Blogging 201: Day Ten – Give ‘Em What They Want, II

I’m supposed to create a poll or survey about my blog. So, we’ve established that I’m more of a personal blogger and really have no agenda. I’m not selling you, the reader, anything. It’s up to you whether or not what I’m writing is worth your time.

I don’t necessarily need a poll to let me know what resonates more with readers and what doesn’t. Now, I may not use it – and in fact, I probably​ won’t. Sorry. – but the point is that I could use but choose not to.

I can tell you that one of my more well-read posts was about the books I read as a kid. That was pretty awesome. But I’m not a book blog. Like I said before, I treat my blog as my journal. It’s got a mashup of everything that interests me. The only thing that isn’t on this blog are the bits and pieces of miasma that I find interesting, as in the forms of fortune cookies, bits of song lyrics, an interesting brochure, what have you.

So, yeah, just a bit of what’s in my head and nothing else. ​

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Blogging 201: Day Nine – The Buddy System

Oh, dear.  I haven’t read the assignment but I’m already dreading it.

Okay, deep breathe.

Let’s go.

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Blogging 201: Day Eight – Make Your Blog a Hub

Today’s assignment has me

creating a page or section on my blog to display links to my online presence elsewhere; making sure that my othe prescenes reflect the brand I’ve been developing.

So….is this different than the widgets that say where else you can find me?  Like my Twitter page or my Instagram account?  Or perhaps, it’s my Goodreads account or more recently articles that I’ve written?  You know, the ones that have a byline and have paid me.  I could point you in the direction of other blogs that I’ve posted in but they don’t have my name and they are so overworked that they no longer resemble the original pieces that I submitted.  (Sorry for the run-on sentence.)

By the way, I can write a blog post that’s SEO friendly.  If that’s what you need, I can certainly write an article.

I’ve been thinking about posting on Medium, bu I can’t really think of why I would, you know?

Anyway, that’s my two cents.  I’ll think about a separate page with the rest of my online presence.

Blogging 201: Day Seven: Make the Most of Events

So with today’s assignments, I’m supposed to either create a recurring “blogging event” or make plans to attend a blogging conference.  Well, okay, I suppose.

Can’t you just smell the reluctance on my part?

Yeah.

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Blogging 201: Day Six – Dig Deep into a Social Network

Oh, dear.

Social networks.

Continue reading “Blogging 201: Day Six – Dig Deep into a Social Network”

Blogging 201: Day Five – Make the Most of Your Archives

Huh.

Well, today’s assignment has me dealing with creating a widget or some such thing to get people to read related posts or something like it.  Look, I’ve already activated the related posts thingy at the bottom of each post. I don’t need to do it again.  Related posts sound like a good idea to me at the time and they still remain a good idea.

I suppose if I wanted to create a widget for the best of page, I’d have to examine my archives and such to figure out the best of.  Also, I already refer to other posts, if applicable, of course.  I don’t go crazy and reference posts that make no sense.

I do enough non-sensical in my non-internet life.

I suppose I could create a best of page.  I don’t know.  It sounds awfully narcissistic, writes the girl with a blog.

*shrugs*

Blogging 201:Day Four-Give ‘Em What They Want

By the way,  I still think my design is pretty awesome.  Plus, I’ve “lived” with it for quite some time.  Perhaps, I’ll change it up once the new year arrives.

We’ll see.

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Blogging 201: Get Read All Over

I have a responsive blog.

I like how it looks on the laptop.  I like how it looks on the phone.  I like how it looks on a tablet.

If I knew how, I’d make the font calibri.

Well, maybe I’ll try it.

Be right back.

 

 

Blogging 201: Audit Your Brand

Audit your brand?!?!?

*sigh*

Seriously?

Okay, so I suppose this is something that I knew would be coming my way when I signed up for this.  I knew it and went ahead and did it anyway.  So, like in everything else, I’ll f’ing do it anyway.

I haven’t quite yet used this blog as a “springboard for other projects.” Well, no, I suppose I have actually.  I’ve written fiction pieces for the blog, but I haven’t really linked up the paid (non-fiction) pieces.  I haven’t come out of my shell yet.

And besides, I’m not really promoting anything.  (Though, I know there are some you going NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  YOU ARE A BRAND!!!!)

To which I will say…nothing.  I’ll say nothing, and I’ll shudder.

Saying that I have a brand seems so…not me.  What you see it what you get.

My husband and I binged the last four episodes of Jessica Jones the other day (Brilliant series.  Brutal.  Groundbreaking.  I will never ever watch it again.)  Jessica never hid who she was…nor did she advertise who she was or is.  I suspect that she’s not the type of person to advertise other than the phone book.

Where am I going?  I’m not comfortable with “branding.”

That being said, for the assignment, I need to “audit my brand,” from the header image, background color, widgets, etc.  A strong brand, the assignment says

creates an emotinal connection with readers.

