Join us Wed from 7pm - 9pm RSVP

If you are looking for some serious blogging inspiration and know-how, please join us at the 4th Blog Out Loud event on Wednesday, Nov 4, at DWR in Santa Monica CA 7pm - 9pm.

We are teaming up with the amazing DWR | Tools For Living shop in LA for the free event.

We have an incredible panel of architecture + design + green bloggers who will be sharing their stories and experiences about blogging with you! The town-hall Q & A is for YOU so please join us for a great evening by the beach. Our panel...

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make your own custom Twitter background

Blog Out Loud's new twitter page

a new twitter background for loving. living. small.

for those of you on blogger on Twitter, consider making a custom background for your page. I found
four tutorials over at Chris Spooner's blog - one for a repeating image background, one for a graphic background fading to color, one for extra large image on your background and one for your very own custome. Awesome! He even gives you the Photoshop template to make your very own.

Follow Blog Out Loud on twitter
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how to: create your own favicon

I'm sure you've seen the small graphics that accompany the URLs of your fave blogs and websites. These are called favicons and you can add one to your own blog. This is a bit more work but it's a good way to learn about HTML and your own code so if you are a new blogger, consider trying this. There are a few steps in this process and it also requires you to go into your HTML code and doing a little copying and pasting.

STEP 1: Make your graphic
Create your fave graphic in Photoshop and save to your desktop. If you don't know Photoshop, consider googling clip art of an image you'd like. I used the flowers from my header to make my favicon for loving. living. small.

STEP 2: Make a .ico file
Click here to get to a website that will generate this type of file for free. All you have to do is upload your Photoshop or clip art image and click "generate ico". Once your file is made (takes 3 sec), just download it to your desktop.


STEP 3: Make your image into HTML code (pt. 1)

There are tons of free image hosting sites where you can upload an image to get the HTML. (HTML is the code that makes up websites and blogs. To manually add anything to your site or blog, you need to do so in HTML) I used Ripway for this. Register for free and upload your new .ico. You'll get something that looks like code in the photo above. Now let's finish the entire code in step 4.


STEP 4: Finish making the code (pt. 2)
The entire code looks like the code shown in the photo above. Copy your new HTML code link from step 3 (it will start with an http:// ) that you made on your free image hosting site and replace the link pictured above in red with your own new code. (see more info about this right here) The code that is not in red should stay intact - this is still part of the entire favicon code.

STEP 5: Add the entire HTML code to your blog HTML
So now that you have created the entire HTML code, we need to add it to your blog.
  • Go to your Dashboard >> Layout >> Edit HTML
  • First, download your entire template and save it to your desktop by clicking on Download Full Template. (This is your entire blog and your are essentially backing it up. You should do this any time you change your blog as a backup anyway)
  • Look at your code. Scroll down to about more then halfway look for "skin" tag, like the photo above. Then paste the 2 lines of your new code from STEP 4 right below this tag.

STEP 6: Save your new template and your new favicon should appear

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>> Blog Out Loud hearts you!

We started the blogging resource, Blog Out Loud, simply to inspire creative people - like you - to jump into blogging and join the community. Since we started this ride in May, we have added a lot of things and hope you enjoy them all! They are all for you!

Blog Out Loud Official Site
The hub of Blog Out Loud where you can find information and details about all of our events, consulting, workshops, panelists, sponsors and more.

Blog Out Loud Blog
You are (hopefully) enjoying the blog as you read this! The BOL blog is the place for free resources, interviews with established bloggers, tips for creating original content, understanding blogging etiquette, tricks for designing your blog, information about our latest events and workshops, links to current and past panelists and more!

Blog Out Loud Network.
The brand new free social network for you to join and meet other new bloggers, established bloggers and everyone in between. Ask questions in the forum, post photos, add videos and rsvp to upcoming events and workshops.

Blog Out Loud Webisodes
Video moments from past Blog Out Loud events.

Blog Out Loud Consulting
If you are ready to get your blog up and running and aren't sure where or how to start, we can help. Through the Blog Out Loud questionnaire and a free Skype consultation, we'll customize an e-book to help you build your new blog.

Blog Out Loud Social Media Workshops
Twitter and other social media applications are integral to building your business brand! We are offering 2 social media workshops with experts in November - Twitter and Social Media Success. Click here to learn more and RSVP.

We'd love to see you on Twitter!!

Blog Out Loud Book Guide
These reads are worth getting off your computer, iphone, blackberry, crackberry, or whatever machine is holding your attention. Click here to find some inspiring and informative reads about blogging, social media and the digital revolution.

