,978 views. Second most popular was "What Diversity? Kate Upton Covers Sports Illustrated Issue" with 33,912 views. Third most popular was "This $85,000 Gun Has a Piece of the Statue of Liberty in It" with 12,875 views. Fourth most popular was "A Male Porn Star Discovers Leaving Porn Is Harder Than You'd Think" with 9,535 views. And fifth most popular was "This Female Photographer Shoots in Strip Clubs" with 7,905 views. Sensing a trend? Never let them tell you sex doesn't sell. I'd like this lineup of top posts to be more diverse -- although, let's not frown at sex and violence. I'd like to see more posts about guns, booze, smoking, gambling, and rampant drug use. And over-the-top cars. And prisons. Let's shoot for that in March.
What went wrong? Here are a few posts that really shit the bed: "This Fashion Brand Wants You to Make Love, Not Walls" with 81 views, "Why Is This Model Wearing a Garbage Can Lid on Her Head?" with 158 views, and "How to Quadruple Your Blog Traffic in 30 Days" (meta!) with 133 views. I'm not sure what exactly went wrong here, but I would say that in general my headlines need work. They're too flat. Why is this? I need to deliver more hot takes and write more about things that I have some sort of passionate response to when I find them. All of these titles are boring. Boring is the enemy. Kill boredom. Toss it in a wood chipper. Die, boredom, die.
Come back in April to find out how I did in March. I call it blogging for dollars, and that's how we roll in 2017.
Final monthly stats:
Total Monthly Visitors: 93,011
One-time Visitors: 186,854
Repeat Visitors: 6,157
Current Recency Score: 83.928%
Oh, and my repeat visitors are an embarrassment. My bounce rate is to the moon. Must. Fix. That.
Over on my Forbes blog, I wrote a kind of impassioned post about blogging for dollars, and also about women, and of course about writing.
Read it, won't you?
"Then I realized something that's taken decades of therapy to penetrate my thick skull. You can't think your way into things. You have to do your way into things. So at the start of February 2017, I decided: I still don't 'get' how to do this beat, but I'm just going to do it, and I'm willing to bet that by simply doing it, even though I think I don't know how to do it, I will figure out how to do it."