Okay, I get that.  I really do.  Forgive me though if I come across as cranky. I probably am.  If you haven’t noticed, I like changing up the layout from time to time.  As I’ve said before this is my journal, online.  And as I finish a paper journal, I pick up a new journal that is different from my previous journal.  Hence, the design changes.

Is it part of good content?  I suppose.  My brand is my words; unvarnished and generally from the heart.  I don’t know what else I can do with it.  I’m not selling anything, just presenting a different point of view.  That’s all.

Hmm, so let’s take a look at the checklist, shall we?

Here’s a checklist to get you going:

Pro tip: head to the Commons to pair up with another blogger so you can audit one another’s sites — nothing is better for finding inconsistencies and improvements than a fresh pair of eyes!

I like my theme.  It seems clean and isn’t fussy.  It makes it easier to read…so I’ve read.  I generally prefer white script on a dark background. It’s easier on my eyes.

I also like my tagline: “Wait, wait, I’m not finished.”  It makes me smile and is indicative of what I’m thinking before I hit publish.  (By the way, if I don’t force myself to hit publish, I never would.)  I suppose I could work on my post titles.

*shrugs*

I try only to use images that I took.  That doesn’t work out most of the time.  I don’t usually use other pictures. I will sometimes.  Again, it’s neither here nor there.

Okay, let’s just get one thing straight here.  I sincerely do not want to set up a facebook page for the blog.  My twitter is linked to the blog, and if I really, really wanted to, I suppose I could link up my Pinterest and Instagram.  I did have my Instagram stream for a while here, but then I saw my face staring at me, and it sorta wigged me out.

(Hey, on a side note, I suppose I am willing to pair up with another blogger to audit your brand.  No big deal though if it doesn’t happen.  I’m busy enough as is.)

I already updated my header page.  That’s all I’m willing to do right now.

*sigh*

Okay, okay, okay.  I’ll take a look at re-customizing the blog.

There are you happy?

*Sheesh*

Blogging 201: Set Three Goals

Because I am a glutton for punishment.

(Take that as you will.)

You know, I’ve been blogging off and on since early 2005.  I’ve treated my blog, almost the same way I’m treating it now:  as a journal that happens to be online.  No, I don’t post up the ephemra that catches my eye, that’s what FeedlyEvernote, and Pinterest are for…oh, and my paper journal. Posting up what catches my eye isn’t interesting to everyone.  Just me.

I’m listening to Sarah Werner’s podcast as I’m writing this, if that gives you any hint as to where my writing head is.  She’s got an interesting Midwestern accent.  I like it and it makes me smile.  Her accent.  And her podcast.

Anyway, I’m off topic.  I’m sorry.

Today’s assignment has me asking myself this very important thing:

Consider what you want to accomplish with your blog.  Write down three concrete goals.

In my (paper) journal – this blog is just another type of journal for me, where what I write may or may not be read.  My paper journal only has me for a reader. – I wrote this:

Three concrete blogging goals:

  1. Increase reader engagement. (This, I suppose, forces me to self-promote.  *sigh*)
  2. Writer longer pieces. (500 words or more.  I’ve always aimed for 500 words or more.  Most of the time that doesn’t happen.)
  3. Comment meaningfully on more blogs. (I know I’ll feel like a tool. But I’ll do it anyway.)

That’s at first blush, mind you.  The rest of the assignment asks me these questions:

Why do you blog?  For notoriety?  To get a book contract?  To self-publish?  To establish yourself as a leader in your field?  To gain followers?  To connect with others?  To clarify your own thoughts?

If your blog exceeded your wildest dreams, what would that look like?  Would you have a different design?  How many followers would you have?  How much traffic?  What sort of community would participate?  How often would you post?

And I wrote:  I blog because I want to and I can.  It focuses my thoughts and helps me to devleop as a writer.  I’ve realized that I’m going to produce more as a non-fiction writer.  And as certain people say “writers write…” as much as I hate to admit that anything he says is true.  He’s right.

Writing – especially for an audience who may or may not be there – forces me to focus on what I’m actually writing.  Yes, I’m speaking and I suppose since I am publishing this on my blog, I actually want to be heard.  Do I want some sort of connection with others?

Don’t we all want some sort of connection with others?

If my blog exceeded my wildest dreams…well, I suppose the design would be a bit different.  I’d have more followers and more traffic.  I’d like a like-minded community participating and my posting?  Well, I’d stick true to myself and try to post daily.

Don’t look at me like that.  Writing and posting everyday forces me to write.  I know not everyone reads what I write.  And yes, while I said previously that I like being heard, it’s just not necessary.

I’ve already listed my three specific goals.  Now, I didn’t put a time table on it.  I’m just going to assume that it’ll happen.  (Because my ego is just that huge.  Indulge me, won’t you?)

*ahem*

Now, I’ve been looking into a blogging planner and decided against it. Mainly because I prefer a paper planner and secondly because I just don’t want to carry another damn thing around.  I’ll make do with my midori/bullet journal agenda.

Yes, I smushed the two.  Get off my lawn.

 

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.