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big and beautiful - enlarging your images

One common grievance when using a templated blog, is feeling as though your images just aren't as large as you'd like them to be. One way to enlarge an image is to go into the html code and adjust the width and height . The problem with that, is you may lose some of the clarity and end up with a less than quality image.

Here's a great tutorial found over at steph modo's eponymous website to go from small:
to big:

How To:

After up-loading your image, begin by going into the 'Edit Html' area of your posting. Find the code set that looks like this, and delete everything in the circled area below:
Now, you should only see this {the circled area}


Next find the part of the code that reads, /s and then a number. Usually it's forward slash s and the number 400.
Change the 400 to s576 or s640- depending on the size you wish to enlarge and the parameters of your blog. Don't worry, as long as you don't hit 'publish post' you can try it a few times and 'preview' the outcome until you get what you want.
Picture+22.<span class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_8">png</span> (image)

images: Steph Modo

>>Blog Inspired
me & gogi

We started the Blog Inspired series to highlight real people that are blogging their own brand successfully.

Today we want to show you me & gogi, a cereal company that let's you create your very own cereal online and they ship it to your door in a Cereal Capsule. Their blog, sincerealy yours, is all about their brand, the people behind the brand as well as their charitable efforts and exciting news. They keep their website all about the cereal and the 50+ all natural and organic ingredients and then continue sharing their personality over on their blog. I mean, who wouldn't want to know more about the creative people that came up with this idea?

Do you want to be part of the Blog Inspired series? We'd love to share your brand and blog with Blog Out Loud! Email us at and tell us about your work.

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>>Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2009

Rebecca live tweeting Richard's address :: see it #bwe09 or @blogoutloud

I had the pleasure of hearing Techorati CEO, Richard Jalichandra, speak last week at the Blog World Expo. He shared a sneak peek of the State of the Blogosphere 2009 and - wow - there is some informative stuff going on in social media! Blogging and social media are such important tools to business owners (big and small) and it's important to engage with people via social media. Read the Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2009 for interesting articles and interviews from social media experts and marketers.
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>>Blog Out Loud Interview
Tara Frey of Typing Out Loud & Blogging For Bliss

Today's Blog Out Loud interview features lovely blogger and author, Tara Frey. Tara's popular blog about life and inspiration is Typing Out Loud (yes, we love the title) and she's also written an informative book about creating a blog to enhance your craft blog. Yes! We are so thrilled to have Tara share her thoughts on blogging, keeping it real and tips for designing the look and feel of your blog.

We love your About section on your personal blog, Typing Out Loud. The 1st line reading, "Hi! I'm Tara Frey, an accidental author, purposeful blogger, aspiring photographer and editorial contributor to a few home decor mags." Share with us how you got into blogging, how the experience has been rewarding and what "purposeful" means to you?
I began blogging in 2004 out of what I call "bored store owner syndrome" I owned an online boutique at the time called Bella Pink and was getting tired of writing descriptions for products and the occassional one dimensional newsletter for my customers. I had some press coverage and an inbox jammed with questions, so I thought, "what if I started a blog and communicated with my customers instantly, sort of as if we were at the cash register of a real store?" The blog was born. I say purposeful blogger because I think my blog has evolved over the years to a really comfortable place for me to speak freely, sharing bits of my life and random thoughts, and challenged me to really crank up my photography a notch. I am no longer looking at stat counts or worried if anyone is reading. I blog for myself, which may sounds selfish, so I'll add in that I also blog for my mom, who gets on my case if she hasn't seen a photo of her grandchildren in 2 days. Blogging has allowed me to express myself and my love of my husband and children and allowed me to get back to my passion of creative writing and storytelling.

With BOL, we often talk about the importance of being real and authentic on your blog. You definitely have a passion for design and your family and you express it so authentically on your blog. Share with us how you defined you voice and why a blog is the place to keep it real. Also what's your advice on avoiding being too "salesy" or "overbearing" on a blog.
Like any blogger, it took me some time to find my voice. I had the online store (which since closed due to my desire to focus on writing) and I definitely didn't want to keep posting about sales or new products over and over. People responded most when I wrote about my family or my home. This was easy for me to write about because I think for every woman, their 2 favorite things are family and home! Once I started blogging for myself, the rest came easy and naturally. I think if you stay true to yourself, your blog will grow organically. It's great if you have something to sell and want to talk about it in a post, you can avoid being too "salesy" for example, by writing how you made the product or mix in a bit about how you use the product yourself in your home and show photos. There is no right or wrong way, just be yourself !

