Write About What’s Hot! Or Not? ~Become a Blogger Mondays!

I often struggle with the decision to write about current events on my site because I don’t want it to ever become a gossip site.  I don’t knock gossip sites, but the purpose of Danithedreamgirl.com is to inspire others to follow their dreams.  So, where do current events fit in, in the Dreamworld?  I have asked myself this question at least a hundred times!  The conclusion that I’ve come up with is, they fit in wherever I want them to.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is my site and what I choose to put out there is solely my decision.  However, there is also a healthy balance in being true to the people that follow my blog.  So, here is what I do when I have the urge to say how happy I am about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West having a baby (for example):

1. I hone in on why the particular event is important enough for me to write about, i.e. what moves me, what makes it important, how will it encourage my readers.

2. I stay true to myself first and foremost, then I stay true to my readers.

I learned from Angel’s Laws of Blogging that if you don’t have anything to write about, it’s better to not write anything at all!  Basically, I write what I want and I don’t force it.

3.  I do my research.

It’s so important to pay attention to what’s “poppin” out there.  I don’t want my site to become an open journal for the world to see, filled with a ton of things that nobody cares about reading.  Instead, I want it to be a place where people can read about examples of others following their dreams, as well as, highlighting the exciting events taking place around us all.

Find the balance and the rest will fall into place!  Happy Blogging!

B.B.M.: Grammar is YOUR Friend!

Welcome back for another installment of, Become a Blogger Mondays!  It’s amazing that you’ve found your site and are starting to pick which topics to blog about.  This is a very exciting time; trust me, I know!  However it’s always important to stick with the basics when it comes to writing.  A little grammar can go a long way *wink*…again, trust me…I know!

There are certain pet peeves I secretly contain within my mind and it is NOT easy turning the other way when I see poorly written posts (remember my interview with blogger, Jasmine the Brand?).  Ever go to a site that has the BEST design, great topics of discussion, great interviews, etc., but when you get into the “meat” of the post, you can barely comprehend it?  You feel my pain (I know you do!).  It’s like looking at a pretty car that’s all scratched up; you have to ask yourself, “why even bother buying that piece of crap?”  Well, that’s how I feel about improper grammar on blogs!  In this day and age, there is no reason for poorly written sentences, lack of punctuation, horrible spelling…you get the picture.  Look, we ALL make mistakes, but eventually you need to be proud of the work you put out to the world and bad grammar should NOT be a consistent mishap when writing.  So, rather than slap your hand with a ruler and take recess away from you offenders, I’m going to give you some pointers that have helped me in doing a pretty good job with proper grammar!

1.  Always, always, always PROOF your work before publishing it.

It only takes a few minutes to go back and re-read your post; it’s really not that bad.  I’m actually obsessed with going over my work before you lovely people get a chance to read it (maybe that’s the English major in me).

2.  Have a friend read your post for you.

I have the luxury of being able to send my work to a close friend (who is also a grammar Nazi…worse than me!) before I publish a post.  Another set of eyes can never hurt and they may also be able to catch things that you missed as a result of staring at the same screen for a long period of time.

3.  Always use spell check as a FINAL step.

I say “FINAL” because proofing is still the most effective way to catch major grammatical errors.  Spell check is just the easy way out!

4.  Make sure your computer is set up to highlight incorrect words, punctuation, fragments, etc.

This is self explanatory…just do it!

5.  Read more!

Most people might not think to do this, but reading more can actually help you in a lot of ways.  It will not only increase your vocabulary, but it will also provide repetition in reading proper sentence formations.  Of course, this all depends on what you choose to read, but you get what I’m trying to say.


I hope you’ve learned something useful today!  Remember, it’s very important to pay attention to GRAMMAR!  Take pride in your work because there’s no quicker way to lose credibility than to sound like a 3rd grader through your writing.  If I see nothing but typos on a site, I won’t even finish reading the post.  I will automatically stop taking the blogger/writer seriously.

Come back next week for, Become a Blogger Mondays…not sure what I’m going to discuss yet, but that’s the beauty of having my own site!  I get to do what I want, BIATCH!  Did you catch me spell that cuss word wrong?  Good!  You’re learning already!  But, there are effective ways to use improper grammar after all…did I just confuse you?  GOOD!  Adios, Dreamers!

B.B.M…What the HECK Should I Blog About?!

Welcome back for another week of, “BECOME A BLOGGER MONDAYS”!!!

By now you’ve decided that blogging is for you and you have chosen which site is best for you as well.  Ok, so now comes the FUN part!  You get to write about ANYthing!  When I first started writing I didn’t know exactly what I’d be sharing with the world, but I knew the message I wanted to get across.  Here are some helpful tips on HOW to decide what to write about:

1. Know the reason WHY you want to blog.

For me, the reason was simple…I wanted to inspire others.  Just tap into what motivates you and that’s the first step to your success.