Setting up a blog can seem daunting to new bloggers. How did you design your blog and over what period of time? What are your tips on new bloggers regarding design?
This was a journey for me. My blog was all bedazzled and sparkly at one point. For me, personally I felt it took away from the content, my photos and writing. I decided to clean it up, tone it down, make my own banners from my photography which has made it completely freeing. I love having this freedom of changing my banners myself and not relying on a designer. It's great to change them out for the seasons or whatever mood you are in. Also a fun way to keep it fresh! Another tip I always tell new bloggers, is to keep your email address up top and easily seen. You never know who is reading it (in my case, a publisher!) So you want your readers to be able to contact you and find that information easily. Also, practice your photography. Blog readers love photos and are very visual people, so be sure to include a photo in every post, even if the photo has nothing to do with the post. And of course if you have an online store, be sure to keep a link and/or button easily seen up top on your blog!

Congrats on your book, Blogging for Bliss - Crafting Your Own Online Journal! You have penned a book aimed towards the crafting bloggers (a huge and creative community) that shares valuable information on embracing and setting up crafting blogs. Share with us the inspiration behind writing the book and what you learned along the way.
My book was a take off on some of my columns in Romantic Homes Magazine and Romantic Living Magazine. In the columns, I would feature 2 or 3 women of interest, their craft and their blog. When I met with the publisher, the idea for the book was to really focus on this explosive community of creative bloggers and feature an array of crafty women, along with visual imagery as inspiration sprinkled throughout, then blend it with a "how to". I think the finished product is a perfect combination of all of these things and a great resource for all creative bloggers...from new ones, to seasoned experienced bloggers as well.

Thanks, Tara!! Definitely check out Tara's book right here and her blog, Typing Out Loud.

Check out more Blog Out Loud Interviews from...
>>Jess Constable of Jess LC & Makeunder My Life
>>Zem Joaquin of ecofabulous
>>Erin Lochner of Design for Mankind & BAKERY

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>>The 4th Blog Out Loud Event
Wednesday, 11/4 and hosted by DWR | Tools For Living

We are happy to announce the 4th Blog Out Loud event!!

The event is Wednesday, November 4th from 7pm - 9pm and hosted by DWR | Tools For Living in Santa Monica, CA.

We have such an incredible panel of successful bloggers and hope you join us!
Click here for the official site and more information.


Also join our brand new Blog Out Loud network!!

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>>Introducing the Blog Out Loud Network
A Blog Community For You

Ok, bloggers, you asked for it and it is here -

The Blog Out Loud Network!

This community network is for new bloggers, established bloggers and everyone inbetween! Find information on the latest Blog Out Loud events and workshops, upload photos, videos, instant chat and join blog forums to talk about blogging and social media. If you are looking for blogging information and inspiration from other people and o get yourself out there, the Blog Out Loud Network is the new place for you!

>>Join the Blog Out Loud Network right here

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>>Be our Facebook fan!
Yes, Our Blatant Cry Out For You!!

We aren't shy - we want you!!

Click here to join the Blog Out Loud facebook fan page.
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We talked about TweetDeck at the 3rd Blog Out Loud event and everyone and their mom is using it @blogworld (Check out real-time Blog World happenings at #bwe09) We wanted to share it with you guys.

It really is a great tool to handle the sometimes overwhelming world of Twitter. TweetDeck is a free application that "is your personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and more." It basically organizes your Twitter world into categories so you can check your direct chats in one places, your mention's in one place, what your friends are doing in one place, etc. And in this busy and creative time, we all can use that!

Click here to download this very cool app and check out the
TweetDeck Posterous blog and also their directory, sharing categories to help you search what people are talking about that interests you.

Have fun! @blogoutloud
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>>Thank you, BOL attendees, panelists and sponsors!

Megan Arquette, Bill Sewell, Rebecca Orlov, Jerry Solomon, Clint Schaff,
Erika Levy, Simon Mainwairing, Damon Webster

Woo hoo - The 3rd Blog Out Loud event!

Megan & Rebecca enjoying some wine pre-event.

The panel getting ready.

Therapy's awesome space before.

And full of lovely attendees!

We made Tall Redhead's with POM

One of our sponsors

What a night!!! We had such a blast at last night's event and met some great people. Over 100 people came to hear our incredible panel share their thoughts, ideas, and perspective son blogging and social media in relation to the advertising industry. I personally learned some valuable information and really picked up the great energy all around.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that came to the event! (even in the rain - we are impressed!) To all of our sponsors, especially Wiredrive! And thank you Therapy for having us all in your (work) home!

And for all of you attendees that are looking for a little blogging push, Blog Out Loud is consulting with companies and brands to get their blogs up and running. So if you need a little help, click here to learn more.

We also are doing Blog Out Loud workshops focusing on the how-to's of Twitter, facebook and more. These small workshps are a perfect chance to get one-on-one help from a social media consultant. Click here to learn more or email us at

::images 1 - 4 by Emilie Elizabeth::

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