2.  Figure out what you want your end result to be.

Some people blog for their business, others want to make money on the side and some just do it for the fun of it all.  So, whether you want to use your “stage” as a means to an end or to simply document an online journal, you must decipher what you ultimately want to see happen with your blog.  Knowing this will allow you to further hone in on what you want to focus on.

3.  Make it FUN!

When I say this, it’s more for you, rather than your readers.  Of course, you want to captivate your audience, but if you don’t enjoy what you’re writing about then no one will. 

4. Be diverse in your topics.

Starting out, you’re going to want to be consistent in your topics; this will help form your target audience.  BUT! BUT! BUT! Every once in a while, it will be nice for your readers to see a different side of you, i.e. if you’re serious then make it funny, if you’re funny then maybe write about a more serious/personal topic.  Diversity will help expand past your target audience!  One thing that I do often is reach out to my readers.  I ask them what they want to read about, I ask them their thoughts on my topics of discussion and most importantly, I open myself up for constructive criticism.

Whatever you choose to share with the world, is all up to you!  Remain true to what you know and the rest will fall into place.  Happy BLOGGING everyone!  Make sure to come back next Monday when I discuss, “Grammar is YOUR Friend!!!”

Where is Christian Grey?!

50 Shades Review

By now, you may have been swallowed up by the ’round-the-world craze known as “Christian Grey!”  We’ve never met him, but so many of us women (and maybe men) are fantasizing about him–what he looks like, how hot his body is, him running his fingers through his hair, etc. (all details provided in the books).  For those who have no clue who this man is, the sad truth is, neither do WE!  This is a fictional character in the world renowned, bestselling trilogy that has taken us by storm.  In a series of three books, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, author E.L. James has invited us to become obsessed with the dark and mysterious Christian Grey–along with his lovely lady, Anastasia Steele.

I would hate to give away any major details, but the truth is…YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT THE BOOKS AND READ THEM BY NOW.  This series is filled with “kinky f*ckery” (that’s the term that is used in the book), love, heartbreak, seduction, violence, control…you get the picture.  I was COMPLETELY engaged and head over heels with Christian Grey–the sexy, successful millionaire with control problems, secrets and a fetish for dominating his submissive lovers.  I read ALL three books in two weeks!  We’re talking about reading instead of watching television, reading before bedtime, reading on lunch breaks, reading when I woke up…I was utterly and completely hooked.  Christian Grey eased his way into his lover’s life–recent college graduate, Anastasia Steele, who was a virgin and inexperienced in a lot of things (not just sex).  From the moment they locked eyes, they found pure electricity flowing through their body and were inseparable.  She is introduced to a world that she would never have thought to explore.  A world that is dark, invigorating, secret and most of all, NEW!  He, of course, comes with much personal baggage from past lovers and child abuse, to the constant need to control every situation…that is until, he met Anastasia!  She changed his world and made him think in a new way…in a way that combined his sexual fantasies and control with her traditional innocence.  A man incapable of even loving, learned to live and love for the first time.

So many readers had mixed emotions about the content of the book, but the majority of my fellow 50 Shades fans were totally taken over!  It was an opportunity to dive into deep fantasy and read about a pure, kinky, passionate, raw love where anything was possible.  Each reader can adopt their own perspective on the main objective of the series…that’s the beauty!  Some will settle for only the risque parts, where as others (like myself) will allow themselves to be taken on a literary journey where there are no limits.  In a nutshell, I was left wanting MORE (wink)!


Here is what I picture when I think of what Mr. Grey might look like (based on the details given in the books of course):

1. What were YOU left thinking?  

2. Did you fall in love with Christian Grey as I did?  

3. Did you love the books or hate the books?  

Let me know  your thoughts by leaving a comment and let’s get this discussion started!

Sharing is Caring…A Mini Treat Inside!

Being a fairly new blogger is a scary thing!  Will people pay attention to me?  Do they like what I’m saying?  What will the world think?  To put your thoughts and beliefs out there for everyone to see requires a certain level of confidence and not really caring what others think.  Sure, you want people to read your posts, but when it’s all said and done…I write because I want to!  Of course, I hope that others can find inspiration in my posts and interviews, but my desire for a higher purpose far exceeds a want of popularity!

With that said, what better way to learn about this secret society than to seek the advice of those who are doing it and doing it well?  I reached out to a successful blogger on Twitter (a couple of weeks ago) and she was kind enough to do a mini Twitter-view with me!  Here are the questions I asked and the info that The Jasmine Brand offered up:

1. How long did it take for you to break onto the blogging scene?

@thejasminebrand: It will be two years this summer.  I became serious about blogging about a year ago.

2. What advice can you offer new bloggers, i.e. gaining more followers? Gaining visibility?

@thejasminebrand: 1. Be consistent. 2. Be interested in what you cover. 3. Market yourself in non-traditional ways. 4. Be creative.

3. How are you so successful at getting celebrity support/interviews?

@thejasminebrand: When I first started, I would have to damn near beg for interviews.  @KennyBurns gave me my first one as a favor because he was friends with my publicist and it’s still not easy.  Like any industry, you have to prove yourself and keep at it.  I’ve been blessed, lucky, etc. and I just work hard at it and it’s worked thus far and I’m my authentic, corny self.

4. Is there room for non-controversial blogs such as mine?

@thejasminebrand: I wouldn’t call your site “non-controversial” LOL, but yes there is room. You just have to determine who your audience is.

5. What is the first thing you notice when you visit a website/blog for the first time?

@thejasminebrand: The first thing I notice is lay-out then grammar and writing.

6. O.K. last question…what are your blogger pet peeves, i.e. typos, grammar, etc.

@thejasminebrand: My pet peeves are typos (and I’m 100% guilty of this), seeing the same content on EVERY site, that sort of thing…But it really doesn’t matter what I think because there’s an audience for EVERYONE.  There’s enough room for all of us 2.

It was a quick Q&A, but if there’s one thing I always do it’s ask questions!  I have no shame in reaching out to others, but most importantly, I love to share information!  I don’t feel like I have to hold onto information because there’s competition out there.  Teamwork makes the dream work!

From His Pen to Our Ears! Donnell Shawn Butler

Continuing my series on amazing stories of success, perseverance and the ultimate search of life’s purpose, here’s a glimpse into the world of Donnell Shawn Butler.  At first glance you may not recognize his name, but within the music industry this young talent is a force to be reckoned with.  He is blessed with the ability to sing better than many popular (high paid) crooners, write tracks for platinum-selling artists, produce and play keyboard!

He first fell in love with music at the innocent age of 5.  Who might have been his first attention grabber? Stevie? Marvin? Nope.  The Gap Band, singing “I’m in Love” on the radio!  If you’ve ever heard him sing, you’d think he spent top dollars on the best vocal coach, but he managed to teach himself.  In his own words, “I was whack at first then kept singing all day.”  His ability to write songs began in much the same way as he explains, “I just sat down and wrote a song.  Not a lot of thought to it.”  How did he become so good at creating masterpieces?  He believes, “Practice makes a successful anything.”  Despite his raw, self-taught, skills Donnell’s journey hasn’t always been the easiest; it took sacrifice and walking out on faith…oh and of course, being told “no.”

If you were wondering whether or not Donnell faced rejection along the way, his insight is simple, “HAHA…rejection is the name of the game.  I’ve been told “no” almost my whole life.”  He also had to discover that his hometown wasn’t the best place to fully birth his talents.  Although Philly is where his passion sparked, L.A. was the fuel to his flame.  The opportunity to leave the City of Brotherly Love and relocate to the City of Angels was the start of his new beginning, but it meant leaving his family behind in order to gain exposure and mold his future.  The risk has certainly been worth the reward and Donnell is making his new area code work for him in every way.  When asked what it was about L.A. that had him pack his bags quick, fast and in a hurry he says:

Los Angeles is where the artists are and where people are really networking hard.  The atmosphere is entertainment.  [My] transition wasn’t very hard at all…it was very natural because I’m in my environment.  The studio.  Everyone here is networking and willing to work with each other…no one is keeping secrets or staying in a clique.

Have Mr. Butler’s years in Philly and leap into “Smog City” paid off at all?  You be the judge.  He’s written music for Craig David, Timbo, Letoya Luckett, Boyz 2 Men, Kevin Rudolf, Jesse McCartney, BlackStreet, Day26, Bridget Kelly, Lil Wayne and most recently Mary J. Blige (“Irreversible” off of her latest album, My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act I)).  Even with all of his success, he still isn’t 100% sure of his God-given purpose, but knows that he is meant to inspire others at the very least.  Donnell has learned that, “You have to be present in whatever you do.  Go places and meet people and force your way into the door.  Continue to write and write and write…something will give.”  For his fellow, future young stars, he leaves them with this additional bit of advice:

Make sure it’s what you want.  Make sure you can compete…Practice. Practice. Evolve. Take criticism always and get better. Be happy and grateful for anything you get.  Be a nice person!…Nice and friendly get you a LONG way over talent.  Non-stop work is the secret weapon. Stay up and do one extra thing and that could be the thing that takes you to the next level.

In the midst of his many blessings, Donnell has the rare ability to remain humble and grounded; something that seems to be missing from many stars today.  His journey can inspire just about anybody that reads this and that’s what makes this whole thing called life very magical.  Anybody can learn from their environment and the people around them; however, it’s up to each person to pay attention!  Sometimes elevating to the next level requires taking a risk that may or may not work out in your favor, but lucky for Donnell Shawn Butler, his risks are paying off in every way imaginable…will yours?